The Dallas Mavericks’ dominance on the road against the Eastern Conference is a big reason why they’re in a virtual tie atop the Southwest Division.
The Mavericks try to remain unbeaten away from home against the East on Monday night as they wrap up this three-game trip against the Brooklyn Nets.
Dallas (25-10) is percentage points behind first-place Memphis in the division, and the Mavericks’ 15-3 record against the East is certainly vital to that.
They’ve outscored the opposing conference by an average of 11.4 points while winning all 10 road meetings – 14 straight dating to a loss at Charlotte on Feb. 11.
So far, Dallas hasn’t been challenged much on this trip, beating Boston 119-101 on Friday before extending its overall winning streak to five games by topping Cleveland 109-90 two days later.
The Mavs, who had 30 assists Sunday, are 6-2 since acquiring Rajon Rondo from Boston, and Monta Ellis is having fun with his new partner in the backcourt.
"We get out and run, so I love it," said Ellis, who made 8 of 15 shots and finished with 20 points against the Cavaliers. "He’s a great floor general at both ends of the court. We’re doing good, but we can do better. We made the extra pass (Sunday), and when we move the basketball like that, we can put teams in a bind."
Rondo is averaging 14.0 points since joining Dallas, but he followed a season-high 29 against his former team with only four Sunday. The four-time All-Star is averaging 15.0 points and 11.0 assists in his last three meetings with Brooklyn (16-17).
Ellis scored 32 points in the most recent matchup with the Nets on March 23, but missed a 3 at the buzzer in a 107-104 home loss.
Dirk Nowitzki was held to 10 points and eight rebounds while missing 10 of 12 from the floor. He needs 12 this time if he’s going to match Moses Malone for seventh in career points at 27,409.
While the Mavericks are trying to match their season-high winning streak from Nov. 11-21, the Nets are again trying to get back to .500 after losing 88-84 at Miami on Sunday while shooting 39.5 percent.
Brooklyn, which had won six of its previous seven, is 1-13 when scoring fewer than 94 points.
"I thought we fought hard," said Joe Johnson, who had a team-high 19 points but missed 14 of 22 shots. "We had our opportunities, maybe missed a lot of chippies, open shots that we normally make."
The Nets could finally see a change in the backcourt after Jarrett Jack totaled 10 points and seven assists and made 5 of 17 from the field over the past two games. Jack has started eight straight games since Deron Williams missed two with a calf injury.
Williams, though, has connected on half of his 20 attempts – 4 of 5 3-pointers – while scoring 29 points with 15 assists off the bench in the past two. He compiled 27 points over the previous four games.