The grueling schedule of this shortened NBA season is clearly wearing down some aging legs, so the All-Star break’s rest days (perennial selection Steve Nash excluded), couldn’t have come at a better time for the Phoenix Suns. The team hopes to turn things around and gain some momentum during the season’s second half push for a playoff spot. As of this writing, four teams stand in front of Phoenix for the final playoff berth. Only two teams are worse, and the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks isn’t one of them.
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Dallas has already handed the Suns three losses this season. But this rematch will be the Suns’ fifth game in eight days, four against top opponents, including at league-best Oklahoma City Thunder the previous night. Led by 2011 finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs aren’t expected to go down easy. Pretty much assured a playoff run, they chase the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the Southwest Division.