Dirk Nowitzki

The Dallas Mavericks are trying to climb into the Western Conference playoff picture, and more big performances from Vince Carter could help them reach that goal.

Dallas looks to match its longest winning streak of the season at four games Tuesday night as it visits the surging Milwaukee Bucks.

After 12 consecutive postseason appearances, the Mavericks (29-33) are in danger of missing the playoffs. They sit in a 10th-place tie with Portland in the West, three games out of the eighth and final spot.

Dallas, though, appears to be getting hot at just the right time thanks in large part to Carter. The 36-year-old former All-Star has gone 12 for 23 from 3-point range and averaged 16.0 points in helping the Mavericks win four of five this month.

“It’s not necessarily just scoring, but, in general, I understand what’s going on and I just made it my business to be locked in and want to do whatever is needed,” he said.

– Reported by Noey Kupchan of STATS/Associated Press