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Mavericks-Jazz Preview

AP - Sports

After two big wins over playoff-bound clubs, the Dallas Mavericks were knocked down a peg in deflating fashion.

Visiting the struggling Utah Jazz on Wednesday night should provide an opportunity to bounce back before matching up with another one of the NBA's elite.

The Mavericks (38-27) had knocked off fifth-place Portland and East-leading Indiana Friday and Sunday, respectively. However, they couldn't knock off a third straight team in front of them in the standings, falling 108-85 at Golden State on Tuesday.

Dallas is percentage points behind Memphis for seventh in the West and one game ahead of Phoenix.

"I don't think we are in a situation to think about seeding," said Jose Calderon, who committed six turnovers after totaling seven over his previous seven games. "I think right now we're in a situation where we've got to win every game."

The Mavericks shot 36.6 percent from the field for their second-lowest mark of the season. Dirk Nowitzki scored only 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting, while Shawn Marion was 0 for 6.

Dallas knocked off Indiana despite a 3-for-14 performance from Nowitzki, though it relied on a bench that outscored the Pacers 41-4, including 20 points from Devin Harris. Harris left in the second quarter of Tuesday's contest with a sore right Achilles, and the Mavericks' reserves were outscored 50-37.

Harris said he didn't think the injury was serious but wasn't sure if he'd be able to play Wednesday.

Dallas will hope for a better offensive showing versus the Jazz, against whom Nowitzki is averaging 26.1 points over his last 19 contests. Monta Ellis has also scored 27.9 per game on 54.5 percent shooting in his last seven against Utah.

The Mavericks have won 10 of 13 in the series and were 17 of 35 from 3-point range in two victories this season, though they have dropped three straight in Utah.

After playing the Jazz (22-42) - who are tied with Sacramento and the Los Angeles Lakers for last place in the West - Dallas will face another tough test Sunday when it faces Oklahoma City, which is one-half behind West-leading San Antonio.

Utah has lost six of seven and is allowing 106.0 points per game on 51.3 percent shooting over its previous five after previously giving up 100.3 and 46.1 for the season.

The Jazz suffered a 112-110 home loss to Atlanta on Monday, with former Utah players Kyle Korver and Paul Millsap combining for 49 points. Utah trailed by as many as 17 in the first half, then led entering the final quarter after outscoring the Hawks 36-19 in the third period, but Atlanta pulled away again.

"In the second half, we made a significant change but it was a little too late and they made some big shots down the stretch," said Trey Burke, who scored 21 of his 23 in the second half. He was just 7 of 23 from the floor in two meetings with Dallas.

Marvin Williams scored 21 in the last matchup but totaled 36 points in his last seven games before tallying 18 against the Hawks.

Dallas forward Jae Crowder sat out Tuesday's contest with a strained abdominal muscle suffered Sunday against Indiana and likely will miss this game.

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