Mavericks hope to stay on course in meeting vs. Nets

The Dallas Mavericks continue their uphill bid for a playoff spot Wednesday night when they welcome the Brooklyn Nets to American Airlines Center.

The Mavs trail the Los Angeles Lakers by three games and the clock is winding down on the season. Dallas has won six of its last eight and hope is not totally lost in Big D.

"We've been bouncing back all year," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "We've had a lot of opportunities to do that unfortunately, but we've got 15 left and we're going to throw the kitchen sink at all 15. We've got some home games coming up that are big for us, and so we're going to have to be right and we're going to have to be together."

The Mavericks play six straight at home and five of the six are against playoff-bound squads, starting with the Nets. The sixth team, the Utah Jazz, stand between the Mavericks and Lakers for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Western Conference.

On Monday, the Mavs picked up a critical road win, a 127-113 victory in Atlanta over the Hawks. Darren Collison led the way for Dallas with 24 points off the bench. Dirk Nowitzki added 22 and six Dallas players scored in double figures.

The Mavs shot the lights out on Monday, going 57 percent from the field and 59 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

On Mar. 1, Dallas bested the Nets in Brooklyn, 98-90. The Nets are 5-3 since that setback and began an eight-game road trip with a 119-82 drubbing of the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

Deron Williams scored a game-high 31 points and handed out five assists. He shot 10-for-18 from the field and tallied 14 points each in the first and third quarters.

"I just wanted to impose my will on this game," said Williams, who spurned his hometown Mavericks as a free agent this past offseason.

Brook Lopez chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds and Joe Johnson added 13.

The Brooklyn bench was awesome on Monday. Andray Blatche recorded 15 points and eight rebounds, while Jerry Stackhouse and MarShon Brooks netted 10 points apiece.

All totaled, the Nets reserves scored 49 points.

The Mavericks have taken six of seven and seven of their last nine against the Nets. The Nets snapped an 11-game road losing streak in this series on Feb. 28, 2012.