Mavericks Head Into Playoffs with Rout of Seattle

4-17-07 - Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Seattle SuperSonics 106-75 in a meaningless game Wednesday night.

Seattle coach Bob Hill, who is rumored to be fired in the coming days, played all but one of his eligible 10 players as Seattle (31-51) posted its worst record since also finishing the 1985-86 season at 31-51.

Dallas coach Avery Johnson, one day after playing his "C" team in a blowout loss to Golden State, played his normal starters during a final tuneup before the top-seeded Mavericks' first-round playoff series beginning this weekend. The Mavericks, who tied for the sixth-best record in NBA history at 67-15, clinched the Western Conference's top seed April 9.

The loss may have helped Seattle's draft chances. Seattle entered the night in sole possession of the fifth spot for the lottery with an 11 percent chance of obtaining the No. 1 pick.

Seattle majority owner Clay Bennett will decide soon -- perhaps by week's end -- whether Hill or general manager Rick Sund will return next season. Bennett has been in New York trying to find private investors for his proposed $500 million arena in the Seattle suburb of Renton, now that state lawmakers have declined to vote on a public financing plan. Bennett will attend an NBA Board of Governors meeting Thursday and Friday in New York.