Preview: Nets at Mavericks
The Brooklyn Nets have been tough away from home, and their road mettle will be tested during an eight-game trek that continues Wednesday against the Dallas Mavericks. Brooklyn opened the journey with a 119-82 trouncing of Detroit on Monday for its fifth win in the past seven games. The Mavericks are coming off a 127-113 win at Atlanta on Monday and beginning a six-game homestand.
The Nets are all but locked in as an Eastern Conference playoff team, but their seed is very much up in the air. Brooklyn sits fourth in a crowded pack behind first-place Miami, 2 1/2 games out of second and 4 1/2 ahead of eighth-place Milwaukee. The Mavericks' playoff hopes are fading even as they've won seven of their last 10. They're three games behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers, who have been just as hot.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, ESPN, YES (Brooklyn), Fox Sports Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE NETS (39-28): Brooklyn's fate seems tied to point guard Deron Williams, and lately that has been positive. Williams has averaged 25.1 points and 8.3 assists over the past seven games with a pair of double-doubles and a pair of games with 30 or more points during that stretch. "He's the brain of our offense, so it is always good when he gets it going," forward Reggie Evans told reporters. "It doesn't matter if he's shooting it or passing it. He's feeling really good right now." Williams isn't the only one hitting - six players scored in double figures against Detroit.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (32-35): Dallas' streak of 12 consecutive trips to the postseason is in jeopardy, but the Mavs have played their best ball of late and aren't giving up hope. "We still believe we can make it," point guard Darren Collison told reporters. "There's no quit in us. We believe that every game from here out we can get a win. We're talented enough. We've got the players to do it." The Mavericks haven't had one key player, though, as forward Shawn Marion (11.7 points, 7.9 rebounds) remains sidelined with a bruised left calf.
1. The Nets are 17-14 on the road and need just three more wins away from home to match the franchise record of 20 set in 2005-06.
2. Mavericks F Dirk Nowitzki is averaging 18.3 points and 8.8 rebounds since the All-Star break.
3. Brooklyn is 31-10 when holding opponents under 100 points and 22-3 when allowing fewer than 90.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 103, Nets 98
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