Mavs, Nuggets now even with schedule favors

DALLAS -- The NBA schedule tends to even out.

The last time the Mavs and Nuggets met, a depleted Dallas team limped into Denver, arriving at 4 a.m. after playing in Golden State the previous night. The Mavs, minus Erick Dampier and Shawn Marion, got their butts kicked by 36 on the butt end of a brutal back-to-back just before the All-Star break.

Now the Nuggets come to Dallas to cap a brutal five-game road trip. Denver, which has lost five of six and doesn't have Kenyon Martin, landed in Dallas in the wee hours of the morning after a loss to the Orlando Magic.

"None of that matters," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, whose team has a half-game lead over the Nuggets and Utah Jazz for second place in the West. "When the ball goes up, it’s one game. We’ve got to have our game ready."

The Nuggets took advantage of the favor the schedule-makers did them for the Mavs' February visit. The remodeled Mavs must take advantage of their high-stakes chance for revenge.