For the 15th time in the last 16 years, the Dallas Mavericks will be headed to the Western Conference playoffs; this year as the seventh seed. They beat Utah 101-92 and helped push the Jazz down the playoff ladder, as they’re now tied with Houston at 40-41 for the eighth seed.

Dallas got almost all of their production from Wesley Matthews, Dirk, and Deron Williams. Williams was the high-scorer for the Mavericks and tallied 23 points on 9/16 shooting in just his second game back from injury. Nowitzki was second on the team with 22 on 7/12 shooting, including 4/7 from three and he also grabbed 11 boards. Wesley Matthews rounded out everything with 20 points on 7/14 shooting.

J.J. Barea cooled off significantly. After averaging 25.8 points per game in four contests last week, Barea had just five on 2/11 shooting Monday.

Gordon Hayward had a game-high 26 on 11/21 shooting and was really the only offense that Utah had. Shelvin Mack did chip in an efficient 18 points, but no one found a rhythm outside of those two.

With the Jazz’s loss and the Rockets’ victory, the playoff hopes of both teams come down to their final game on Wednesday. Utah has a more favorable matchup going against the Lakers as far as talent is concerned. The only problem is that it’s Kobe’s last game in the Staples Center, and there’s no telling what’s going to happen. Houston plays at home to Sacramento, who will be fresh off a win over the Suns. The Kings have been playing well lately despite shutting down DeMarcus Cousins and Rondo, and could play spoiler.

Dallas matches up against first-round opponent San Antonio on Wednesday for what will be a quick preview of the series.

Around The League

Cleveland clinched the first overall seed with their 109-94 win over the Hawks. In just three quarters, LeBron tallied 34 points, six boards, and six dimes while wingman Kyrie Irving had a game-high 35. Kent Bazemore had 23 to lead Atlanta.

As stated above, Houston kept their playoff hopes alive with a 129-105 victory in Minneapolis. James Harden had a game-high 34 points and six assists; Trevor Ariza added 21. Shabazz Muhammad led the T-Wolves with 23, and Zach LaVine pitched in 21.

Russell Westbrook recorded his 18th triple-double of the season by halftime of OKC’s 112-79 route of the Lakers; he finished with 13p, 10r, 14a. KD had a game-high 34, Steven Adams had 13p, 15r, and Kobe had 13 in his final career road game.

Scores

ATL 94 – CLE 109

MIL 98 – ORL 107

CHA 114 – BOS 100

WASH 120 – BKN 111

CHI 121 – NOLA 116

HOU 129 – MINN 105

LAL 79 – OKC 112

DAL 101 – UTAH 92

SAC 105 – PHX 101