NBA champions the Golden State Warriors must show "urgency" if they are to make the play-offs, says Klay Thompson.
The Warriors ended an 11-game losing streak on the road with victory at the Houston Rockets on Monday, and with nine games left are in the final play-off position in the Western Conference.
Five-time NBA All-Star Thompson said they must "take every game seriously".
The Warriors visit the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday in a match that will be shown live on BBC One at 23:30 GMT.
The Warriors lie sixth in the Western Conference, with the Mavericks, having played one game fewer, in eighth.
"As a competitor, you relish in the moments of the most important games, and we're coming down to the stretch and every game is vital for our play-off stakes, it's exciting times," added Thompson.
"You always play 82 games and it's tough to be great in all of them. With nine [games] left, we have got to treat these like a play-off buffer and I know we will."
In a replay of last season's Western Conference Final, some of the biggest NBA stars will be in action.
For the Warriors, four-time NBA champions Stephen Curry and Thompson will be on the court.
Representing the Mavericks, eight-time NBA All-Star Kyrie Irving played on Monday against the Memphis Grizzlies but after the match, was seen wearing a protective walking boot after re-aggravating a toe injury.
However, Irving says that this was just a precaution and that he will "exhaust all options possible to play".
Irving signed for the Mavericks from the Brooklyn Nets in February, where his three-and-a-half-year spell was tainted with controversy.
He chose not to be vaccinated against Covid-19, which meant he was unable to play home games until March 2022 because of New York's ban on unvaccinated people in indoor venues.
In November, he was suspended for eight games for posting a link on his social media to a film containing anti-Semitic material, which he later apologised for.
Another big name for the Mavericks, Luka Doncic, is set to miss Wednesday's match because the Slovenian has a thigh injury.
Doncic and Irving, seen as a key pairing for the Mavericks, have not featured together since 8 March.