(Sports Network) - The Dallas Mavericks' playoff chances are dwindling as the
team has dropped two in a row, but hopes to get back on track Friday night
when they visit the Sacramento Kings.
The Mavs lost their second straight on this four-game western trip when they
fell to the Denver Nuggets on Thursday. Dallas is three games behind the Los
Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western
Conference, and 2 1/2 games short of the Utah Jazz.
The Mavericks started this road excursion with a loss to the Lakers, then led
most of the way against the Nuggets. Denver called timeout with 7.7 seconds
left and down by one, and Andre Iguodala converted a layup for the lead.
Anthony Morrow's last-ditch 3-point attempt was blocked by Corey Brewer and
the Mavs were dealt yet another late-game blow in a bid for 13 consecutive
trips to the postseason.
"That's got to be 20 games we've lost," Nowitzki said about the team's
inclination to blow leads, "and it stings just as much as all of the rest of
them. I mean, in all the games we felt like we gave away, it's tough. This is
another we've got to have. Multiple chances at the end and we just need
basically one rebound to seal it. It's tough, but we haven't shown all season
on the road that consistently we can win those games."
Brandan Wright led the Mavs with 16 points. Nowitzki and Chris Kaman both had
13, Vince Carter and Darren Collison each had 11 and Shawn Marion chipped in
10. The starting backcourt of O.J. Mayo and Mike James combined for 10 points
for a Mavs team that played without key backup frontcourt man Elton Brand, who
had a sore right calf.
The Kings are trying to get something going on this homestand, the third of
five straight at home. They are 0-2 thus far with losses to the Lakers on
Saturday and the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
The Rockets won each quarter on Wednesday and walked off with a 112-102
"Obviously a really disappointing loss," said Kings coach Keith Smart. "For
our fans, this was a bad loss for us. We played, but we didn't play, we didn't
create opportunities to win the game."
Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 22 points, followed by Marcus Thornton's 21
and 20 from DeMarcus Cousins. Jason Thompson had a monster double-double with
17 points and 15 rebounds.
The Kings won't make the postseason and their future is in serious limbo. On
Wednesday, representatives from both Sacramento and Seattle made their pitches
for the Kings and the league owners may not vote until after the Board of
Governors meeting April 18-19.
The Mavericks have taken all three of this season's matchups with the Kings
and have won five of their last six in Sacramento.
The Sports Network