Dallas (44-25) at Philadelphia (28-42)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Philadelphia, PA
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Mon Mar 22, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Philadelphia 76ers know their playoff hopes are fading fast.

They’ll again try to keep themselves in the race for the postseason when they meet the Dallas Mavericks at the Wachovia Center.

Philadelphia has lost four straight and is 11th in the Eastern Conference— 3 1/2 games behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the final playoff spot.

“I’m not going to say it’s the final blow until it’s the final out,” Sixers guard Eric Snow said. “It’s possible that we can get back in it, but with us being four out with 12 left, we have to win almost all of them. With each game that we lose, our chances slip.”

The Sixers had one of their worst performances of the season against Miami on Saturday. After pulling within five points of the Heat midway through the third quarter, they were outscored 41-14 the rest of the way in a 101-69 loss.

Philadelphia shot just 3-of-23 from the field in the fourth, including an 0-of-9 effort from 3-point range.

“We just lost it,” said Sixers guard Allen Iverson, who scored 23 points. “We had the momentum and had a chance to get back in it. We just couldn’t pull it off. I could sit here and say a million different things about how we could stop that run. We just didn’t.”

The Sixers could have even more trouble stopping the Mavericks, who have won four of their last five.

Dallas opened a five-game road trip with a 101-98 victory over the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Nets on Sunday.

Steve Nash had 15 points and a season-high 16 assists, and he knocked a New Jersey inbounds pass to teammate Marquis Daniels with 5.4 seconds remaining.

“It’s important to make plays when they count,” Nash said. “That’s when the game is the most fun.”

Dirk Nowitzki scored a team-high 21 points for Dallas, which shot 50.6 percent from the field. The Mavericks are in fifth place in the West, 1 1/2 games behind the San Antonio Spurs.

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