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- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle says leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki (left foot) will play tonight. He sat out the fourth quarter of Sunday’s victory in Portland. Big man Elton Brand (sore right calf) is inactive for a fourth straight game.
- The Mavericks (38-39) are trying to push their record to .500 for the first time since they were 11-11 on Dec. 12, 2012. More importantly, Dallas must win to keep alive its faint postseason hopes. Phoenix coach Lindsey Hunter said it would be good for his lottery-bound team to experience a playoff-type atmosphere. “It’s good to be in that type of environment and just see how our guys react,” he said. “Other teams are still playing for something, so you can’t just come out here and think that just because it’s the end of the season that you can cruise. You have to play.”
- The Suns (23-55) are trying to avoid losing their 11th straight game, as well as their 11th straight at the American Airlines Center. The last time Phoenix won in Dallas was more than six years ago with a 129-127 double-overtime decision on March 14, 2007. The Mavericks have won all three meetings this season.
- Phoenix forward Michael Beasley is not with the team for the second straight night. He is at home with his newborn daughter, but is expected to rejoin the Suns for Saturday’s game at Minnesota.
– Dave Ivey