Friday , Mar , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Dallas has hit a bump in the road

(Sports Network) – The Dallas Mavericks own an impressive 54-18
record, but they still trail the defending world champion San Antonio
Spurs by two games for first place in the Southwest Division and the top
spot in the Western Conference.

On Friday, the Mavericks, who have lost two straight and four of their last
six games overall, closeout a four-game road trip against the Orlando Magic
at TD Waterhouse Centre. Dallas leads the season series with the Magic 1-0
and have won two straight and five of the last six meetings in the series.

The Mavericks have dropped six of their last seven trips to Orlando.

Dallas suffered its second straight setback during Wednesday’s 107-94 loss to
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. James smoked the Mavs with 46 points
on a sizzling 16-of-23 shooting.

All-Star Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points in the loss to Cleveland for the
Mavericks, who are seeded fourth in the West. Dallas owns a 24-12 mark as the
visitor this season.

Dallas will split its final 10 games of the season evenly between home and the

Besides Orlando, the Mavericks will also visit San Antonio, the Clippers,
Golden State and Phoenix. Their final five home games are against Denver,
Sacramento, New Orleans/Oklahoma City, Utah and the Clippers.

The Mavericks have allowed 100 or more points in four of their last
17 contests. Dallas was on the losing end of all four of the games when
its opponent reached the century mark.

Nowitzki has played in all 72 of Dallas’ games this season and leads the team
in scoring (26.3 ppg) and rebounding (8.8 rpg). Jason Terry has dished out a
team-best 3.8 assists per contest.