(SportsNetwork.com) - Two of the NBA's very best jump it up Tuesday night when the Dallas Mavericks pay a visit to FedExForum to challenge the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies are one of three teams with a 16-4 mark, the second-best winning percentage in the league behind only the Golden State Warriors. Dallas is just below Memphis fractionally.
"Well, it's a big week for us. But, really, if you look at the Western Conference standings, every week is big," said Dirk Nowitzki. "Every loss is big. We just saw it the other night. We won four or five in a row and we still didn't move up from the five or six seed, so that's just how tough it is. So, really, every game every week is big. It's kind of stupid to say in December, but that's where we're at in the Western Conference. You know, every loss can drop you out the playoffs. So, yeah, it's a big week, but so is every week."
Tuesday's tilt is a classic matchup of offense versus defense. The Mavericks are the NBA's highest-scoring team at 110.6 ppg, while the Grizz rank No. 1 in opponents' scoring at 93.5 ppg.
The Grizzlies stopped a two-game skid on Sunday night with a 103-87 home drubbing of the Miami Heat.
Jon Leuer poured in 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in just 24 minutes off the bench to lead the Grizzlies on Sunday.
"Leuer had a sensational game," Grizzlies head coach David Joerger said. "He's worked on his game. We believe in him."
Memphis shot a season-high 58.9 percent from the floor to bounce back from having its 22-game home winning streak broken by the Spurs on Friday.
Mike Conley chipped in 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting, while Zach Randolph and Courtney Lee both added 17 in the winning cause. It was an uncharacteristically slow night for Marc Gasol, who was limited to just two points. He did finish with seven assists and six rebounds.
Grizzlies bench stalwart Vince Carter didn't play on Sunday, but he will be back facing a Mavericks team he spent three seasons with prior to signing in Memphis.
The Mavericks had a five-game winning streak snapped on Friday with a home loss to the Phoenix Suns, but Dallas got back into the win column with a blowout victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday.
Chandler Parsons scored a game-high 28 points on 11-of-14 shooting and the Mavericks dominated the Bucks, 125-102, on Sunday.
The Mavs shot 58 percent from the field and made 12 3-pointers for their sixth win in their last seven games.
"I got a couple of easy ones early and I think when that happens you gain confidence and it seems like you can throw a lot of things in there," Parsons said.
Nowitzki chipped in 21 points and Monta Ellis, who beat the Bucks with a buzzer-beater last Wednesday, added 19 for the victors. Richard Jefferson added 10 off the bench for the Mavericks.
The Mavs took three of four versus the Grizzlies last season, but the two teams have split the last 10 meetings. Memphis is 6-1 in its last seven as the host in this series.