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Game Thread: Mavericks (51-21) at Suns (36-35)

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WHO: The Phoenix Suns host the Dallas Mavericks

WHAT: A game that the Suns need WAY more than the Mavs

WHERE: US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

WHEN: 9:30pm, CT (or later...)

HOW: ESPN | FSA | KTXA | KTAR | KESN

THE STORY: The Mavericks had an ugly win last night over the struggling Utah Jazz, but were able to get some valuable rest for Dirk Nowitzki towards the end of the game. This could prove to be useful during this extended road trip, especially during tonight's super late game in Phoenix. The Suns are fighting for a chance to make the playoffs, as they sit three games back from Memphis in the eighth position. Below you'll find the usual links, and if you pay them a visit, don't stare too long at the Bright Side of the Sun.

Mavericks-Suns Preview - NBA - Yahoo! Sports
Already assured of reaching the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks have regained their momentum and are pointing to a matchup with the Lakers next week. They may be overlooking a more immediate contest with the sputtering Phoenix Suns, though. Dallas hopes to build on a dominant effort by continuing its success against the Suns on Sunday night.

Mavericks-Suns preview — Streaking Mavs entering Phoenix in search of third W over Suns
One down and five to go. It certainly wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but the Mavericks (51-21) began their six-game, 10-day road trip victoriously Saturday night in Salt Lake City, sweeping the shorthanded Jazz in the four-game season series for the first time ever after a monster fourth quarter led to a 94-77 final verdict.

Rotation starting to come into focus - Dallas Mavericks Blog - ESPN Dallas
As the Dallas Mavericks quickly turn their focus to the Phoenix Suns for tonight's nationally televised game on ESPN, a rotation that had been in flux all of March due to injury, is finally starting to take shape.

Mavericks' Shawn Marion eager for role definition | Dallas Mavericks Blog
Shawn Marion wants to be a starter. Either that, or he wants to be a sixth man. He does not want to be both. Marion, who has had a quality season but has been better as a starter than coming off the bench, said the Mavericks have reached that point where a decision must be made about who starts at small forward.

Playoff pic still fuzzy, but some things coming into focus | NBA.com
About three weeks from today, Xs and Os will be getting devoured like candy, fingers will be worn out from hitting the rewind buttons on the video players and smoke will be coming off the nets from all of the jump shots being polished. It will be the start of the 2011 NBA playoffs, when we begin nine weeks of finding out what nearly six months of regular-season buildup didn't quite answer.