DALLAS -- Just because the Dallas Mavericks have won five of their past six games, forward Vince Carter said this is not the time for them to start feeling as though they have arrived.Especially since the Mavericks will take an 18-24 record into tonight's 7 o'clock game at American Airlines Center against the red-hot San Antonio Spurs (34-11)."I think, yes, it's great we're playing better basketball, but we put ourselves in this hole and we're trying to climb back out right now," Carter said after Thursday's practice. "We're doing what we need to do just to get back into the [playoff] race more than anything."So I think for us we just need to remain humble, remain hungry, and continue to play the style of basketball we've been playing. I think we can't get comfortable and complacent just because we've won a couple of games now, and we've beaten some pretty good teams -- some of the better teams."The Mavericks are three games out of the the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. They got back into the playoff race by rebounding better, by executing in late-game situations more efficiently, and by keeping their turnovers to a minimum."We're happy that we're playing a lot better basketball, [but] we're not satisfied," Carter said. "I think we still have a long way to go."We can feel even better about ourselves when we're in a playoff position, in my opinion."Beating the Spurs, who own the NBA's second-best record, would enhance the Mavericks' playoff position and boost their power rankings in the eyes of other teams.That's especially true since the Spurs hammered the Mavericks in San Antonio 129-91 on Dec. 23, and then clobbered them again in Dallas 111-86 on Dec. 30."We know we've been beaten decisively in both games, we know we haven't played the kind of game we need to play, and we know where we are right now every game is important," coach Rick Carlisle said. "So [tonight] our disposition has got to be better, our decision-making has got to be better -- everything -- our shot-making's got to be better."And that's the kind of attitude you've got to bring to a game like this."In a way, tonight's game is sort of a statement game for the Mavericks."These are games that we have to win now," Carter said. "We don't have room for error right now, so I think we understand that. Every game is important to us whether we've beaten the team two or three times coming in or we've lost to them two or three times. We need to approach this game the same way, and that's to win and get the job done by any means."Nowitzki bobbleheadThe Mavericks Foundation auction for the Dirk Nowitzki bobblehead launched via balloon into "near space" ends today. The winning bidder will receive four tickets to a Mavericks game, and the bobblehead, which Nowitzki will autograph. For more information, go to mavs.com.