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Mavs closer to lottery than first place

Latest loss marked by recent trends of poor defense and fourth-quarter fading

Updated: February 2, 2010, 12:31 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Dallas Mavericks, a veteran team that prides itself on poise, insist that it's premature to panic.

Serious concern, however, is certainly appropriate after their first three-game losing streak of the season.

There was cause for concern even before the Mavs extended their skid with a 104-92 loss Monday night to the Utah Jazz at Energy Solutions Arena. The Mavericks are 8-9 since New Year's Eve, leaving them clinging to third place in the West, a half-game above ...

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