Mavs try to become fourth team to 40

February, 17, 2011
2/17/11
7:30
AM CT
DALLAS -- The Mavericks wrap up the pre-All-Star portion of the schedule tonight in Phoenix trying to join the San Antonio Spurs (46-9), Boston Celtics (40-14) and Miami Heat (41-15) as the only teams to go into the break with at least 40 wins.

The Mavs, winners of 12 of 13, improved to a season-best 23-games over .500 with Wednesday's 116-100 win over the Sacramento Kings for a record of 39-16. A win over Steve Nash and the Suns would give Dallas 21 wins against teams with winning records, a higher percentage than the Spurs, Celtics and Heat.

"It would be great and that's our goal, to get to 40, because we want to get a little cushion in that second position and head after that first position," Mavs center Tyson Chandler said. "We've got the team playing well and one game left before the break and we've got the opportunity to do so."

Dallas opened a two-game lead on the Los Angeles Lakers for the second seed Wednesday night after the Lakers' surprise defeat at Cleveland, L.A.'s third consecutive loss. It was the Lakers' last game before the break and the Mavs can move 2 1/2 games clear of the two-time defending champions with a win in the desert.

The Spurs wrap up tonight in Chicago, the last of their nine-game rodeo road trip. San Antonio, 6-2 on the trip so far, currently leads Dallas by seven games.

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9