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Game 62: Mavs vs. Pelicans

With a three-game road trip on the West Coast looming, the Dallas Mavericks know they can’t afford another slip-up on their home floor if they hope to keep pace in the heated Western Conference playoff race.

Falling to a 104-87 defeat on the road Wednesday at Atlanta before also sliding to a 104-94 loss at home on Saturday to the Brooklyn Nets, the Mavericks (39-21) now sit in the sixth position in the West standings. However, despite seizing two of the previous three matchups in the season series, the Mavs fully expect to have their hands full Monday night as the New Orleans Pelicans come to town for a Southwest Division showdown.

And after taking the court without starting small forward Chandler Parsons (sprained left ankle) for the last four games and first-string Tyson Chandler (left hip contusion) for the previous two outings, the Mavericks hope to be nearing full strength while trying to take the season series over the Pelicans (32-27).

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Game 61: Mavs vs. Nets

With the one-game suspension of starting point guard Rajon Rondo now behind them and their injury situation expected to soon improve, the Dallas Mavericks hope to begin building momentum towards the postseason.

Following a verbal exchange between Rondo and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle during Tuesday’s 99-92 win at home over Toronto, the four-time All-Star floor general was suspended one game due to conduct detrimental to the team. The Mavericks (39-21) then took the court shorthanded Wednesday night in Atlanta against the Eastern Conference-best Hawks, leading by as many as 14 before eventually falling to a 104-87 defeat after playing without Rondo, starting center Tyson Chandler (hip contusion), newcomer Chandler Parsons (sprained left ankle) and mid-season addition Amar’e Stoudemire (rest).

The Mavs will now try to move forward from the incident Saturday night at home, looking to shift their focus to replicating a 96-88 overtime win in Brooklyn on Jan. 5 as the Nets (23-33) come to town. And with Rondo expected to be in back in the starting lineup, the Mavericks will attempt to begin their 22-game sprint to close the regular season with a win.

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Rajon Rondo, Mavs look to move past suspension to focus on playoff push

Returning to the practice court Friday, four-time All-Star point guard Rajon Rondo was ready to put the circumstances that led to his one-game suspension behind him following a verbal exchange with Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle.

After an exchange of words on the court during the second half of Tuesday’s 99-92 win over Toronto, Rondo was suspended one game for conduct detrimental to the team. And after watching from his hotel room before joining the Mavericks (39-21) on the team plane following a 104-87 loss Wednesday at Atlanta, Rondo returned to the hardwood with his focus on helping to engineer the squad to the playoffs over the course of the final 22 games of the regular season.

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Mavs, American Airlines Center partner to ‘ELEVATE’ customer service

American Airlines Center Operating Company (COC), a joint venture between Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Dallas Stars owner Tom Gaglardi, has an ongoing commitment to its employees to exceed expectations and create memorable experiences together by uniting and empowering people. Part of this commitment includes ongoing training for staff as well as competitive pay.

This month, all American Airlines Center staff, including part-time staff from concessions, housekeeping, customer service, food services and merchandise joined the staff from the Dallas Mavericks for Disney ELEVATE, a customer service program to improve the fan experience in the arena. The initiative is put on by Disney Institute, the professional training and external consulting division of The Walt Disney Company and provides business solutions based on the efforts of companies worldwide with the goal of enhancing their customer service experience.

The effort has and will engage everyone, at entry level to upper management, so that the staff can intentionally deliver the best service culture consistently, every day, with every encounter.

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Mavs locking it down on the defensive end

For many years, critics called this team the “Allas” Mavericks because they played no “D.” Well, if that’s the case, this team has all of a sudden become the DDDDDDallas Mavericks.

Going back to Feb. 5, the day the Mavs beat the Kings on the road 101-78, Dallas boasts the No. 1 defense in the NBA. Their 93.8 defensive rating is tops in the league, and during that stretch the club has won six of its eight games, with wins against Portland, Houston, and Toronto.

It’s difficult to find just one thing to attribute the team’s defensive success to. One particular player hasn’t experienced a huge increase in minutes during that stretch — not even Al-Farouq Aminu, who along with Tyson Chandler has played terrific defense all season long. Rajon Rondo even missed some of those eight games, and his defense has been among the best in the league since joining the Mavericks.

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