BOSTON -- Remember that six-game losing skid, the dread and the slippage from second to fifth in the Western Conference standings?
The Dallas Mavericks' 101-97 win at Boston Celtics Friday night, combined with the San Antonio Spurs' win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, vaulted Dallas back into second place in the West. The Mavs' seventh consecutive win moved them to 34-15 and a half-game ahead of the Lakers, seven games back of the Spurs.
The win over Boston, Dallas' second of the season -- once with Caron Butler and once without -- also gave the Mavs 19 wins against teams with winning record, tied for best in the league with Spurs. Dallas is now 4-0 against the East's top two teams, Boston and Miami Heat. They have a winning record against each division leader except the Chicago Bulls (0-2) and San Antonio, but their two losses in three games to the Spurs both came with Dirk Nowitzki sidelined by a sprained right knee.
"At this point we've been beaten the top of the top," center Tyson Chandler said. "The thing we have to do is continue to be consistent. I love the way we're playing right now. We're playing great basketball at both ends of the floor."