DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki knows the Memphis Grizzlies, Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves are digging at the Dallas Mavericks' heels in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
That's why Nowitzki knows it's extremely important for the Mavs to try and bag a few wins while they're at home before they hit the road again next week for a game at Memphis.
"At this point we need some wins,'' Nowitzki said after Sunday's 116-106 victory over the Detroit Pistons. "Even if we win one, we lose another one, so we haven't really put a nice little win streak together to get a little separation down there.
"It's getting tighter and tighter behind us, we know that. Memphis is really playing well now, and Denver obviously.''
The Mavs are 26-20 on the season, Memphis is 22-20, Denver owns a 22-21 record and Minnesota stands at 21-22. In other words, just two games in the loss column separates the eighth-place Mavs and the 11th-place Timberwolves.
Dallas hopes to extend its lead over the Grizzlies, Nuggets and Timberwolves during the remainder of this four-game home stand in games against Houston, Sacramento and Cleveland.
"We need this home stand to really get some momentum again and get some wins together,'' Nowitzki said. "It's definitely a good way to start, but the game wasn't great.
"We were up 10 at half and had a bad third quarter defensively. . .and then we had to kind of grind it out after that. We just didn't come out in the third quarter the way we should have.''
-- Dwain Price
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