<
>

Mavericks move up after dream day off

DALLAS -- What a sweet Sunday it was for the Dallas Mavericks.

They woke up ninth in the Western Conference standings, perhaps relaxed by a pool all day with no practice scheduled and moved up two spots before going to sleep.

How did that happen?

The Memphis Grizzlies lost in Portland. That was fairly predictable. The Phoenix Suns got blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers. That’s a pretty big stunner.

How much do you think Dirk Nowitzki enjoyed watching his pal Chris Kaman go for 28 points, 17 rebounds and 6 assists against the Suns? That qualifies as Kaman’s biggest contribution to the Mavs.

Oh, and as a bonus, the Golden State Warriors lost at home to the New York Knicks. That means the Mavs can pull within a half-game of the sixth-place Warriors by beating them Tuesday night.

If the Mavs win that game, we can start seriously discussing the sixth seed. At this point, let’s just focus on getting into the playoffs, period.

Here’s a look at the remaining schedules for the three teams fighting for the West’s last two spots:

MAVERICKS

Record: 44-30

Games remaining: 8

Home/road: 3/5

Opponents above .500: 5

SUNS

Record: 44-30

Games remaining: 8

Home/road: 3/5

Opponents above .500: 6

GRIZZLIES

Record: 43-30

Games remaining: 9

Home/road: 4/5

Opponents above .500: 4