Utah (41-37) at Dallas (49-28)

Light Rain Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 46° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EDT Thu Apr 8, 2004
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Regardless of the competition, scoring at least 118 points in five straight games is certainly impressive.

The Dallas Mavericks, winners of five straight, will try extend that run on offense when they host the playoff-hopeful Utah Jazz.

Dallas, which boasts the NBA’s top offense, has averaged 122.6 points over its winning streak but is cautious because four of the victories have come against sub-.500 teams.

“It’s tough to say whether we’re peaking,” Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “We’ve beaten teams we should have beaten. It’ll be interesting to see where we are when the playoffs start.”

The Mavericks hope they can win with a run-and-gun approach during the playoffs, when a premium is placed on the half-court game.

“I hope so, because that’s what we’re going with,” Michael Finley said. “If we score the ball and scrap on defense and make the other team work on offense, the scheme can work for us.”

It has worked so far.

Finley scored 24 points and Nowitzki added 23 to lead the Mavericks in a 118-108 win over the Seattle SuperSonics on Tuesday.

Antawn Jamison had 17 points, Marquis Daniels added 16 points and Steve Nash contributed 14 points and 14 assists to help Dallas improve to 34-5 at home. Nash has double-doubles in eight of his last 12 games. He’s averaging 16.8 points and 11.9 assists over that span.

Utah is tied with Denver and Portland for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West after the Nuggets and Trailblazers won on Wednesday night.

Jazz coach Jerry Sloan liked the test his team got from the playoff-bound Memphis Grizzlies on Monday, when the Jazz won 92-81.

Utah’s 41st win means the Jazz will finish at .500 or better for an NBA-record 21st straight season. That will mean little if they don’t make a 21st consecutive playoff appearance

“Now it’s the most important games,” said Gordan Giricek, who led the Jazz with 25 points Monday. “Maybe it’s surprising for such a young team, but I think we’ve got great characters on this team,”

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