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  • The Mavericks are locked in a heated battle for the final playoff spot in the loaded Western Conference. Dallas (43-29) enters play tied with Phoenix for the eighth spot, essentially in ninth with tiebreakers, but is just two games out of the fifth spot as well. Dallas has participated in three overtime contests in its last four games, including a thrilling 128-119 win over Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
  • Samuel Dalembert (back) did not take part in morning shootaround but is expected to give it a go tonight. “I don’t know yet but he said he was going to be able to play this morning,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’ll take his word for it. He’s had a stiff back before, so we’ll see.” Should Dalembert not suit up, expect DeJuan Blair or Brandan Wright to get the starting nod.
  • Chris Paul had his worst shooting performance as a pro on Wednesday night, going 0-of-12 from the field and scoring just two points. A bounce-back performance could be in order for the seven-time All-Star, who carved up the Mavs defense for 19 points before sustaining an injury in the third quarter the first time the two teams got together in Dallas.
  • The Clippers will complete its 14th back-to-back set of the season after falling to New Orleans, 98-96, on Tuesday night. Los Angeles is 6-7 on the second night of consecutive games.
  • Los Angeles has made a habit of falling behind early to the Mavericks in the 2013-14 season. DeAndre Jordan had a career day the last time the Clippers were in town, posting a personal best with 25 points while adding 17 rebounds to lead Los Angeles to a 119-112 come-from-behind win. Just a few weeks later, the Clippers were trailing by 17 points with under five minutes to play before pulling out a 129-127 victory at STAPLES Center. “That was one of those games you had no business winning. We know that and they know that,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “That’s one of those rare games you’ll have every five or so years. Our guys just kept fighting.”

– Micah Powell

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