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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)

Brooklyn Nets (36-31) at Dallas Mavericks (42-28), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of playoff-hungry teams clash in Big D Sunday, as the Dallas Mavericks take on the Brooklyn Nets at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks are seventh in the West and the Nets sit fifth in the East.

Dallas will continue a franchise-high eight-game homestand and is 2-1 so far on the stay. It is coming off Friday's 122-106 triumph over Denver and was led by Monta Ellis' 26 points.

"He's always going to be aggressive and he's always going to be in an attacking mode," Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said of Ellis. "The thing we have to do as a team, and me as a coach, we just have to get him in the best possible situations."

Dirk Nowitzki added 21 points for Dallas, which improved to 23-11 at home and has won six of its last eight games. Shawn Marion scored 14 points, while Vince Carter and Brandan Wright each added 13 in the win.

Ellis is probable versus the Nets with a bruised thigh.

The Mavs will also host the Thunder, Clippers, Kings and Warriors on the homestand.

Brooklyn will play three in a row on the road against Dallas, New Orleans and Charlotte, and has a 13-20 road mark this season.

The Nets completed a perfect three-game homestand with Friday's 114-98 victory over Boston, as Joe Johnson poured in 27 points and Mile Plumlee added 18. Paul Pierce scored 14 points against his former team.

"He's grown every time he's taken the floor," Brooklyn head coach Jason Kidd said of Plumlee. "The more minutes he gets, the better he gets."

Brooklyn, which is 26-10 since the calendar turned, made 56.4 percent of its shots and sank 9-of-17 3-pointers. Nets veteran center Kevin Garnett is still bothered by a back issue and will most likely miss Sunday's game.

The Nets defeated Dallas 107-206 at home on Jan. 24 and were led by Mirza Teletovic's 34 points. The Nets have lost 14 of 18 trips to Big D.

03/23 10:41:00 ET