Tonight at American Airlines Center is the biggest Dallas Mavericks' game of the season. In the coming weeks, there will be plenty more.
Fighting for the NBA Western Conference's No. 2 seed and a possible sidestep of the Los Angeles Lakers until the conference finals, the Mavs host the Denver Nuggets at 7:30 p.m. With a win, the Mavs would win the season series and own the tiebreaker for seeding in the playoffs.
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With a loss, Dallas would have about as clear a view of 8th place as 3rd. Yes, it's that jammed.
On Saturday night Roddy Beaubois stuck another feather in his snappy rookie cap by hitting 9 of 11 3-pointers and scoring 40 points in a blowout of the Golden State Warriors. It was the second-most points ever scored by a Mavs' rookie - behind only Mark Aguirre's 42 back in 1980 - and an important win in a race that has the Mavs at 48-25, just ahead of the Nuggets (48-26), Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns. The Portland Trail Blazers, in 8th, are just 3 1/2 games back with nine to play.
The Mavs yesterday clinched their 10th consecutive playoff berth. And this week they will seal their 10th straight season with 50-plus wins.
Impressive and all, but without a ring will it be looked at as a decade of disappointment?