(SportsNetwork.com) - The Dallas Mavericks punched their ticket to the playoffs, but they'll face a stiff test Wednesday night when the desperate Phoenix Suns pay a visit to the American Airlines Center.
The Mavs earned their postseason berth without taking the court. When the Oklahoma City Thunder lost at home to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, it was enough to get Dallas into the playoffs.
The Suns' postseason chances are on life support. Any loss, or win by the New Orleans Pelicans, or Thunder, would eliminate Phoenix from playoff contention.
Dallas has dropped two straight, four of its last six and six of its previous eight. The Mavericks lost the first two of this homestand, which ends Wednesday night.
On Saturday, the Golden State Warriors came to Big D and left with a 123-110 victory.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 points to lead Dallas. J.J. Barea and Monta Ellis scored 14 apiece, followed by 13 from Richard Jefferson. Tyson Chandler managed 10 points and 13 rebounds and Amare Stoudemire finished with 10.
The Warriors took a 59-48 margin at the break.
Golden State then began the third on a 10-3 swing to extend its cushion even more. Klay Thompson started the flurry with a pair of triples and finished it off with a putback for a 69-51 spread.
The Warriors were up 90-76 going into the fourth, where they cruised to the finish line.
"They're pretty much stacked at every position," said Nowitzki.
Chandler Parsons (right knee) and Rajon Rondo (left knee) are both questionable on Wednesday.
The Mavs hit the road for three straight against the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz. They close the season in one week at home versus the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Suns fell on Tuesday to the Atlanta Hawks, 96-69. They've lost six of their last seven, including three straight on the road.
Gerald Green netted 15 points off the bench to pace Phoenix. Eric Bledsoe chipped in nine points and five assists, but turned the ball over five times before he was ejected in the third quarter following two technical fouls.
"We played hard in stretches, but they kept coming," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. "Their bench comes in there and plays just as hard. They had some energy guys, and we didn't. In the second half, they just kept going and going."
The Suns started the second half on a mini 4-1 run to cut the Hawks' advantage to six points at 53-47, but Atlanta turned the tables and rolled out a 10-0 run to go back up by double digits.
Atlanta started the fourth on a 10-3 run to take a 79-59 lead before the Suns called a timeout. It didn't help, as the Hawks extended their lead to 90-61 with 5:40 to play after the team stretched its run to 21-5.
The Suns were once again without Brandon Knight and Alex Len, who are out with injuries.
Phoenix will visit New Orleans and San Antonio on this trek.
The Suns will go for their first season sweep of the Mavericks since the 1997-98 season.