Wednesday , Mar , 14 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Marquee matchup: Dallas hosts Suns

(Sports Network) – A matchup of the top two teams in the NBA takes place
tonight, as the Dallas Mavericks welcome the Phoenix Suns to American Airlines

The Southwest Division-leading Mavericks own a 3 1/2 game lead over the
Pacific Division-leading Suns for the top seed in the Western Conference
playoff race.

This is the third of four meetings between the clubs this season. The
Mavericks won both contests between the clubs. The Suns have lost two of their
last three at Dallas.

Phoenix is scheduled to host the Mavericks on April 1st at US Airways Center.

The Suns enter tonight’s contest on a five-game winning streak. Leandro
Barbosa scored 32 points to lead Phoenix to a 103-82 win over the Houston
Rockets on Monday at U.S. Airways Center.

Boris Diaw ended with 15 points, while Shawn Marion collected 14 points and 15
rebounds for the Suns, who have already clinched a playoff berth. Amare
Stoudemire had only 12 points, while reigning MVP Steve Nash registered just
10 points and eight assists for Phoenix, which is closing in on capturing its
third straight Pacific Division crown.

Phoenix is an impressive 23-8 on the road this season. The Suns return home to
host the Detroit Pistons on Friday at US Airways Center.

Dallas attempts to get back on the winning track. On Monday, Mickael Pietrus
ended with 20 points to help the Golden State Warriors knock off the
Mavericks, 117-100, and stop their franchise-record 17-game winning streak at

All-Star Dirk Nowitzki was limited to 13 points and nine rebounds and
committed seven of Dallas’ 23 turnovers in the loss to Golden State. Erick
Dampier and Jason Terry both had 16 points for Dallas, which shot 42.3 percent
and lost for just the third time in 41 games overall.

The Mavericks, who play the first of a short two-game homestand, are a league-
best 30-3 at home this season. They will host Paul Pierce and the Boston
Celtics on Friday.

Dallas defeated the Suns in six games in last year’s Western Conference