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Dallas at Atlanta

Venue: Philips Arena

The Atlanta Hawks seem to be comfortably headed to the playoffs for a sixth straight season, but that doesn't mean their content with their current position.

The Hawks may find themselves tied for fourth in the Eastern Conference if they can extend their winning streak in a matchup against the visiting Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.

Atlanta (37-29) is fifth in the conference, 11 1/2 games ahead of the ninth-place tie between Toronto and Philadelphia with 16 games remaining.

The Hawks have a chance to climb the standings further since they're one game back of fourth-place Brooklyn, which trails Atlantic Division-leading New York by the same margin.

The Nets open an eight-game road trip at Detroit on Monday, while the Knicks are in Utah.

Atlanta pulled closer to the Nets on Sunday with a 105-93 victory in Brooklyn, its third in a row after a 1-6 stretch.

The winning streak has rejuvenated the Hawks' confidence.

"Huge, huge win," Al Horford said. "Now we're a game behind Brooklyn, so it was a big win for us. We're trying to be in the best possible position for the playoffs. Just a week ago, we were in the seventh spot, almost in eighth and now I feel like we're starting to play like a better team. We're close to the fourth spot. Realistically we'd like to go up to the third spot."

Horford is looking to build on his 22 points from Sunday after averaging 14.3 over the four prior games. He had 21 points on 10-of-14 shooting, while adding 10 boards, three steals and two blocks in a 105-101 win at Dallas (31-35) on Feb. 11.

Josh Smith had 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in that meeting. The forward was also impressive in the most recent matchup at home April 26, tallying 23 points, nine boards and seven assists in a 106-89 victory.

He enters this one coming off a stellar performance against the Nets, accumulating 21 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

While Horford and Smith are big reasons Atlanta is headed back to the playoffs, the Mavericks have ground to make up in the West as they try to qualify for a 13th consecutive year.

It's not looking good, as Dallas is 11th in the conference, four games back of the Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth and final position.

The Mavs didn't do themselves any favors Sunday, losing 107-101 to Oklahoma City.

"We've got to continue playing hard, finding ways to stay positive obviously and go out there to win every game that we play," guard O.J. Mayo told the team's official website.

Mayo may want to heed his own advice since he's averaging 10.2 points over the past five games after scoring nine against the Thunder. He leads Dallas with 16.8 ppg, and had 19 against the Hawks last month.

Dirk Nowitzki averages 26.2 points in 13 games in Atlanta, and he had 24 in the latest overall matchup. The forward had a team-high 23 points Sunday, shooting 8 of 10 from the floor and 3 of 4 from behind the arc.

Shawn Marion missed his sixth straight game with a strained left calf Sunday and it's unclear when he'll return. That leaves the Mavs without their best defensive player, who also averages 16.0 points and 8.1 rebounds in 14 career visits to Atlanta.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Game Odds
Dallas 4 Atlanta -4
TeamStandingsWLPct.GBL 10Strk
Dallas4th Southwest 24.3332.52-4Lost 2
Atlanta1st Southeast 52.71405-2Won 3

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J BareaElbow
T SplitterHamstring
Key Players
, PF
31.0 Min. Per Game 35.7 Josh<br>Smith
, SF
16.2 Pts. Per Game 17.3
2.5 Ast. Per Game 4.3
6.9 Reb. Per Game 8.5
44.8 Field Goal % 46.1
42.1 Three Point % 32.5
84.8 Free Throw % 49.6
Team Rankings
Dallas Mavericks1978.25
Atlanta Hawks1188.26
Series Game Log
Oct 27Atlanta 
Nov 4 @ Washington 
Jan 27Atlanta 
Mar 22 @ Washington 
Other Games
Ind 111 Final
Cle 90
Port 100 Final
Phi 101
Wash 114 Final
Char 119
Brook 119 Final
Det 82
Miami 105 Final
Bos 103
GS 93 Final
NO 72
Den 119 Final
Chi 118
Min 77 Final
Mem 92
LAL 76 Final
Pho 99
NY 90 Final
Utah 83