Game 41: Mavs at Bulls

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Mavericks vs. Bulls

Dirk Nowitzki scores 21 points as the Mavericks defeat the Bulls 83-77.

CHICAGO — Falling to back-to-back losses prior to making the second stop on their current three-game road trip Friday night in Chicago, the Dallas Mavericks tried to get on track against a formidable foe.

Catching the Bulls on the second night of a back-to-back following their 115-111 comeback win in overtime on the road over Philadelphia, the Mavericks stepped into the United Center with a tall order at hand. Meanwhile, the Mavs tried to bounce back after falling to a 110-107 overtime loss at home Tuesday against Cleveland and Wednesday’s 108-89 defeat with a short-handed squad in Oklahoma City.

The Mavericks (23-18) then turned to their two former All-Stars, leaning on Dirk Nowitzki and Deron Williams to carry them to an 83-77 signature road win.

“It was another slow start to the game. They defended us pretty good, and we couldn’t really get anything going. But defensively, I thought we were solid all night,” Nowitzki said after the victory. “In the beginning we weren’t making shots, but the defense was there solid enough to keep us in the game.”

After sitting all five of their traditional starters in Wednesday’s loss, the Mavericks took the floor with Williams, swingman Wesley Matthews, small forward Chandler Parsons, Nowitzki and center Zaza Pachulia. The Dallas defense then looked for a way to slow down Bulls guard Jimmy Butler after his 53-point performance helped Chicago overcome a 24-point deficit Thursday in Philadelphia.

Instead, the Bulls (23-16) would seize control early while opening the game on a 13-3 run. Meanwhile, the Mavs struggled through a 1-of-11 start from the field, finding little success at the offensive end of the floor. And despite a strong close to the first quarter led by Pachulia inside, the Mavericks still trailed 22-18 after 12 minutes of play.

Getting a lift from backup center JaVale McGee to open up the second stanza, the Mavs clawed their way back to tie the score at 22-all. Nowitzki then gave the Mavericks their first lead of the night at 26-24, swishing a three-pointer from the top of the key.

However, the Bulls would respond with a 12-2 run to regain the lead behind former MVP Derrick Rose and big man Pau Gasol. And despite seeing center Joakim Noah exit the game with a separated left shoulder, the Bulls took a 46-36 advantage into the halftime intermission.

Posting 10 points in the first half on just 1-of-7 shooting, Nowitzki did his best to keep pace with Rose and Gasol at the other end. Meanwhile, the Bulls outshot the Mavericks as a team through two quarters, 40 percent to 28.2 percent, adding a 30-23 rebounding edge.

“I thought our problems putting the ball in the basket de-energized us a little bit in the first half. And at halftime we said, ‘Hey, play till exhaustion. You know, we’ve got defense in front of us, and let’s get some stops and see if we can claw back into this thing.’ And everybody did a great job,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle foreshadowed.

Holding Butler scoreless in the first half, the Dallas defense then turned its attention to the Bulls’ supporting cast at the start of the third period. Meanwhile, the Mavs’ offense began to come alive, opening the third on a 15-2 run to take a 51-48 lead on Williams’ three-pointer from the wing. But despite Nowitzki’s best efforts, the Bulls would once again gain the upper hand to take a 61-59 edge into the final quarter.

Exchanging haymakers and the lead with the Bulls as the fourth quarter got underway, the Mavericks then gladly welcomed sixth man Devin Harris’ triple to take a 64-63 edge. Parsons also started to assert himself after a scoreless first half, getting into a rhythm as the Mavs tried to keep pace.

Williams took matters from there in his head-to-head matchup with Rose, swishing a trey from the top of the key to put the Mavericks up two before also finding nothing but the bottom of the net on a corner three to extend the lead to 76-72 with 3:01 left to play. Nowitzki then tried to deliver the dagger, swishing a three of his own from the top of the key to push the Mavs’ advantage to seven with 2:15 remaining. But after Pachulia’s sixth and final foul of the night with 1:39 on the game clock, the Bulls continued to have life.

Nowitzki and Gasol then exchanged scores as the two All-Stars tried to lift their respective teams down the stretch. But after a missed three by Butler in the final moments with the Mavs up by four, Williams officially closed the door on the Bulls by connecting on two clutch free throws with 10.9 seconds remaining to send the visiting Dallas team on to San Antonio with the win.

Scoring 21 points on 6-of-15 shooting, Nowitzki also grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Mavs to the win. Williams was the only other Mav in double figures with 18 points and six assists.

“You know, it was a tale of two halves. In the first half, we couldn’t make a shot. We just looked out of sync and out of rhythm. Second half, we decided to get after them defensively,” Williams said. “We knew that they were a little tired, coming back from an OT game and having to fight back from down 24, so we just tried to outlast them. And we got stops when we needed them. I think we just hung in there as a team. We hunkered down, got some stops and made some big plays.”

Rose led the Bulls with 18 points on 8 of 18 from the field. Meanwhile, Butler was held to just four points on 2-of-11 shooting. The Mavericks’ 39 field-goal percentage as a team also bettered the Bulls’ 36 percent, overcoming a 47-43 rebounding disadvantage and 13 Chicago points off 10 Dallas turnovers.

“You know, it was a team thing,” Matthews said after drawing the defensive assignment on Butler. “Obviously, he’s the key to their team, having 53 points last night, so as a team we had to do a good job and try to make stuff difficult. But the biggest thing and the biggest goal for us was to rebound. And I think that we did a good job gang rebounding tonight.”

“Second half, the defense was phenomenal. We gave up 30-something points, and that was great,” Nowitzki added. “We tried to keep them in front of us and tried to force them into some shots they didn’t want. It’s always big against this team to rebound, and that’s what we did. But knowing they were in the fourth game in five nights, we had to keep the pressure up in the second half. That’s what we did.”

Note: The Mavericks will now make the final stop of their three-game road trip, traveling to San Antonio for Sunday’s matchup against the Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavs an 88-83 road loss on Nov. 25. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Monday night, hosting the Boston Celtics. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 106-102 road win on Nov. 18. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

baylor

Injury updates presented by Baylor Emergency Medical Centers:

There’s no injuries to report at this time.

Dallas Mavericks

PLAYER MIN PTS AST STL BLK REB DREB OREB TO PF +/- FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A
Chandler Parsons, F 32 8 4 0 0 3 3 0 2 0 12 4-9 0-2 0-0
Dirk Nowitzki, F 33 21 0 0 1 7 6 1 1 3 13 6-15 2-5 7-7
Zaza Pachulia, C 34 9 4 1 0 10 8 2 2 6 -4 4-10 0-0 1-2
Wesley Matthews, G 36 8 1 0 2 6 6 0 2 1 -1 4-10 0-5 0-0
Deron Williams, G 35 18 6 0 2 3 3 0 1 1 -2 6-12 4-5 2-3
Devin Harris 13 5 2 0 0 3 2 1 1 3 5 1-3 1-1 2-2
Dwight Powell 14 0 0 0 0 3 2 1 0 0 3 0-2 0-0 0-0
J.J. Barea 20 9 3 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 4 3-7 1-3 2-2
JaVale McGee 7 5 0 0 1 5 3 2 0 1 4 2-4 0-0 1-1
Raymond Felton 8 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 -3 0-3 0-1 0-0
Charlie Villanueva 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -6 0-2 0-0 0-0
Jeremy Evans 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Salah Mejri 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Justin Anderson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0-0 0-0
John Jenkins 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0-0 0-0
TOTALS PTS AST STL BLK REB DREB OREB TO PF   FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A
    83 20 1 6 43 36 7 9 16   30-77 8-22 15-17
                        39.0% 36.4% 88.2%

Chicago Bulls

PLAYER MIN PTS AST STL BLK REB DREB OREB TO PF +/- FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A
Tony Snell, F 20 3 0 0 0 5 5 0 1 2 -12 1-6 1-4 0-0
Taj Gibson, F 29 9 1 0 0 11 7 4 1 3 -2 4-10 0-0 1-2
Pau Gasol, C 35 17 4 1 2 8 6 2 3 3 2 7-14 0-0 3-4
Jimmy Butler, G 36 4 6 2 0 5 5 0 0 1 -7 2-11 0-4 0-0
Derrick Rose, G 33 18 2 2 0 4 3 1 1 1 3 8-18 0-2 2-2
Kirk Hinrich 7 7 0 1 0 2 1 1 0 1 -8 1-3 0-2 5-5
Nikola Mirotic 14 2 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 3 -3 0-4 0-2 2-2
Joakim Noah 5 2 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 2 -3 1-2 0-0 0-0
Doug McDermott 20 0 0 0 0 4 3 1 0 0 4 0-4 0-1 0-0
E'Twaun Moore 22 8 1 0 0 3 3 0 1 2 5 4-6 0-2 0-0
Aaron Brooks 7 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1-4 0-1 0-0
Bobby Portis 6 5 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 1 -4 2-4 1-1 0-0
Cameron Bairstow 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Mike Dunleavy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Cristiano Felicio 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0-0 0-0 0-0
TOTALS PTS AST STL BLK REB DREB OREB TO PF   FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A
    77 16 6 2 47 35 12 8 19   31-86 2-19 13-15
                        36.0% 10.5% 86.7%

Postgame: Wesley Matthews

Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Postgame: Deron Williams

Postgame: Coach Carlisle

Shootaround: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki talks about tonight match up with the Chicago Bulls.

Shootaround: Coach Carlisle

CHICAGO — Despite sprinting to a 118-111 home win over the Chicago Bulls back on Dec. 26 the last time the teams squared off, the Dallas Mavericks admit that they will face a daunting task while trying to replicate that performance on the road Friday night.

Falling to a 110-107 overtime loss Tuesday at home against Cleveland, the Mavericks (22-18) then opted to rest their five starters the following night before suffering a 108-89 defeat in Oklahoma City to begin a three-game road trip. The Mavs are now expected to be at full strength Friday while making the second stop of their road trip. Still, after seeing Jimmy Butler erupt for 53 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and three steals during the Bulls’ come-from-behind 115-111 overtime win Thursday in Philadelphia, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle knows his team will need to be locked in to keep the All-Star swingman from having a second straight big game.

“It’s a team responsibility,” Carlisle said while discussing ways to keep Butler quiet following the Mavericks’ Friday morning shootaround. “We’ve got to make it as hard as possible. He’s a great player. You know, he’s dynamic. He can score outside and inside. He’s great at getting to the free-throw line, so we’ve got to make it hard without fouling him. It’s a tough job.”

The Mavs held Butler in check the first time the two teams met up, limiting the former Marquette standout to 17 points on 4-of-11 shooting in that December meeting while forcing him into five turnovers. Meanwhile, former MVP Derrick Rose scored 25 points and big man Pau Gasol added 18 points of his own in that game, entering Friday’s matchup rested after both sat out the Bulls’ win in Philadelphia.

The Bulls (23-15) also outshot the Mavericks in that first meeting, 53.8 percent to 46 percent. But the Mavs finished with a 42-41 rebounding edge, converting the Bulls’ 18 turnovers into 28 points at the other end of the floor. With that said, both Carlisle and 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki agree that the Mavericks will need to get off to a fast start in order to avoid their second three-game skid of the season.

“Obviously, they were in an overtime game as well last night. We’d love to get out to an early start, get everybody involved and get our juices flowing, trying to limit some of the easy baskets they get,” Nowitzki explained. “We’ll try to limit some of their free-throw attempts and try to limit some of their offensive rebounds that they’re great at. I think they’re the No. 1 rebounding team in this league, and we’ll try to take some of those easy opportunities away early. You know, hopefully, we’ll get off to a better start.”

“We’ve got to work the game from start to finish,” Carlisle added. “They’re coming off a big win. They had two All-Stars sitting at home resting and ready to go tonight, so they’ve got a lot of weapons. And the compelling stat in the game is going to be rebounding. It’s going to determine what happens.”

Note: The Mavericks will now make the second stop of their three-game road trip, traveling to Chicago for Friday’s matchup against the Bulls. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 118-111 home win over the Bulls back on Dec. 26. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Monday night, hosting the Boston Celtics. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 106-102 road win on Nov. 18. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

baylor

Injury updates presented by Baylor Emergency Medical Centers:

Zaza Pachulia (right Achilles) — probable

Devin Harris (left foot) — questionable

CHICAGO — Looking to respond after back-to-back losses, the Dallas Mavericks hope to take advantage of a wounded and tired Chicago Bulls team Friday night while making the second stop of their current three-game road trip.

Pushing the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers into overtime before falling to a 110-107 home loss Tuesday, the Mavericks (22-18) then opted to sit all five of their starters the following night in Oklahoma City. The result would be a 108-89 lopsided loss in the first game of their pivotal road trip, shooting 39 percent from the floor to send the team to Chicago in need of a quality win.

All five Dallas starters are expected to be in the lineup Friday night. And after seeing the Bulls (23-15) need every bit of All-Star swingman Jimmy Butler’s career-high 53 points to muster up a comeback from down 24 Thursday night to claim a 115-111 overtime win in Philadelphia while former MVP Derrick Rose nursed a sprained knee, the Mavs could be catching the East powerhouse at just the right time.

With that said, the Mavericks know they’ll have their work cut out for them after scratching and clawing their way to a 118-111 win at home over the Bulls back on Dec. 26.

“They’re a good team,” Carlisle said while speaking highly of the Bulls earlier this season. “They’re a team that’s going to compete every night. I’m not sure what their injury situation is, but either way it’s a blender with body parts in it. I mean, that’s the kind of game it is. It’s physical, and you’ve got to prepare for a mental and physical disposition. You’ve got to battle them on the boards, and you’ve got to keep them off the free-throw line.”

The Philly defense was unable to keep Butler off the free-throw line Thursday night, seeing the athletic guard hit 21 of 25 at the charity stripe during the come-from-behind win. Butler also filled up the stat sheet, grabbing 10 rebounds, dishing six assists and collecting three steals as the Bulls rallied for the impressive victory without Rose and big man Pau Gasol.

However, the Dallas defense held Butler to 17 points on 4-of-11 shooting in that December meeting while forcing him into five turnovers. And with Rose scoring 25 points in that game while Gasol added in 18 points of his own, the Mavericks know they can’t simply lock in on Butler as both are expected to return to the Chicago lineup.

“I think rebounding is going to be huge and our energy,” guard J.J. Barea said after scoring a team-high 18 points for the short-handed Mavs during the loss in Oklahoma City. “Our pace game is going to be big, so we’ve just got to come out from the get-go with a lot of energy. And we’ll see what happens.”

Note: The Mavericks will now make the second stop of their three-game road trip, traveling to Chicago for Friday’s matchup against the Bulls. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 118-111 home win over the Bulls back on Dec. 26. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Monday night, hosting the Boston Celtics. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 106-102 road win on Nov. 18. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

baylor

Injury updates presented by Baylor Emergency Medical Centers:

Zaza Pachulia (right Achilles) — probable

Devin Harris (left foot) — questionable