Dallas Mavericks: Mavericks drop playoff magic number to 4, beat Kings 93-91

Nothing is a sure thing when it comes to the Dallas Mavericks and the 2014 NBA Playoffs at this juncture, but it is nice to see the magic number beginning to dwindle for the Mavs during this up-and-down 2013-14 NBA season.

ESPNDallas.com contributor Brian Gutierrez tweeted out the good news, just seconds after the Dallas Mavericks survived the NBA Western Conference bottom-feeding Sacramento Kings by a count of 93-91 in Sacramento on Sunday --

The Dallas Mavericks survived an off night from superstar Dirk Nowitzki, who was just 5-for-17 from the field for 15 points. He also managed just one rebound and three assists.

With Nowitzki struggling, the Dallas Mavericks leaned heavily on the work of guard Monta Ellis, whose 9-for-19 shooting and team-high 23 points was enough to stave off the pesky Kings.

The beleaguered Mavericks defense did just enough to stave off the Kings late, yet still faced issues in guarding the Sacramento Kings two biggest threats. Both DeMarcus Cousins (12-for-23 shooting, 28 points) and Rudy Gay (12-for-18, 32 points) seemed to score at will on the Mavs -- yet the Kings' secondary scoring options remained nowhere to be seen.

The Dallas Mavericks now travel to Utah to face another Western Conference cellar-dweller in the Jazz.

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