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Reply To: NBA • Wednesday Service Plays • 3/9/16

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Preview: Detroit At Dallas

When: 8:30 PM ET, Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Where: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

The Dallas Mavericks are fading in the wrong direction and attempt to end a three-game losing streak when they host the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday. Dallas has slipped into a tie for sixth place with Portland in the Western Conference and was dominated in the second half of Monday’s 109-90 home loss against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Veteran power forward Dirk Nowitzki isn’t happy with what he’s seeing as his squad has allowed ninth-place Utah to creep within three games. “We’ve got a brutal stretch coming up,” Nowitzki told reporters. “We’ve laid some eggs against some teams we needed to beat, and now the schedule is picking up tremendously. Now at this point, we’ve got to worry about making the playoffs.” Detroit is trending upward with five victories in seven games and stands a half-game behind the eighth-place Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference. The Pistons played superbly in a 123-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday and hope to build on the win when they open a four-game road trip in Dallas.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FSN Detroit, FSN Southwest (Dallas)

ABOUT THE PISTONS (32-31): The crucial road trip includes visits to Charlotte, Philadelphia and Washington but point guard Reggie Jackson only wants to discuss Dallas. “We can’t look past anybody, any opponent,” Jackson told reporters. “We got the Mavs, we got a tough game there, they’re fighting for playoff positioning. Every game means something to everybody at this point.” Jackson had 30 points and nine assists against the Trail Blazers for his second 30-point outing in the past eight games.

ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (33-31): Dallas held a two-point halftime lead over the Clippers before allowing 58 second-half points, and the three-game skid matches its worst losing streak of the season. Nowitzki had 22 points in 28 minutes but he was the only starting player who was productive – the other four combined for 22 points on 5-of-27 shooting. “We’ve got to be a (better) defensive team,” shooting guard Wesley Matthews told reporters. “How many easy points do we give up? Because our points aren’t coming easy.”

BUZZER BEATERS

1. The Mavericks have won 13 of the past 16 meetings.

2. Detroit All-Star C Andre Drummond has at least 12 rebounds in each of the last 17 games and is averaging 15 boards during the stretch.

3. Matthews is 5-of-28 shooting over the past three games.

PREDICTION: Mavericks 108, Pistons 104