Mavericks-Nuggets: Biggest Game of the Year. So Far.

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.

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?

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