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2012 NBA standings: Mavericks buried in Southwest Division

Another three-game losing streak has dropped Dallas out of the top eight.

USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, breaking a three-game losing streak for the Mavericks, which slid them further down in both the Southwest Division and Western Conference standings.

The three-game skid, Dallas's third such streak this season, has helped the Mavericks to fourth place in the Southwest Division. At 12-13, the Mavs are one game behind the Houston Rockets and are already looking at what looks like an insurmountable deficit in the division race, even if Dirk Nowitzki returns soon. The Memphis Grizzlies lead the division with a record of 17-6 and are six games ahead of Dallas in the loss column after winning their last three games.

More disconcerting would be the full Western Conference picture, where the Mavs have slid out of top-eight status for playoff inclusion. Dallas is a loss worse than both the Rockets and the Minnesota Timberwolves, and sits at No. 10 in the West behind the Utah Jazz as well.

Unfortunately for the Mavericks, immediate relief does not appear to be in sight. Dallas finishes the week with games against the Miami Heat (16-6), Memphis Grizzlies (17-6), and the San Antonio Spurs (19-8).

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