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2014 Playoffs Game 2: Mavs at Spurs

A new day brought along with it a new opportunity for the Dallas Mavericks.
Despite building a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Game 1 against the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs, the Mavericks left the AT&T Center with nothing to show for their efforts after falling to a 90-85 defeat. Wednesday night, however, offered another opportunity for the Mavs to steal a game on the Spurs’ home floor before the first-round playoff series shifts to Dallas.
The Mavericks (1-1) then proceeded to leave no doubt that they’re capable of competing with the Spurs (1-1), ending their 10-game losing streak at the hands of their in-state rivals and evening the series with a 113-92 runaway victory.

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Mavs vow to learn from Game 1′s disappointment

Wednesday night cannot come fast enough for the Dallas Mavericks.

Still digesting the disappointment of letting Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs fall by the wayside, the Mavericks returned home and immediately hit the practice court. Looking to spit out the sour taste of Sunday’s 90-85 loss in San Antonio, the Mavericks quickly turned their attention to getting even in Wednesday’s Game 2. However, after surrendering a 10-point lead over the final 7:45 of play, the Mavs know they’ll have their work cut out for them if they want to avoid stomaching another loss on the Spurs’ home floor.

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2014 Playoffs Game 1: Mavs at Spurs

Entering Sunday’s all-important Game 1, the Dallas Mavericks put aside their recent history against the in-state rival San Antonio Spurs and focused on beginning their first-round series with a clean slate.

Despite falling to the Spurs nine straight times, including all four meetings during the regular season, the Mavericks stepped into AT&T Center with full confidence that they could pull an upset over the top-seeded team in the Western Conference. The Mavs then looked to make amends for their recent struggles against the Spurs, hoping to snatch the home-court advantage away with a series-opening win.

But the Mavericks (0-1) would squander their opportunity to capture Game 1 after storming to a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, surrendering a 19-4 run to the Spurs (1-0) to end the game before falling to a 90-85 defeat.

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Mavs downplay underdog role entering series with Spurs

Although they can’t ignore their recent history against the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks are by no means writing themselves off as many so-called experts seem to be heading into the two teams’ Western Conference first-round playoff series.

Playing the role of the underdog, the Mavericks (49-33) will undoubtedly have to play their best basketball of the season in order to take down the top-seeded Spurs (62-20) in the best-of-seven series. Still, even despite a nine-game losing streak against San Antonio and four-game season series sweep at the hands of the Spurs, the Mavs are confident going into Sunday’s Game 1 that they have a chance to do what naysayers are classifying as impossible.

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Mavs head into first-round series against rival Spurs with clean slate

“The standings are 0-0.”

Although he is new to the Dallas Mavericks-San Antonio Spurs rivalry, Monta Ellis is well aware that you can throw the regular-season series between the two squads out the window when they meet again in the playoffs.

With those words, Ellis disregarded the Mavericks’ 0-4 season series sweep at the hands of the top-seeded Spurs (62-20) following Dallas’ 106-105 overtime loss in Memphis on Wednesday to set up the first-round playoff series. And despite their nine straight losses to the Spurs, the Mavericks (49-33) are not by any stretch of the imagination conceding the series to their neighbors down south on Interstate 35.

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Game 82: Mavs at Grizzlies

With 81 games now in the books and a playoff berth already captured, the Dallas Mavericks will still have plenty on the line as they complete the regular season Wednesday night in Memphis.

With both the Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies entering Wednesday’s regular-season finale with identical 49-32 records, the battle for the seventh seed in the Western Conference playoff picture will be decided. Meanwhile, the Mavericks will try to sweep the Southwest Division season series with the Grizzlies for the first time in six years, looking to secure an NBA-best seventh straight road win for the first time since winning eight in a row away from home from Nov. 20 to Dec. 27, 2010.

Both teams will also try to avoid slipping to eighth in the standings to set up a first-round matchup against the league-best San Antonio Spurs, which the Mavs and Grizzlies are a combined 0-8 against this season. However, with the Grizzlies on a four-game winning streak and looking to set a single-season record by claiming a 14th straight victory at home, the Mavericks will face a great challenge.

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Despite playoff berth, Mavs remain focused on possible 50-win season

Despite clinching a playoff berth with one game left on the schedule, the Dallas Mavericks are anything but content as they try to return the franchise back to the top tier of the NBA.

Standing just one victory shy of their first 50-win season since capturing 57 during the 2010-11 campaign en route to the first title in franchise history, the Mavericks (49-32) will bring the schedule to a close when they take the court Wednesday night in Memphis. And with their playoff seed and first-round matchup still not determined after claiming a postseason berth Saturday with a 101-98 home win over Phoenix, the Mavs admit that plenty will be on the line when they face the Grizzlies (48-32) for the fourth time this season — the previous three all Dallas wins — with a chance to grab win No. 50.

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Game 81: Mavs vs. Suns

It was an opportunity the Dallas Mavericks had waited for all season long.

Taking the American Airlines Center floor Saturday night for their regular-season home finale, the Mavericks stood one win away from earning a playoff berth. However, in their way stood the Phoenix Suns, who along with Memphis entered the night one-half game back of the Mavericks in the three-team race for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference standings.

Still, even after falling down by double-digits, the Mavs wouldn’t be denied a chance to return to the playoffs for a 13th time in the last 14 years. And after rallying from a 13-point deficit to capture a 101-98 win, the Mavericks (49-32) redeemed themselves for missing out on the playoffs last season by securing a guaranteed postseason spot.

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Game 80: Mavs vs. Spurs

Taking his spot amongst the greatest scorers of all time, 12-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki further cemented his place in NBA lore Tuesday night while helping the Dallas Mavericks move closer to clinching a playoff spot.

Led by Nowitzki’s 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, the Mavericks (48-31) finished off an unbeaten four-game road trip with a 95-83 victory over the Utah Jazz. In the process, Nowitzki met yet another career milestone, passing Oscar Robertson (26,710) for 10th on the league’s all-time scoring list. Now, after being named Western Conference Player of the Week for averaging 25.3 points and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 55.7 percent from the field and 56.5 percent from three-point range for games played March 31 through April 6, the 7-footer will look to move the Mavericks closer to returning to the postseason.

However, while meeting the Southwest Division champion San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, Nowitzki and the Mavs figure to face a daunting task. And with Nowitzki averaging just 15.4 points on 40.2 percent shooting during Dallas’ eight-game losing streak to the Spurs (60-18), the Mavs will undoubtedly have a challenge on their hands in front of a nationally-televised audience.

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