Memphis (34-29) at Dallas (45-16)

By JEFF MEZYDLO, STATS Senior Writer Saturday, Mar 5, 2011 Tipoff: 7:30 pm EST Sun Mar 6, 2011

Dallas has never lost a season series to the Memphis Grizzlies. Based on the way the Mavericks have played over the last 1 1/2 months, there’s a good chance that won’t change.

The Mavericks look to extend their winning streak to nine games and split the season series with the visiting Grizzlies on Sunday night.

No team is hotter in the league than Dallas (45-16), which beat Indiana 116-108 on Friday for its eighth straight victory and 18th in 19 games. The Mavericks are second in the Western Conference, but trail San Antonio by 5 1/2 games.

Playing some of their best basketball of the season, the Mavericks hope to continue their recent success against a Memphis team that has won two of the three previous meetings in 2010-11. That included a 91-90 victory at Dallas in the second game of the season to snap a nine-game road skid against the Mavericks.

Though the teams have split their season series twice since the Grizzlies debuted in Vancouver in 1995-96, Memphis has never won a series with Dallas.

While Memphis (34-29) is in position to finally accomplish that feat, the challenge won’t be easy.

Dallas has averaged 107.1 points on 49.6 percent shooting over its last 19 games. Dirk Nowitzki(notes) has averaged 26.8 points in the last six and sixth-man Jason Terry(notes) 23.8 on 58.5 percent shooting over the last four.

The pair combined for 50 points on 18-of-28 shooting Friday as the Mavericks pulled away in the final three minutes to shake the pesky Pacers and win their season-high ninth straight at home.

“We were aggressive and attacking,” Nowitzki said. “That was good to see.”

Dallas has had trouble doing that against the Grizzlies this season, averaging just 88.7 points in three games. That included a 106-91 win at Memphis on Nov. 10 as the Mavericks shot 54.1 percent.

Though Nowitzki has averaged 15.3 points versus Memphis this season, he had 27 in the October home matchup. He had seven points and was ejected after picking up a pair of technical fouls in the Mavericks’ 89-70 loss at Memphis on Jan. 15.

Rudy Gay(notes) had 21 points to lead Memphis at Dallas earlier this season, but a dislocated shoulder suffered last month will force him to miss this contest.

Memphis fell to 3-3 minus their leading scorer with a 98-91 loss to New Orleans on Friday. Still, the Grizzlies still own the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.

Zach Randolph(notes), who had 20 points with 11 rebounds against the Hornets, scored 23 points in each of the last two meetings with Dallas and pulled down 20 boards in the January win. A back injury kept him out of the contest in Dallas.

Looking to fill the void until Gay returns later this month, Memphis signed veteran Leon Powe(notes) on Saturday. He averaged 5.0 points in 14 games for Cleveland before he was waived Feb. 24

Dallas is expected to be without starting center Tyson Chandler(notes) for a second straight game because of a sprained ankle.

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