(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks will try to avoid losing three straight games for the first time this season when they host the Southwest- rival Memphis Grizzlies Tuesday at American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks had won three in a row and four of five games before dropping back-to-back decisions to the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans Pelicans.
In Sunday's 109-106 setback in the Big Easy, Monta Ellis poured in 36 points on 16-of-27 shooting, Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points and Rajon Rondo supplied 17 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Dallas made 48.1 percent and sank just 9-of-24 3-pointers. It had a chance at the end, but Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis came up huge on defense.
With his team trailing by one with 12.3 seconds left, Davis drew a foul on Tyson Chandler while working to get open and made both free throws. Then at the other end, Davis used his length to intercept Rondo's inbounds pass and sank two more from the line to make it 109-106.
"It's hard to lob it up over one of the longest guys in the NBA," said Nowitzki, who is averaging 21.4 ppg in his last seven games.
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle is one win shy of 600 in his career (599-414).
Dallas will start a three-game road trip Wednesday in Houston with trips to Miami and Orlando afterward.
The Grizzlies are 13-7 on the road and will play four of the next six games away from FedExForum.
Memphis enters tonight's tilt in Dallas with three straight wins and seven in the past eight games. The Grizzlies went 4-1 on a recent homestand and closed the stay with Monday's 103-94 triumph over the Orlando Magic. Zach Randolph posted 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Marc Gasol chipped in 16 points and 10 boards.
Randolph has recorded nine straight double-doubles and is posting an average of 19.3 points and 13.4 rebounds in that stretch.
"When he gets going, we're hard to guard," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said of Randolph.
Beno Udrih scored 15 points for the Grizzlies, who scored 67 points in the first half and survived a famine 14-point fourth quarter.
Grizzlies guard Tony Allen missed Monday's game with an ankle injury and is listed as day-to-day.
After visiting the Mavericks, Memphis will host Denver and Oklahoma City.
Memphis and Dallas have split the first two of four matchups this season -- both on Beale Street -- and will meet again March 20 in Big D. The Mavericks are 4-2 in the last six games in this series and have prevailed in four of the past five as the host.