Struggling Jazz stop off in Dallas
(Sports Network) - A pair of division champions meet tonight, as the struggling Utah Jazz visit the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center.
The NBA-best Mavericks, who have clinched home-court advantage throughout the NBA playoffs and captured the Southwest Division crown, enter tonight's game on a three-game winning streak. On Wednesday, Austin Croshere led a balanced Dallas scoring attack with 19 points as the Mavericks cruised to a 105-88 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.
Jason Terry and Josh Howard both scored 16 points and Devean George netted 14 for the Mavericks, who have won 13 of their last 15 games overall. Jerry Stackhouse (sore knee), Erick Dampier (strained right shoulder), Devin Harris and Dirk Nowitzki (sore left ankle) all had the night off for Dallas.
Harris, Nowitzki and Stackhouse are questionable, while Dampier is expected to miss tonight's game.
Center DeSagana Diop finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds in the triumph for the Mavs, who won their franchise-record 30th road contest of the season.
Dallas is a league-best 35-4 at home this season. It will host the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday before wrapping up the regular season with a pair of road games against the Golden State Warriors and Seattle SuperSonics.
Utah is No. 4 in the West and has clinched the Northwest Division. However, the Jazz are still battling with the fifth-seeded Houston Rockets for home- court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs. The Rockets are 1 1/2 games ahead of the higher-seeded Jazz.
The Jazz have dropped a season-worst five straight games. On Wednesday, Carmelo Anthony poured in 32 points as the red-hot Denver Nuggets topped Utah, 115-106, at EnergySolutions Arena.
Matt Harpring scored a team-high 31 points and Mehmet Okur netted 20 in the loss to division-rival Denver. Carlos Boozer scored 19 points and pulled down 14 rebounds and Deron Williams finished with 18 points and 14 assists for Utah.
Utah is 19-21 on the road this season. After tonight's game, the Jazz return home for a season-ending three-game homestand versus Phoenix, Portland and Houston.
The Mavericks and Utah have split a pair of contests this season. The Jazz have lost seven straight and nine of its last 10 at Dallas.DAL UTA