DENVER -- It's two up and two down for the Dallas Mavericks.
The Mavs started a stretch of playing 10 consecutive playoff opponents with last Saturday's 106-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs. They made it 2-0 with Monday's 112-95 triumph over the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center.
This was the second straight impressive win by the Mavs, who shot 53.6 percent from the field and distributed a season-high 33 assists.
"We've hit a strong stretch here,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "There's not time to exhale during this stretch.''
There's certainly no time for the Mavs to exhale, especially since they host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
"The game is going to get harder and harder,'' Carlisle said. "The Lakers are in Wednesday and they're, record-wise, better than these (Nuggets).''
The Mavs are concerned they may have to face the Lakers without Shawn Marion, who has missed the past two games with a sore left knee. Marion, who was back in Dallas getting treated by the Mavs' medical staff, is the player who mainly guards Laker superstar Kobe Bryant.
If Marion can't play against the Lakers, it will affect how the Mavs play defensively.
"We've got our work cut-out,'' Carlisle said. "We have to hope we get Marion back, because it's going to be very hard to matchup with Bryant without him.''
-- Dwain Price
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