MINNEAPOLIS -- The Dallas Mavericks laid their head on their colective pillows Saturday night knowing that they are just two games behind the Utah Jazz in the loss column for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
That made for some more excitement inside the Mavs' locker room, and it's given them renewed hope that they can indeed stretch their years of advancing to the playoffs to 13 years in a row.
"Hopefully we can keep pulling these close games out like we have a little bit lately,'' forward Dirk Nowitzki said after Sunday's shoot around at the Target Center. "We're going to be in some close games -- we know that.
"So we hopefully we can close some of those out and give ourselves a chance to be right in the mix.''
The Mavs (28-33) will play the Minnesota Timberwolves (21-38) at 6 tonight at the Target Center after opening this four-game road trip with Friday's 102-99 win over the Detroit Pistons. After tonight, the Mavs play at Milwaukee on Tuesday and at San Antonio on Thursday before returning to Dallas to play eight of their ensuing nine games at home.
"This is a big trip for us, we know that,'' Nowitzki said. "We've got three more games and then we've got a great home stand with great fans.
"We're going to leave it all out there. Hopefully we can keep pulling these close games out like we have been a little bit lately.''
-- Dwain Price
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