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Game Thread: Hawks (30-17) at Mavericks (30-15)

WHO: The Dallas Mavericks host the Atlanta Hawks

WHAT: Still no Peja, but it's Sasha's big chance to shine on the last day of his 2nd 10-day contract.

WHERE: American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

WHEN: 7:30pm CT


THE STORY: With Dirk Nowitzki still easing back into shape, we'll probably have to hope for more big performances from our bench, who have been incredible as of late. The Hawks had themselves a nice 6-game win streak before losing to the Bucks. They just beat the Knicks last night, and have been seeing some incredible scoring from Joe Johnson. Could be an interesting game. Some links for your enjoyment follow the jump, and take a bite of a nice, juicy Peachtree Hoops.

Hawks-Mavericks Preview - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Dirk Nowitzki still isn’t fully healthy, but the Dallas Mavericks are winning partly thanks to an unlikely source. With their best player still working himself into shape, the Mavericks may need another strong effort from Jose Juan Barea(notes) as they attempt to run their winning streak to four against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

Shootaround Report: Hawks (30-17) at Mavericks (30-15) - Mavs Fast Break
After studying film of the Atlanta Hawks over the last week, the Mavericks say they’ve seen the best and worst of their opponent for Saturday night. Since suffering a season-worst 100-59 home loss to New Orleans on Jan. 21, the Hawks have gone 2-1 including Friday night’s 111-102 home victory over the New York Knicks.

Dallas Mavericks Blog: Peja & Bench
Peja Stojakovic, to no surprise, will not suit up tonight against the Atlanta Hawks. Stojakovic's Dallas Mavericks debut is not expected to happen on this homestand which wraps up Monday against the Washington Wizards. Will he play on the upcoming three-game road trip? Who knows.

Mavs' Chandler feels he's All-Star worthy; Carlisle says center's chances remote
With NBA All-Star Game starters selected by fan balloting, conference coaches will select the seven reserves on each team. The Mavericks’ lobbying for Tyson Chandler began Thursday with the taping of a video that featured Dirk Nowitzki in a co-starring role. Chandler said after Thursday night’s game, in which he tied his season-high with 21 points and recorded his ninth double-double, that he believes he has earned a trip to next month’s All-Star Game in his hometown of Los Angeles.