Wednesday , Apr , 19 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Mavs, Clippers battle before playoffs

(Sports Network) – The Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers play their
final contest before heading into the postseason, as they meet tonight at
American Airlines Center.

Dallas will be the fourth seed in the Western Conference playoffs and will
have the homecourt advantage in the best-of-seven first round series. The
Mavericks will face No. 5 Memphis in the opening round.

The Clippers, who have lost two straight games, are the sixth seed and will
face No. 3 Denver in round one. However, the Clippers will have homecourt
advantage because they have a better record than the Nuggets.

The Mavericks attempt to close out the regular season with two straight wins.
On Sunday, All-Star Dirk Nowitzki finished with 22 points and seven rebounds
to lead Dallas to a 111-95 victory over the Utah Jazz at American Airlines

Jason Terry added 16 points and six assists and Josh Howard scored 18 in the
win over Utah for the Mavericks. Jerry Stackhouse ended with 20 points and
Erick Dampier contributed 13 points and 12 boards for Dallas, which halted a
two-game slide.

Dallas is an impressive 34-6 as the host this season. It has won four in a row
at home.

The Clippers, who will be appearing in the postseason for the first time since
1997, play the finale of their season-ending two-game road trip. On Tuesday,
Jake Tsakalidis scored 18 points and pulled down nine rebounds, as Memphis
clinched the fifth spot in the Western Conference playoffs with a 101-95 win
over the Clippers at FedExForum.

James Singleton led all-scorers with 23 points in the loss to Memphis for the
Clippers, while All-Star Elton Brand tallied 17 points and grabbed eight
boards. Walter McCarty scored 12 off the bench in defeat.

Los Angeles is 19-21 as the visitor this season.

The Mavericks have won all three meetings between the squads this season. The
last time Dallas swept a season-series from the Clippers was during the
2002-03 campaign.

Dallas has lost three of its last five at the Clippers.