Apr 12, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Goran Dragic (1) drives to the basket past Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion (0) and forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) during the first quarter at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks clinch playoff berth with 101-98 win over Phoenix Suns

After a one-year absence, the Dallas Mavericks will be returning to the postseason.

Behind 37 points, five assists, four rebounds and two steals from Monta Ellis and 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists and two steals from Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks took down the Phoenix Suns 101-98 on Saturday night. The win assured the Mavericks could do no worse than tie the Suns, who were led by Eric Bledsoe’s 29 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals.

The Mavericks own the tie-breaker, which is how they secured a spot in the playoffs.

The Mavericks are now 49-32 while the Memphis Grizzlies are 47-32 and the Suns are 47-33.

Despite being a game behind the Grizzlies in the loss column, there is still hope for the Suns. They will play host to the Grizzlies on Monday night at 10:00 pm EST. A Grizzlies’ victory will send Memphis back to the postseason and eliminate the Suns from playoff contention.

The Grizzlies have won all three meetings between the two teams this season, taking down the Suns 110-91 in Memphis on December 3, winning 99-91 in Phoenix on January 2 and 104-99 in Memphis eight days later.

To make the playoffs, the Suns will have to defeat the Grizzlies Monday and hope they lose to either the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night or the Mavericks Wednesday night.

Tags: 2014 NBA Playoffs Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki Eric Bledsoe Memphis Grizzlies Monta Ellis Phoenix Suns

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