Mavericks vs. PistonsThe Mavs kicked off their road trip with back-to-back wins after pulling past the Pistons Saturday night, 113-102.
AUBURN HILLS, MI — Unsatisfied with their performance Friday night while beginning a three-game road trip with a 124-112 win in Philadelphia, the Dallas Mavericks returned to the hardwood 24 hours later with their eyes on another victory.
Committing a season-high 25 total turnovers in Friday’s win, the Mavericks tried to correct those mistakes and miscues while taking the court on the second night of a back-to-back against the Detroit Pistons. The Mavs also attempted to continue their recent dominance over the Pistons, looking to duplicate a 116-106 home victory back on Jan. 26 to make it nine wins in the previous 10 matchups of the series.
Mavs vs. Pistons - Feb. 22, 2014
“We were able to see some good things out there,” forward Shawn Marion said as the Mavs cut their turnovers down to 14. “We were moving the ball and we were playing some great team ball out there all around, helping each other on defense and offense.”
Finishing the 2012-13 campaign with Detroit after a mid-season trade from Toronto, Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon aggressively looked for his own shot against his former team from the opening tipoff. However, the Pistons (23-33) would take advantage of a rare back-to-back on their home floor, continuing the momentum of Friday’s 115-107 win over Atlanta into the first quarter.
But, behind the scoring duo of 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and sixth man Vince Carter, the Mavericks would hold their own, taking a 29-27 edge into the second stanza.
Led by the play of the Dallas reserves, the Mavericks began to create a separation on the scoreboard early in the second quarter. Pistons forward Josh Smith then did his best to keep his team within an arm’s reach, but would be countered by Carter and Calderon at the other end of the floor as the Mavs claimed a double-digit lead.
Meanwhile, starting shooting guard Monta Ellis operated as the lead facilitator, dishing out 11 first-half assists as the Mavericks took a 64-54 advantage into the intermission.
Overcoming Smith’s 24 first-half points on 11-of-13 shooting, the Mavericks claimed the 10-point lead through two quarters by outshooting the Pistons, 54.5 percent to 52.2 percent. The Mavs also overcame their seven turnovers, which led to 10 Detroit points, one night after allowing 34 points off 25 giveaways.
With Nowitzki back on the attack following his 13-point first half, the Mavericks continued to keep the Pistons at a safe distance in the third quarter. Marion and starting center Samuel Dalembert then lent Nowitzki some assistance, moving into double figures themselves during the period.
But Smith would continue his assault on the Dallas defense, forcing a timeout by Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle with 5:13 left in the third following a thunderous dunk to make it a 75-69 score. Nowitzki then kept the home team at bay the rest of the quarter, lifting the Mavs to an 88-82 edge entering the fourth.
“Look, they’re a potent team and they threw a 41-point third quarter at Atlanta last night and were down 10 or 11 at halftime last night,” Carlisle explained. “Same type of situation, and I think they were making a run in the third and we did a pretty good job of not letting them get too much momentum.”
After seeing the Pistons charge within four early in the final period, Carter rejoined the scoring with a 3-pointer from the wing. Nowitzki followed suit, draining another triple after the Pistons again climbed within four. Reserve guard Devin Harris then tallied three points the more conventional way, driving for an and-one score to put the Mavs up 101-92 with 7:30 left to play.
Ellis took it from there, aggressively getting to the rim as he transitioned from facilitator to scorer to put the Pistons away down the stretch.
Scoring 24 points on 9-of-19 shooting, Nowitzki led six Dallas scorers in double figures. Carter added 18 points, six rebounds and five assists off the bench, while Ellis finished with 12 points and 13 assists in the first unit. Dalembert also scored 12 points and Marion pitched in 10 points, matching each other with 11 rebounds apiece to record double-doubles. Meanwhile, Calderon registered 11 points at the point.
“It helps when you’re not turning the ball over, plain and simple,” Carter said of the offensive success. “We can score and we get the job done when we’re efficient and we take care of the ball. … We were just sharing the ball and I think guys were finding the open man. Guys were making shots, but we were just making plays for each other.”
“I thought offensively we kept attacking,” Nowitzki added. “It’s not like we had a great night defensively. I mean, they scored over 100, but offensively we’ve been really great on this trip. We moved the ball fantastic and had over 30 assists again. I thought Monta’s floor game was phenomenal tonight – just getting everybody involved. They trapped him of the screen-and-roll, and he found the open guy. And in the fourth quarter they didn’t trap him anymore, and that’s when he got in the lane and basically took the game over for us. I thought he was really patient, he played a great floor game and really in the fourth won the game for us.”
Scoring a game-high 32 points on 14-of-20 shooting, Smith led three Pistons in double figures, but the Mavs’ 48.9 percent shooting just bettered the Pistons’ 48.8 percent. The Mavericks also collected a 50-39 rebounding advantage while forcing 12 Detroit turnovers, which led to 15 points at the other end.
“If you’re a plus on rebounds and you do a decent job on turnovers, you’ve got a good chance against these guys,” Carlisle concluded. “We did both of those things, so it’s good execution and (games) are going to keep getting harder from here.”
Note: The Mavs will now conclude their three-game road trip, touching down in New York for Monday’s matchup against the Knicks. New York leads the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavericks a 92-80 home loss back on Jan. 5. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Wednesday night, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. Dallas leads the season series 3-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
|Shawn Marion, F||30||10||2||1||0||11||7||4||0||2||9||5-12||0-3||0-0|
|Dirk Nowitzki, F||30||24||1||0||0||4||4||0||1||4||0||9-19||2-7||4-4|
|Samuel Dalembert, C||24||12||1||0||3||11||5||6||2||1||14||6-9||0-0||0-3|
|Monta Ellis, G||37||12||13||3||0||1||1||0||2||2||9||5-9||0-0||2-2|
|Jose Calderon, G||29||11||4||1||0||4||4||0||4||2||9||4-8||2-4||1-2|
|Josh Smith, F||38||32||3||1||3||3||3||0||4||2||-2||14-20||1-1||3-4|
|Greg Monroe, F||39||17||2||0||2||17||13||4||2||2||-9||7-13||0-0||3-6|
|Andre Drummond, C||19||8||0||1||1||3||2||1||0||5||-7||3-6||0-0||2-4|
|Kyle Singler, G||33||7||2||3||0||5||4||1||1||0||-4||3-8||1-3||0-2|
|Brandon Jennings, G||29||2||3||0||0||1||1||0||1||1||-14||1-7||0-3||0-0|
Mavericks vs. Pistons: First HalfAt halftime, Dirk Nowitzki (13 points) and Vince Carter (12 points) are pushing the Mavericks out to a 64-54 lead over the Pistons.
AUBURN HILLS, MI — After handling the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers, the Dallas Mavericks will try to continue their recent road success.
Taking advantage of a Philly team that was playing with the league-minimum eight players available following a bevy of deals at the trade deadline, the Mavericks (33-23) battled their way through some resistance while sprinting to a 124-112 victory Friday night. However, after committing a season-high 25 turnovers and surrendering 34 points off the miscues at the other end of the floor for the 76ers, the Mavs admit that they will have to take better care of the ball as they continue their current three-game road trip.
“I credit our guys for hanging in,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said following Friday’s win. “It’s a mentally-challenging game with how young and fast and hard those guys were playing. [The 76ers] make a lot of things happen. But we hung in and got the win, which was great, and we’ve got to keep going forward.”
“It doesn’t really matter how you feel. It’s a win in this league,” 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki added after leading the way with a team-high 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting. “I’ve played man-down teams after a trade before and we lost, so at least it’s a win and we’re 1-0 on this trip. And that’s really all that matters. Yeah, we could have done better in certain areas, we could have gotten a win a little easier, but that’s not what matters. We’ve got a game (Saturday) and I don’t think anybody played crazy minutes, so we should be ready to go against Detroit.”
Just 24 hours later, however, a new challenge awaits as the Mavs make the second stop on their voyage away from home Saturday at Detroit. And while taking on the Pistons (23-32) for a second time this season, the Mavs hope to capture yet another win away from home, entering the night with four wins in their last five road contests.
While the Mavs hope to solve their turnover woes, they’ll also try to continue Friday’s red-hot shooting, after connecting on 62.3 percent against the Sixers’ defense. The Mavericks will attempt to continue their dominance over the Pistons as well, winning nine of the last 10 in the series following a 116-106 home victory back on Jan. 26.
Note: The Mavs will now make the second stop on their three-game road trip, touching down in Detroit for Saturday’s showdown against the Pistons. Dallas leads the season series 1-0 after a 116-106 home win back on Jan. 26. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center next Wednesday night, hosting the New Orleans Pelicans. Dallas leads the season series 3-0. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.