Golden State (30-39) at Dallas (48-21)

By KATE HEDLIN, STATS Writer Saturday, Mar 19, 2011 Tipoff: 7:30 pm EDT Sun Mar 20, 2011

With less than a month until the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks are admittedly out of sync, a feeling that could worsen depending on the health of Shawn Marion(notes).

Coming off a tough loss that left Marion with an injured wrist, the Mavericks will try to regain some momentum when they host the Golden State Warriors on Sunday with a chance to clinch a postseason berth.

Dallas (48-21) has lost five of eight following an 18-1 stretch but is still third in the Western Conference. With a win Sunday and a loss by Phoenix, the Mavericks would wrap up a playoff spot for the 11th straight season.

However, their fans might be getting concerned that another early postseason exit lies ahead for a team that hasn’t made it out of the second round since losing to Miami in the 2006 NBA finals. Dallas’ last five losses have all come against playoff contenders, including 97-91 to San Antonio on Friday.

“The rhythm obviously isn’t there right now,” said guard Jason Terry(notes), who scored 19 points after missing his first six shots.

The Mavericks came back from a 40-22 deficit but faded in the final minutes. The departure of Marion, who scored 13 points in 14 first-half minutes before getting hurt, was felt late when Dallas was unable to slow the Spurs.

Marion, who had averaged 19.8 points in the previous four games, is questionable for Sunday after X-rays showed nothing broken. He’s third on the team in scoring and rebounding with 12.1 points and 6.8 boards per game.

The injury could be a big concern for the Mavericks, who have lacked a consistent third scorer along with Nowitzki and Terry since losing Caron Butler(notes) (knee) for the season.

Jason Kidd(notes) has averaged 4.3 points on 25.8 percent shooting in the last six games. Tyson Chandler(notes), averaging 10.3 points and 9.2 rebounds, hasn’t scored in double figures in three of the last five games and had less than 10 boards in all of them.

The next two games present Dallas with a good opportunity to get back on track. After facing Golden State (30-39), the Mavericks will host lowly Minnesota on Thursday before beginning a six-game road trip.

Dallas has won five straight over the Warriors, including both meetings this season. Dirk Nowitzki(notes) averaged 29.5 points in the two games, including 34 in Wednesday’s 112-106 win as the Mavericks rallied from 18 down.

The Warriors come to Dallas having lost three straight and 10 of 15. After their loss to the Mavs, they fell 108-97 to Phoenix on Friday.

Monta Ellis(notes) was held to eight points after scoring 26 versus Dallas.

Dorell Wright(notes) scored all 30 of his points in the second half Friday, tying the second-highest total in a half by a player this season. He has gone 20 of 40 from beyond the arc over the last five games.

“Guys were just finding me, it wasn’t nothing really to it,” said Wright, who has averaged 22.0 points the last five games. “Same thing I’ve been doing all year, I just caught a little fire.”

Golden State has lost its last two visits to Dallas.

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