Disappointing losses last week at home and on the road have dumped the Mavericks to a season-worst-tying No. 8 in ESPN.com's weekly NBA Power Rankings.
Failure to beat the short-handed Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night and a heavy defeat in Toronto on Sunday in the opener of a nine-day trip prevented dropped Dallas three spots from the previous Monday. Slumps that have gripped Boston and Orlando and the health woes of Pau Gasol and Kobe Bryant in L.A. had given the Mavs an ideal opportunity to consolidate their top-five slot.
The one game that the Mavericks did win last week, though, helped them inch closer to a slice of NBA history. Dallas' 99-98 triumph Friday night over Oklahoma City was its eighth consecutive W in a one-point game dating to January 2007, which is two shy of tying the league's all-time record. The St. Louis Hawks won 10 straight one-point games in 1959-60, and the Sacramento Kings won nine in a row between 2002-05.
This week's rankings can be found in their entirety here.
This week's Mavs comment:
"Failing to beat the Lakers with Gasol out and Kobe hobbled was bad. Starting a five-game East swing with a 22-point loss in Toronto -- knowing that the road is usually where the Mavs are at their best -- was worse."