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Game Preview: Nuggets-Mavericks

Denver eyes season sweep of playoff-contending Dallas

Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson is expected to return to the lineup Friday against the Dallas Mavericks after sitting out Wednesday's game due to a sinus infection.
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty Images

Though the Denver Nuggets are a longshot to reach the Western Conference playoffs, they are poised to have an impact on the race over the next four weeks.

Starting with Friday night’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, the Nuggets play 12 of their final 14 games against teams currently in playoff position.

“We play better against playoff teams, minus the Brooklyn game,” Denver guard Aaron Brooks said. “I think if we just play hard get up for games like that, we’ll keep winning.”

The Nuggets have won four of their past five games, including victories against the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers.

The Mavericks are well aware of the danger Denver poses. Dallas is 0-3 against the Nuggets this season and will be looking to avoid being swept for the second time in the 34-year history of the series.

Denver has jumped on the Mavericks early in all three meetings and is averaging 36 points in the first quarter. The Nuggets scored 41 points in the opening quarter of a 115-110 victory over Dallas on March 5.

Wilson Chandler (21 points) and Ty Lawson (20) led the way in that game, and both are listed as probable for Friday.

Lawson sat out Wednesday’s game against the Detroit Pistons due to a sinus infection, while Chandler was held out after receiving an injection as part of his ongoing treatment for his surgically repaired left hip.


NUGGETS AT MAVERICKS


WHEN:
6:30 p.m. MT
WHERE: Amercian Airlines Center, Dallas
TV; RADIO: Altitude2; AM-950

PROBABLE STARTERS
DENVER (31-37)

F Wilson Chandler
F Kenneth Faried
C Timofey Mozgov
G Randy Foye
G Ty Lawson

DALLAS (41-28)
F Shawn Marion
F Dirk Nowitzki
C Samuel Dalembert
G Monta Ellis
G Jose Calderon

INJURY REPORT
DENVER:
Danilo Gallinari (knee), JaVale McGee (stress fracture, left tibia) and Nate Robinson are out.
DALLAS: None to report.

SERIES NOTES
The Nuggets have gone 8-4 on the road against Dallas the last five regular seasons, however the Mavericks still own a home record of 22-9 against Denver since the 1997-98 season . . . Denver is 14-8 against the Mavericks in head-to-head matchups since the 2007-08 season, not to mention 18-6 when including the postseason . . . Denver has posted multiple wins against the Mavericks only four times in the last 16 seasons since 1996-97.