February 25, 2015

The Dallas Mavericks managed to win without Dirk Nowitzki in the lineup. The Atlanta Hawks couldn't snap out of their recent struggles even with Paul Millsap on the floor.

The Mavericks will seek to add to those woes Monday night by sending the Hawks to a season-worst losing streak.

Nowitzki was rested for the first of back-to-back games Sunday and the first of five contests in seven days for Dallas (28-22). Deron Williams scored 27 points - three shy of matching his season high - in a 91-78 victory against Phoenix.

"I think everyone knows when Dirk is out we have to step up a little bit when it comes to scoring," Williams said.

Millsap was considered probable for the Hawks' visit to Miami on Sunday because of a sprained left ankle suffered in a 111-92 defeat in Indiana on Thursday. He matched Al Horford for the team high with 17 points but Atlanta shot 38.6 percent in a 105-87 defeat.

The Hawks (27-22) have dropped five of six and three in a row. They haven't lost four straight since last year's Eastern Conference finals sweep to Cleveland and haven't done so in the regular season since a six-game skid March 21-29, 2014.

"We're trying to find ourselves right now and there isn't really much going our way," forward Kent Bazemore said. "It is just a tough time right now. We just got to stick with it. It's just not our time right now, and we got to deal with it."

Millsap had a team-best 20 points and 11 rebounds in a 98-95 win in Dallas on Dec. 9, Atlanta's fourth straight in the series. Williams led the Mavericks with 18 points despite missing 12 of 20 shots and Nowitzki was held to 13 points on 6-of-20 shooting as Dallas connected at 36.0 percent.

The only worse shooting performance for the Mavericks this season was 35.8 percent in a 112-83 drubbing in San Antonio on Jan. 17.

"We feel like we let one slip against Atlanta last time," swingman Wesley Matthews said. "It was a lax game. It didn't seem like anyone wanted it, and they outlasted us at the end.

"We have to come in with energy and outplay a good team."

Atlanta is shooting a combined 40.1 percent in its last three games and connected at 41.8 in an 85-83 home loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday. The Hawks won their previous three games on their own floor and seven of their prior eight.

Atlanta has shot a combined 24.0 percent from 3-point range in its last two games. Kyle Korver has gone 1 for 9 from beyond the arc and 2 of 15 overall, including an 0-for-6 performance Sunday.

Korver went 1 for 6 from 3-point range while scoring eight points in the win over Dallas in December. The Hawks have won their past two home matchups against the Mavericks and easily handled them 104-87 in the most recent Feb. 25.

Nowitzki has averaged 12.3 points while shooting 37.7 percent in his team's four-game skid against Atlanta and has gone 2 of 13 from 3-point range.

Matthews is averaging 17.3 points in his last three matchups with the Hawks but has been held to single digits in his last four games, including seven points on 2-of-12 shooting Sunday.

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