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Game 50: Mavs at Grizzlies presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Mavericks vs. Grizzlies

The Mavs improved to a season-high eight games over .500 with Wednesday night's 110-96 win over Memphis.

MEMPHIS — After feasting on teams with lesser records during a 3-1 homestand, the Dallas Mavericks faced a much more daunting and crucial task Wednesday night in Memphis.

Looking to get the better of the Grizzlies for a third time, the Mavericks attempted to seize the Southwest Division season series after two previous wins in Dallas. The Mavs also tried to widen their one-game lead over Memphis entering the night for the last spot in the Western Conference playoff picture, welcoming back four-time All-Star Shawn Marion to the lineup as well following his two-game absence with a sore right shoulder.

The Mavericks (29-21) then proved to be up to the challenge, rallying in the second half to capture a 110-96 win while ending a five-game losing streak in FedExForum.

“We were able to come in here, keep our composure and play a full game. That’s what it came down to,” Marion said of the win as the Mavs moved a season-high eight games over .500. “They came out and were hitting shots early, and we were playing catch-up here for a little bit. But we got a little momentum going, we were able to get some stops when we needed to and make a run off of it. And we were able to get a good win in here.”

Looking for their first win in six visits to Memphis, the Mavericks hoped to get off to a fast start with Marion back in the first unit. Instead, the Mavs would come out sluggishly following Monday’s 124-107 home win over Cleveland, hitting just three of their first 10 shots of the night. And despite 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki’s red-hot start with nine points on 4-of-4 shooting in the period, the Mavs trailed by as many as nine before entering the second quarter down 26-21.

Even with backup big man Brandan Wright’s best efforts inside, the Mavericks’ offense would continue to struggle early in the second stanza as turnovers began to pile up. Nowitzki then battled through an apparent left shoulder injury after a collision with James Johnson, causing the big man to end a streak of 29 consecutive made free throws with a rare miss in the quarter.

Meanwhile, Grizzlies point guard Nick Calathes took charge for Memphis as he continued to stand in place of the injured Mike Conley (ankle). And following a lengthy review that removed Johnson’s late score due to a clock malfunction, the Mavs found themselves trailing 55-52 at the halftime intermission.

Regardless of Nowitzki’s 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting, the Mavericks were outshot through two quarters of play, 60.6 percent to 51.3 percent. The Mavs also battled to a 15-all rebounding stalemate in the half as the two teams combined for 16 turnovers.

“It wasn’t really good defense in the first half for us, and we talked about it at halftime that we had to pick it up, get into them a little bit more and rebound especially,” Nowitzki foreshadowed.

After scoring 12 points in the first half, Grizzlies new addition Courtney Lee went back on the attack as the third quarter got underway. The Mavs countered with an aggressive Nowitzki, whose 3-pointer from the top of the key gave the Dallas team its first lead of the night at 59-58 with 9:20 left in the third.

Center Samuel Dalembert lent some assistance soon afterwards, but would quickly be forced to sit after picking up his fourth foul of the night. That’s when Grizzlies big man Zach Randolph began to go to work in the interior. Still, led by Wright and sixth man Vince Carter, the Mavericks took a 78-72 edge into the fourth.

Getting the ball back in the hands of Nowitzki, the Mavs tried to put the game away in the final quarter, taking an 85-74 lead and forcing a Memphis timeout with 9:33 remaining. The Mavs tried to pull away from there, surging ahead by 14 on Wright’s three-point play inside.

The Dallas defense then stiffened down the stretch, forcing a Memphis turnover and converting the giveaway into two points as Dalembert slammed home a feed from Marion on the break to go up 100-84 with 4:10 left to play. But it would be Nowitzki that would close the Grizzlies out, draining a 3-pointer to capture a 17-point lead before timely scores down the stretch.

“I thought that was as good a second half we’ve played in this building in a long time. That was a big win for us,” Nowitzki said of the victory.

“In the first half, we didn’t defend very well. We knew we were going to play better in the second half,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle added. “The guys hung in and fought through a lot of things in the first half. We showed a lot of guts. They’re a good team. Even without some of their good players, it’s a tough place to play. It was a heck of a win for us.”

Scoring 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting, Nowitzki led five Mavericks in double figures. Off the bench, Wright added 17 points. Meanwhile, Dalembert followed up his 18-point, eight-rebound night against Cleveland with 14 points to match Monta Ellis, adding 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. Carter also pitched in 13 points and seven assists in a reserve role as the Mavs ended the game with a 56-32 scoring advantage in the paint.

“It was just great to see us moving the ball that way,” Carter said. “The guys that we wanted to get the shots were getting shots, but I think more so than anything defensively we were getting stops and getting down the floor and getting easy layups. It’s tough when you get in halfcourt against this team, because you have to work for it. So, it was big.”

Randolph led five Grizzlies (26-22) in double figures with 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting, pulling down nine rebounds to boot. But the Mavericks slightly outshot the Grizzlies, 53.8 percent to 53.6 percent, adding a 35-32 rebounding edge and 17 points off Memphis’ 17 turnovers.

“It’s big for us. We considered them one of the hottest teams right now and they’re very effective on the glass, so we knew it was a challenge for us on the offensive and defensive glass. I think we did a great job of it tonight, and it was very important to do so,” Carter concluded.

“We haven’t won in this building in a long time, so this is a very good win for us,” Nowitzki added. “I love that everybody contributed either on defense, rebounding or scoring. This was a great team effort. And really to get 50 points in the paint on them is impressive. It means we were driving the ball and we were sharing. … Anytime we hold our own on the boards and almost double them on the points in the paint, that’s a fantastic job for us.”

Note: The Mavs will now return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Utah Jazz. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 103-93 home victory back on Nov. 22. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Dallas Mavericks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Shawn Marion, F333-62-30-002213012-58
Dirk Nowitzki, F3410-143-43-4066320211426
Samuel Dalembert, C236-100-02-3641000014-414
Monta Ellis, G395-161-33-424642122414
Jose Calderon, G312-91-40-00114002135
Vince Carter245-81-22-2112700122213
Devin Harris161-30-21-301130021113
DeJuan Blair92-20-02-20221022446
Jae Crowder92-20-00-00110000164
Brandan Wright186-80-05-7224100021517
Wayne Ellington00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Gal Mekel00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
42-788-1818-2511243524731320 110
53.8%44.4%72.0%
Memphis Grizzlies
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Tayshaun Prince, F230-30-20-004420000-100
Zach Randolph, F4010-160-05-827940123-1225
Marc Gasol, C373-60-06-813452064-812
Courtney Lee, G3910-152-40-032541115-1122
Nick Calathes, G416-122-42-223553065-1016
Kosta Koufos72-30-00-00110100164
Darius Morris70-10-10-000010011-60
James Johnson256-112-43-401110413-1217
Mike Miller70-10-10-00001000110
Jon Leuer90-10-00-003310000-80
Tony Allen00-00-00-00000000000
Mike Conley00-00-00-00000000000
Ed Davis00-00-00-00000000000
Jamaal Franklin00-00-00-00000000000
Quincy Pondexter00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
37-696-1616-228243224761723 96
53.6%37.5%72.7%

Practice Report: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki comments on the groove he's feeling right now, how the team is approaching the schedule heading into the All-Star break, Wednesday night's matchup against the Grizzlies and more.

 

Practice Report: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion says he is ready to go against Memphis Wednesday night, identifies the keys to victory and more.

MEMPHIS — Despite ranking just 28th in the NBA while averaging 39.9 rebounds a game as a team, the Dallas Mavericks are confident that they’ll hold their own on the boards Wednesday in Memphis.

Facing the Southwest Division rival Grizzlies (26-21) for a third time, the Mavericks (28-21) will try to seize the season series after two double-digit wins at home. In order to do so, however, the Mavericks know they’ll have to rebound well against a rugged Memphis team that features a frontcourt of reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and big man Zach Randolph.

“We’ve done some better things in the last week to 10 days on the boards,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of his team’s recent effort in the rebounding department. “We’re blocking out better. Tonight’s going to be an ultimate challenge for it, though. We’ll see where we are, but we’ve been seeing a lot of very good rebounding teams. Now, we’re probably seeing the best. This is a heightened challenge, so it’s good.”

The Mavs come off a somewhat dominant performance on the glass Monday, finishing with a 45-31 rebounding advantage en route to a 124-107 home win over Cleveland. However, even with the expected return of leading rebounder Shawn Marion after he missed two games with a sore right shoulder, the Mavericks know they’ll have to make even more of an effort on the glass against the Grizzlies, out-rebounded 94-87 combined in the two previous meetings with Memphis this season.

“I think we’ve recommitted to it,” backup big man Brandan Wright said. “We’ve made an emphasis on boxing out and collecting those rebounds, and we’ve also made an emphasis on offensive rebounds. … We’ve just got play. We know we’ve got to rebound well, but we have to rebound well every game. You know, if you get crushed on the boards, you’re usually going to lose the game. We either have to be even or we have to win in order to win this game, and I think we’ll do well.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action Wednesday night in Memphis, taking on the Southwest Division rival Grizzlies. Dallas leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Utah Jazz. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 103-93 home victory back on Nov. 22. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

MEMPHIS — After storming through their homestand with a 3-1 mark, the Dallas Mavericks will now try to create some separation between themselves and the Memphis Grizzlies in the Western Conference standings.

Claiming two home wins over Memphis earlier in the season, the Mavericks (28-21) will now try to increase their one-game lead over the Grizzlies (26-21) for the eighth spot in the West playoff picture. The Mavs will also go for their third straight win overall Wednesday, looking to seize the season series over their Southwest Division rival in what could prove to be a pivotal tiebreaker come playoff time.

“We’ve got our hands full,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of Wednesday’s matchup. “Memphis is playing great. … Since Marc [Gasol] is back, they’ve been playing phenomenal. I said once they get healthy they’re going to make a run at the playoffs, and that’s exactly what they’re doing. I think Courtney Lee is a nice addition for them, so we’ve got our hands full Wednesday.”

Despite their improved health, the Grizzlies are expected to take the floor without starting point guard Mike Conley as he continues to battle an ankle injury. Still, the Memphis team had won 11 of 12 before its six-game winning streak ended in Oklahoma City Monday following an 86-77 loss.

The Mavericks sprinted to a 111-99 home win over the Grizzlies back on Nov. 2 and a 105-91 victory at American Airlines Center on Dec. 18. However, the Mavs have dropped eight of their last 10 trips to Memphis.

Meanwhile, the Mavs hope to welcome back four-time All-Star Shawn Marion to the lineup, after the versatile forward missed the last two games due to a sore right shoulder. And with their leading rebounder and top perimeter defender expected to be available, the visiting Dallas team will try to surge a season-best eight games over .500.

“It’s big right now,” Marion said of Wednesday’s matchup. “This is going to be our third time playing them, so we’ve beat them twice already. It’s going to go down (to the end of the season) for a lot of these teams that’s from the third or fourth seed all the way down, and it could shift till the end of the season. You never know what can play out. But, at the same time, all of them count. All the games are big right now at this point, regardless of who it is.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action Wednesday night in Memphis, taking on the Southwest Division rival Grizzlies. Dallas leads the season series 2-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Utah Jazz. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 103-93 home victory back on Nov. 22. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Practice Report: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion says he is ready to go against Memphis Wednesday night, identifies the keys to victory and more.