Pistons vs. Mavericks
Dirk Nowitzki scores 28 points and grabs nine rebounds as the Mavericks stop the Pistons in Dallas.
DALLAS — Following an unsatisfying road trip, the Dallas Mavericks returned to American Airlines Center Sunday hopeful to build momentum on their own floor.
Coming off a 1-2 road trip, the Mavericks welcomed the Detroit Pistons to town to begin a four-game homestand. And while starting a stretch of four straight games on their home hardwood, the Mavs attempted to make up ground in the Western Conference standings.
The Mavericks (26-20) then proceeded to take a step in the right direction, beginning their home-heavy stretch on the winning end after a dominant 116-106 victory.
“We need this homestand to really get some momentum again and get some wins together,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said following the victory. “It was definitely a good way to start. … It’s been a really, really tough stretch and we dropped some games that we feel like we should have had. It is what it is, but now we’ve got to move forward and use this homestand.”
Looking to shake off his 5-of-15 shooting night Friday in a 107-106 loss to Brooklyn, an aggressive Nowitzki came out firing in the early going. But, after committing 36 combined turnovers in back-to-back losses, the Mavericks would once again struggle to control the ball. And after surrendering seven giveaways in the opening period, the Mavs held just a 28-25 edge through the first 12 minutes of play.
With Nowitkzi and reserve guard Devin Harris leading the charge, the Mavs began to create a separation on the scoreboard early in the second stanza. Center Samuel Dalembert made his presence felt inside a short time later, protecting the rim on the defensive end and scoring with authority on offense.
Sixth man Vince Carter took it from there, celebrating his 37th birthday in style while putting the Mavs up double digits. And after jumping out to a 12-point advantage, the Mavericks took a 56-46 lead into the halftime intermission.
Led by Nowitzki’s 13 first-half points on 6-of-9 shooting, the Mavericks’ 60.5 percent from the field bettered the Pistons’ 40.4 percent at the other end of the floor. However, the Pistons (17-27) stayed in the game with a 12-1 edge in second-chance points and 13 points off the Mavs’ 11 turnovers through two quarters of play.
“We’ve got to turn it over less,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confessed. “You know, at halftime we had too many turnovers and we were trying too many things that weren’t there. … We did better in the second half, but even the smartest teams have nights where they make mistakes.”
Surrendering a 12-2 run to the Pistons to open the second half and tying the game at 58-all, the Mavs would quickly find themselves in a dogfight as the third quarter got underway. The two teams then exchanged haymakers and the lead, before Harris and starting point guard Jose Calderon intervened to take the Mavericks into the fourth with an 84-81 lead.
“We were up 10 at half and then had a bad third quarter defensively. I think they scored 35 that quarter or something, and then we had to kind of grind it out after that. We just didn’t come in the third quarter the way we should have,” Nowitzki confessed.
With Carter and big man Brandan Wright leading the Dallas reserves, the Mavericks quickly regained the momentum as the action picked back up in the fourth. Harris’ 3-pointer then capped off a 17-4 Dallas run, putting the Mavs up 94-81 in the process.
An empathic alley-oop connection from Harris to Wright would follow, before Nowitzki stepped back into the scoring. However, shortly after the Mavs went ahead by 14, the Pistons came charging back, forcing a timeout by Carlisle with just a 101-96 margin and 5:43 remaining.
Carlisle would quickly be delighted, though, as Carter and Calderon stopped the bleeding by leading an 8-0 run to push the lead back to 13. Nowitzki closed the Pistons out from there, raining in a 3-pointer to push the advantage to 116-102 with 54.8 seconds left to play, before Carlisle sat his go-to player the remainder of the night.
Finishing a 10-of-16 shooting performance with 28 points, Nowitzki added nine rebounds and four assists.
“I had some good shots,” Nowitzki modestly said while summing up his night.
He added: “I got a little shots in this morning, got some rest yesterday and just stepped into shots when they were there. Guys kept looking for me, and I got open on some pick-and-rolls. Usually, if you make a couple of shots, then your confidence goes up and you start making more.”
Calderon pitched in 17 points in the first unit and Harris registered 14 points off the bench. Meanwhile, Carter celebrated his birthday with 13 points in a reserve role and Monta Ellis recorded 11 points in the starting lineup.
“I think it was the most complete game we’ve played of the last three,” Calderon declared. “We made some mistakes, but I think today we played for 48 minutes.”
Pistons point guard Brandon Jennings led four Detroit scorers in double figures with 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting, dishing out seven assists but committing six turnovers. The Mavericks also outshot the Pistons on the night, 58.1 percent to 47.3 percent, overcoming Detroit’s 41-39 rebounding edge and 23 points off Dallas’ 17 turnovers.
“I think it was just good for our team all around,” Harris said of the win. “The last two games have been kind of tough on us, and Coach [Carlisle] kind of got after us a little bit at shootaround, but it was important for us to come out and play the way that we did tonight.”
“I mean, we want to protect home,” Carter added. “I think we’ve played decent basketball at home, and there’s an opportunity for us to make up for the rough three-game road trip. I think we’ve played pretty good basketball and we just haven’t closed some games out. This was a great opportunity to kick off our homestand the right way.”
Note: Playing the second outing of their four-game homestand, the Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Wednesday against the Houston Rockets. The Mavs lead the season series 2-1. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
|Josh Smith, F||41||25||2||2||0||8||5||3||2||2||-9||10-24||0-2||5-7|
|Greg Monroe, F||28||20||2||0||0||9||4||5||0||3||-1||9-13||0-0||2-4|
|Andre Drummond, C||26||4||1||1||0||6||3||3||1||2||-12||2-5||0-0||0-2|
|Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, G||29||9||1||4||0||3||2||1||1||3||-9||4-7||1-2||0-1|
|Brandon Jennings, G||37||26||7||0||0||3||2||1||6||4||2||10-18||2-5||4-8|
|Shawn Marion, F||31||8||1||1||0||6||5||1||3||0||-6||4-9||0-3||0-0|
|Dirk Nowitzki, F||32||28||4||1||0||9||9||0||1||3||16||10-16||3-5||5-5|
|Samuel Dalembert, C||20||6||1||1||3||5||3||2||0||3||-5||3-5||0-0||0-2|
|Monta Ellis, G||29||11||3||1||0||1||1||0||8||2||-4||4-8||0-1||3-3|
|Jose Calderon, G||33||17||4||1||0||2||1||1||2||2||2||7-8||1-2||2-2|
Postgame: Devin Harris
Mavs G Devin Harris weighs in on his performance against the Pistons, how he's contributing to the team, his health and more.
Postgame: Jose Calderon
Mavs PG Jose Calderon comments on the importance of Sunday's win against the Pistons, how his shot felt, Devin Harris' return and more.
Dirk scores 28, Jose Calderon 17 and Devin Harris 14 as the Mavs beat the Pistons Sunday.
DALLAS — Returning from a disappointing three-game road trip that ended with back-to-back losses, the Dallas Mavericks will now try to build some much-needed momentum as they play their next four games at American Airlines Center.
Falling to a 93-85 loss Wednesday in Toronto and then a narrow 107-106 defeat Friday in Brooklyn, the Mavericks (25-20) stumbled their way through a 1-2 road trip. But, as they begin their four-game homestand Sunday against the Detroit Pistons, the Mavs will have the opportunity to defend their home hardwood as they try to position themselves in the Western Conference playoff picture.
“We didn’t get the job done, but the great thing about it is we can bounce back and take care of business at home and get a little home cooking,” sixth man Vince Carter said while quickly turnng his focus to the team’s upcoming homestand.
“I think we’re home for 10 days, which we haven’t been for a while,” leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki added. “So, we’ve got to take care of our home court. We’ve been decent at home, even though we lost some in the new year. But we feel like we’re a good team at home, and we’ve got to take care of business beginning Sunday.”
Entering Sunday’s matchup with a 14-7 record at home, the Mavs will try to separate themselves from surrounding teams in the standings. They’ll also attempt to feast on a sub-.500 Detroit team that is fighting for its own postseason aspirations.
However, first the Mavs will attempt to correct their turnover-prone play of late, committing 36 combined giveaways in their last two games after having eight in both of their previous two outings.
“We’re just making bad decisions, and we’ve got to stop it,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confessed following Friday’s loss. “When you give up 23 points off turnovers in a one-possession game, it’s another storyteller of the reason we lost.”
Like the Mavericks, the Pistons (17-26) come to town following a one-possession loss, falling Friday to a 103-101 defeat to New Orleans. And with the Pistons currently one-half game back of a playoff spot in the East and the Mavs clinging to the final postseason position in the West, plenty is on the line for the two teams as they duel Sunday.
Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Sunday to begin a four-game homestand against the Detroit Pistons. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.