Ellis plays key role in Mavs' playoff berth

Monta Ellis has been shrugging off the skeptics throughout his first season with Dallas.

So it comes as no surprise that the guard simply says "the standings is 0-0" with the Mavericks getting ready for a first-round playoff series with a San Antonio team they haven't beaten in more than two years.

The best-of-seven Western Conference series opens Sunday at the top-seeded Spurs.

Ellis has reversed a steady slide in offensive efficiency to help get No. 8 seed Dallas and Dirk Nowitzki back in the playoffs after a 12-year streak ended last season.

The ninth-year player is part of a new backcourt for the Mavericks that also includes Jose Calderon and Devin Harris.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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