Memphis (50-30) at Dallas (50-30)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Dallas, TX
Temp: 52° F
  • Game info: 8:30 pm EDT Tue Apr 13, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Neither the Memphis Grizzlies nor the Dallas Mavericks have been able to wrap up the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference.

When they meet in the next-to-last game of the regular season, one of them will have to.

Memphis and Dallas, tied for fifth in the West with identical records, have each lost two straight and are battling injuries.

The Grizzlies have won two of three meetings this season, meaning they would hold the tiebreaker if they win Tuesday. The Mavs could forge a split of the season series with a victory, and would have the next tiebreaker by virtue of a better conference record.

“It will be a playoff-like game,” Memphis forward Shane Battier said. “A lot is riding on that game. Hopefully we can regroup and play better in Dallas.”

The Grizzlies have lost four of five after winning seven straight.

The Mavericks’ two-game skid comes following a six-game win streak.

“It was a horrible weekend for us,” Dallas guard Steve Nash said. “It’s all about responding.”

Memphis was without Pau Gasol and Bonzi Wells in an 89-83 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, but both are likely to return for this contest.

Both players have missed the last four games. Gasol, the Grizzlies’ leading scorer and rebounder, has been sidelined with a sore right foot. Wells, the team’s third-leading scorer, was out with back spasms.

In addition, James Posey, who was averaging 26.8 points in his previous six games, was slowed by a hip injury as he scored 16 points on 4-of-13 shooting.

Dirk Nowitzki had 29 points and 14 rebounds Sunday, but the Mavericks lost 89-83 to the Phoenix Suns.

Michael Finley, Dallas’ second-leading scorer, missed his second straight game because of back spasms. His replacement in the starting lineup, Josh Howard, had five points in the first half but did not play in the second because of a sore right hamstring. Forward Antawn Jamison sprained his right ankle with 20 seconds left, but stayed in and finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.

It’s uncertain if Finley, Howard and Jamison will all play.

Each team finishes the regular season Wednesday, with Dallas playing at Houston and Memphis hosting Minnesota.

STANDINGS (through April 11): Grizzlies - 3rd place (tied), 6 GB, Midwest Division. Mavericks - 3rd place (tied), 6 GB, Midwest Division.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Grizzlies - F Posey, F Stromile Swift, C Jake Tsakalidis, G Jason Williams, G Mike Miller. Mavericks - F Antoine Walker, F Jamison, C Nowitzki, G Marquis Daniels, G Steve Nash.

TEAM LEADERS: Grizzlies - Gasol, 17.8 ppg and 7.8 rpg; Williams, 6.8 apg. Mavericks - Nowitzki, 22.1 ppg and 8.7 rpg; Nash, 8.9 apg.

SEASON SERIES: Grizzlies, 2-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 17; Grizzlies, 109-92. At Memphis, Tenn., Posey had 19 points and Swift added 18 to lead the Grizzlies.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Grizzlies - 19-21 on the road; Mavericks - 35-5 at home.

INJURIES: Grizzlies - G Troy Bell (knee); R Ryan Humphrey (knee); G Dahntay Jones (triceps). Mavericks - G Tony Delk (ankle); G-F Tariq Abdul-Wahad (knee); G Jon Stefansson (ankle); F Finley (back); F Howard (hamstring).

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