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2012 NBA standings: Mavericks half a game out of West's final playoff spot

The Mavs sit just half a game behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After hitting a bit of a losing skid that's seen the Mavericks lose four of their last five games, they still remain close to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Mavericks are sporting an 8-10 overall record on the season, just half a game behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the West.

Dating back to a Nov. 27 matchup with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Mavericks are playing eight of 10 games on the road, including tonight's tilt with the Phoenix Suns in Arizona. Saturday will be a much bigger game for the Mavs when they face their in-state rival, the Houston Rockets.

The Mavericks might be in the unluckiest position, division-wise, of any team in the NBA. Inside the Southwest Division are the aforementioned Rockets, the San Antonio Spurs and Memphis Grizzles who occupy the sixth, third and first spot, respectively, in the Western Conference standings. The Mavericks are only ahead of the New Orleans Hornets, who sit in last in the division at 5-12 on the season.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.