The Dallas Mavericks hope to halt a two-game losing streak when they visit Beale Street to take on the Memphis Grizzlies.
The reigning NBA champion Mavs opened up the second half of their season on Tuesday by losing their second straight home game, a 93-92 nail-biter against New Jersey. The Nets' Brook Lopez scored a season-high 38 points and made the eventual game-winning free throw in that one.
Jason Kidd's three-pointer gave Dallas a 92-91 lead with 48 seconds left, but Lopez, in just his third game back from a broken foot, drew a foul and made the tying and go-ahead free throws with 42 seconds to play.
Kidd missed a pair of three-pointers the rest of the way, as the Mavericks fell for the third time in four games overall. All-Star Dirk Nowitzki had a team-high 24 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Brendan Haywood added 18 points and 10 boards.
Kidd had two chances to put Dallas on top. First, he was short on an open three-pointer off a Nowitzki feed. Jason Terry then stole the ball from Anthony Morrow with 17 seconds left. After a Mavericks timeout, Nowitzki was isolated near the foul line, but again chose to go to Kidd, who was off on a desperation heave as the buzzer sounded.
"I was trying to keep the last shot so we could run the clock down and then [DeShawn Stevenson] got his hands on that pump fake," said Kidd. "Once I lost the basket I just had to heave one up."
Lamar Odom did not play again for the Mavericks due to personal reasons and is not with the team. No timetable has been set for the return of the struggling forward, who is reportedly dealing with his ill father.
Odom's absence has fueled rumors that the Mavs would consider buying the reigning Sixth Man of the Year out of his contract but owner Mark Cuban has denied that is an option.
"We haven't discussed a buyout and we wouldn't do a buyout," Cuban told ESPN Dallas earlier this week. "No chance that happens at all. We want to help Lamar work through any personal issues and expect him to be a valuable contributor to the Mavs this season. Players go through challenges from time to time and we try to be (an) organization that fully supports our players when things are challenging for them. We will do the same for Lamar."
Dallas, which will play eight games in the next 11 days, including six of eight away from North Texas, is 8-7 as the visitor on the season.
The well-rested Grizzlies, meanwhile, were surging right before the All-Star break, winning five of their last six including last Tuesday's 89-76 home win over Philadelphia.
All-Star Marc Gasol filled the stat sheet with 15 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks in that one as Memphis started strong and held off the Sixers.
Rudy Gay chipped in 14 points, O.J. Mayo 13 and ex-Sixer Marreese Speights 12 for the Grizzlies, who have won four straight at home and are 13-5 at FedEx Forum on the season.
Memphis also got some good news off the floor. Star power forward Zach Randolph, who has missed the last 30 games with a torn MCL in his right knee, participated in the non-contact portion of Monday's practice and should return soon.
The Grizz went 3-1 against Dallas last season, the first season series win over the Mavs in franchise history. Traditionally Dallas has dominated the series, compiling a 50-13 all-time record vs. Memphis.