Mavericks aim to rebound in road tilt at Atlanta
The Dallas Mavericks' playoff chances were dealt a serious blow on Sunday, but they don't have any time to worry about it.
They travel to Atlanta to meet the Hawks on Monday night and Dallas is four games behind the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Mavs fell at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night, 107-101. Dallas dropped the season series 4-0 to the reigning Western Conference champions and put its already faint playoff chances in jeopardy.
"You know, they made more plays than we did," said O.J. Mayo. "Whether they be luck shots, whatever you want to call it, they just made plays."
Dirk Nowitzki led the charge with 23 points, followed by 18 off the bench from Vince Carter. Mike James chipped in 14, while Darren Collison and Jae Crowder both scored in double figures.
Without Shawn Marion due to a bruised left calf, guard Rodrigue Beaubois joined him on the sideline. Beaubois broke his left index finger against the Thunder.
"It's just sad. It's just so many injuries," Nowitzki said of his teammate's woes. "I mean, he's been here four years and he missed a lot of action. He broke his foot twice, dislocated numerous fingers, he had to battle through that and then finally breaks his hand. It's tough. We feel bad for him, but he's a good kid and he'll stick around."
The Hawks have won three in a row, including a great road win in Brooklyn on Sunday night. They knocked off the Nets 105-93 and are right in the mix of a jammed-up Eastern Conference.
Atlanta currently sits fifth in the East, but they are only three games out of the second seed. Conversely, the Hawks are 3 1/2 games out of the eighth and final spot.
"Now we're a game behind Brooklyn, so it was a big win for us. We're trying to be in the best possible position for the playoffs," said center Al Horford.
He led the way for the Hawks with 22 points and 11 rebounds against the Nets. Josh Smith added 21 points, Dahntay Jones had 13, Kyle Korver 12 and Jeff Teague chipped in 11.
Korver went 2-for-4 from beyond the arc and has made at least one 3-pointer in 59 consecutive games. That is the longest streak in the NBA since Peja Stojakovic's 62-game run of 2008.
The Hawks play three straight at home, starting with Monday's tilt.
The Hawks have won two straight against the Mavericks, who have taken two of their last three in Atlanta.