(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks will continue their push to make the
playoffs Tuesday night when they welcome the Los Angeles Clippers to the
American Airlines Center.
The Mavs trail the Los Angeles Lakers by 1 1/2 games for the eighth and final
playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Lakers fell to the Golden State
Warriors on Monday night to allow the Mavs a step closer to a 13th consecutive
trip to the postseason.
Dallas has played good basketball of late, winning eight of its last 11.
They've won two in a row, both at home, and Sunday's victory over the Utah
Jazz was huge.
Utah stands between the Mavericks and Lakers in the postseason picture. The
Mavs topped the Jazz, 113-108 on the strength of a great performance by the
Darren Collison, Vince Carter, Elton Brand, Chris Kaman, Jae Crowder and
Bernard James combined for 45 points. Mike James paced the Mavs with 19
points, Dirk Nowitzki added 17, Shawn Marion scored 15 and O.J. Mayo chipped
The Mavericks bolstered their bench for the stretch run with the signing of
Justin Dentmon to a 10-day contract. He was the D-League MVP last season and
averaged 26.0 ppg in 22 games since being traded to the Texas Legends of the
But next up in the quest for the postseason, is the Clippers, a team that has
already punched a ticket for the playoffs.
"From top to bottom, they're as athletic a team and as talented a team as
you're going to find in this league," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said of
the Clippers. "You know, Chris Paul is the best point guard in basketball in
my opinion and there's some other guys that are really good, too. But, you
know, the game comes down to our ability to mitigate some of their paint
activity and keep him out of there, keep him from lobbing the ball and keep
them from getting a lot of second shots."
The Clippers are tied for third place in the Western Conference with the
Denver Nuggets. L.A. has won two in a row and three of its last four, but
the Clips embark on a four-game road trip through the south starting on
"Everyone is vying for position right now," Clippers head coach Vinny Del
Negro said. "We've got four in five nights. There are no easy games, but we're
trying to play as well as possible and put ourselves in position to win as
many as we can, if not all of them. And that's how we look at it. It's up to
us to come up with good energy at the start of a long road trip and battle
through things and just stay together."
The Clippers closed out their homestand with back-to-back wins over the
Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets. Against the Nets, the Clips finished off
a 31-20 fourth quarter for the win.
Chris Paul had 29 points and 11 assists in the victory.
Chauncey Billups is listed as questionable for Tuesday's contest.
The Clippers have won both of this season's matchups, both of which were in
Los Angeles. The Clippers have lost 13 of their last 15 in Big D.
The Sports Network