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Game 1: Mavs vs. Hawks presented-by-bbva-2 Subscribe via RSS

Postgame: Monta Ellis

Mavs G Monta Ellis weighs in on his 32-point performance Wednesday against the Hawks, how much he likes playing alongside Dirk Nowitzki and more.

DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks basketball is officially back.

With eight exhibition games behind them and the preseason in the books, the Mavericks stepped onto their home hardwood at American Airlines Center ready for the real test Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks. And if it is a sign of things to come this upcoming season then the Mavericks (1-0) may indeed be back in a big way, grounding the Hawks and claiming a season-opening 118-109 victory.

“This score is not indicative of the competive aspect of the game,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of his team’s runaway victory. “We got hot at the right time, and our guys did a great job of putting themselves in a position to do that. But this was a hard-fought win.”

One week after downing a short-handed Hawks squad with a 98-88 exhibition win at home, the Mavs looked to replicate that performance in the opening quarter. Behind 11-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki they were well on their way from the opening tipoff, sprinting to a 9-2 advantage to start the game. New addition Monta Ellis then joined the act, boosting the Mavericks to a double-digit lead in the early going before sliding into the second stanza with a 33-28 edge.

After leading by as much as 10 in the first period powered by Ellis’ 11 points in the quarter, Carlisle handed the game over to his reserves alongside Nowitzki. The scoring responsibilities then fell in sixth man Vince Carter’s lap as the eight-time All-Star provided instant scoring off the bench.

But the Hawks (0-1) would rally with a 7-0 spurt to tie the game at 47-all, forcing a timeout by Carlisle with 4:36 remaining in the half. Atlanta then escaped into the halftime intermission with a 55-53 margin under its belt.

Despite a combined 39 points from the trio of Ellis, Nowitzki and Carter, the Mavs found themselves on the downside of the scoreboard at the midway mark while outshooting the Hawks, 50 percent to 48.7 percent. The Mavs’ 10 first-half turnovers also led into their early demise, while the Hawks capitalized with 12 points at the other end.

“There was a wave of turnovers. We had six in the second quarter that hurt us, and so that’s an adjustment we’ve got to make,” Carlisle said of his team’s miscues.

Back-to-back jumpers to open the third quarter by Ellis and Nowitzki would breathe life back into the Mavs coming out of the locker room. An empathic slam by four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion off the feed from point guard Jose Calderon also got the hometown fans out of their seats, before the eight-year floor general then found Carter above the rim for the alley-oop connection.

Carter and Ellis then led a 12-0 Dallas run to regain control on the scoreboard prior to lifting the Mavs into the final quarter ahead 86-79.

Not easily vanquished, the Hawks refused to go away in the final 12 minutes of play. A 3-pointer by Nowitzki, however, kept the visiting team at a safe distance while putting the Mavs up 92-86.

An Ellis-led 10-2 run midway through the quarter would put the Mavs back up double digits from there.

“I just took what the defense gave me,” a modest Ellis would later say. “If they sagged off, I took one or two dribbles and pulled up. If they stayed with me then I got past them, attacked the basket and got to the free-throw line. When they closed in I was able to find shooters. That’s what Coach [Carlisle] wanted me to do, so I did it.”

Calderon then transformed from facilitator to scorer, putting the Mavs up 107-97 with a 3-pointer from the wing. The Mavs pulled away for good from that point as Calderon fed his 10th assist of the night to Marion prior to back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers from Nowitzki and Ellis to take a 118-102 lead with just 1:18 on the clock.

Carlisle rested Nowitzki the rest of the way as his teammates finished off the win.

“I feel like we were shooting the ball well all night and we were sharing it, but really didn’t get the stops we needed to get a little separation. They kept fighting, kept making plays, and they hung around. We lost plenty of games that way last year, and there in the fourth quarter we finally got a couple stops and kept making shots to kind of put them away,” Nowitzki concluded.

Playing just over 36 minutes and leading the way to the win in his Dallas debut, Ellis overcame his seven turnovers and scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting, adding four rebounds and eight assists to fill up the stat sheet.

“Man, I’ve loved my team since the day I signed,” Ellis said after becoming the first Mav to score at least 30 points in a season opener since Nowitzki in 2009.

He added: “I think we’ve put a great group of guys together. We came out and played Mavs basketball. We played together, made some mistakes, but we stuck with it.”

Nowitzki added 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting and 4-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc. Carter, meanwhile, pitched in 21 points off the bench and Marion was the only other Mav in double figures with 12 points and eight rebounds. Calderon also registered up 11 assists to overcome a 1-of-7 shooting night.

Jeff Teague led five Hawks in double figures with 24 points on 7-of-13 shooting, but the Mavs’ 57.1 percent shooting as a team bettered the Hawks’ 48.7 percent at the other end. Dallas  connected on 7-of-8 shooting from behind the 3-point arc in the fourth quarter as well, finishing the night 11-of-24 from long range. The Mavericks also overcame the 26 points they surrendered off their 20 turnovers, finishing the night with a 42-33 rebounding advantage.

“I think we’re trying so hard, ’cause we know we have the ability to score a lot of different ways and we’re just trying to be unselfish,” Carter said of the giveaways. “It’s going to come with time and just making the right plays at the right moment. I think we got it under control in the second half.”

“It’s definitely a big win to start out at home with nine new guys,” Nowitzki added. “We’ll definitely take it, but we’ve got some stuff to work on.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action Friday night on the road against the Houston Rockets. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.

On the second night of a back-to-back, the team returns to American Airlines Center to take on the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Atlanta Hawks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
DeMarre Carroll, F343-72-46-816713021-1914
Paul Millsap, F359-150-22-423531124-720
Al Horford, C315-120-01-214535431-1411
Kyle Korver, G353-91-41-105532001-128
Jeff Teague, G347-131-49-1202294063-2424
Mike Scott70-10-00-001100024-30
Dennis Schroder182-51-20-004450023105
Elton Brand134-50-00-00000000018
Cartier Martin164-83-76-611211003717
Pero Antic70-10-10-00220000050
Shelvin Mack40-00-02-200020000112
Gustavo Ayon00-00-00-00000000000
Jared Cunningham00-00-00-00000000000
John Jenkins00-00-00-00000000000
Louis Williams00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
37-768-2427-3552833271651720 109
48.7%33.3%77.1%
Dallas Mavericks
PLAYER MIN FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
Shawn Marion, F306-90-10-2088121221112
Dirk Nowitzki, F338-144-64-4044500141824
Samuel Dalembert, C262-40-00-01890011134
Monta Ellis, G3611-172-38-8044820731432
Jose Calderon, G341-71-52-202211104345
Vince Carter259-162-51-204421023-621
DeJuan Blair214-50-01-25050001369
Wayne Ellington132-41-31-21230100136
Gal Mekel80-00-02-202230021-22
Jae Crowder91-11-10-001110001-63
Devin Harris00-00-00-00000000000
Bernard James00-00-00-00000000000
Shane Larkin00-00-00-00000000000
Ricky Ledo00-00-00-00000000000
Brandan Wright00-00-00-00000000000
TOTALS FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF   PTS
44-7711-2419-247354231722022 118
57.1%45.8%79.2%

Shootaround: Jae Crowder

Mavs F Jae Crowder dishes on Wednesday night's season opener against the Hawks, slimming down during the offseason, his role as a defensive stopper and more.

DALLAS — There were feelings of anxiousness and excitement at American Airlines Center as the Dallas Mavericks stepped onto the hardwood Wednesday morning in preparation for their season opener.

Before welcoming in the visiting Atlanta Hawks to tip off the regular season, the Mavericks went through their last morning walkthrough as a team. The Mavs will now try to sprint to a victory in front of their hometown fans while attempting to establish an early-season home-court advantage.

“It’s the official start of the season. You know, I think this is when it all counts,” four-time All-Star Shawn Marion said before taking the court to begin his 15th NBA season.

“This is 15. It feels like just yesterday I was starting my first one,” he added. “But it goes by so fast, it’s just here and there. … I think all of them are exciting and all of them are new. It’s just a thrill and it’s exciting just because it’s starting all over again. You get a clean slate. Everybody has the same slate, and you’ve just got to go from the jump to the last man standing.”

The Mavericks hope that they are the last team left standing at season’s end, but for now coach Rick Carlisle is instilling in his team a process-oriented mentality while taking the 82-game schedule one day at a time. And although he knows his team will have to fight its fair share of emotions during the first game, Carlisle says he will make sure that the Mavs don’t get too far ahead of themselves while trying to return the franchise to the playoffs after missing out following a 41-41 record.

“It’s one game,” the coach said while downplaying the excitement for the season opener. “If you win, you’re tied for first. And if you lose, you know, you’ve got to fight back uphill, so it’s important for everybody. Everybody wants to get off to a good start. That’s kind of a given. But for us, it’s a better idea to talk about process and what we need to do to be successful, rather than what the potential results might be.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center when they open up the regular season Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. CT and $1 hot dogs and sodas be available for purchase until 6:30 p.m. The game will air locally on Fox Sports at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

DALLAS — After a bevy of summer signings and a near-complete roster shakeup, the new-look Dallas Mavericks will finally step onto the hardwood for a meaningful game when the Atlanta Hawks invade American Airlines Center for the season opener Wednesday night.

With nine new faces on the roster, the Mavericks will attempt to quickly jell on the fly during a daunting first month of the season. The Mavs will also look to build off a 4-4 record in exhibition play, before trying to return the franchise back to the postseason.

“I’ve seen teams go 0-8 during the preseason and have a (heck) of a year during the season,” four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion said. “But also I’ve seen teams go 0-8 during the preseason and have a (bad) year. I think it all coincides.”

He added: “You don’t know if you’re a contender until you actually make the postseason. It’s a lot of teams that look good on paper, but once they get into the season it goes from sugar to (sour), so it’s just a matter of going out there and getting it done. We’ve still got to get it done. At the end of the day everybody feels like they can win a championship. But who really can, though?”

The Mavs hope they’re the answer to that question at season’s end, but the team’s eventual fate may also be tied to the health of 11-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki.

Last season, while playing the first 27 games without their go-to scorer and franchise player, the Mavericks would get off to a 12-15 start after Nowitzki was forced to watch in street clothes following arthroscopic knee surgery in the preseason. The 7-footer would go on to miss a career-high 29 total outings before recapturing his All-Star form shortly before the conclusion of the season.

Now, the 35-year-old hopes that a summer of strength and conditioning helps himself and his squad get off to a fast start during a difficult first month of the season that features six back-to-backs.

“It was a tough year for me last year, you know, preparing all summer and then needing surgery and starting from scratch. That was tough,” Nowitzki said as he attempts to put the injury-riddled season out of his mind. “I never had to do that before right into the season, so I struggled for a long time. But I’m looking forward to this year and to having a good year. I put in a lot of work in the summer, and we’ve worked extremely hard the last four weeks now in eight preseason games. I think we’re as ready as we can be, and it’s time that we see what this team’s got.

“We’ve got a tough schedule in November. We all know that. A lot of back-to-backs, and it feels like we play every Friday and Saturday for the whole month. We’ve got a lot of tough teams, so we’ve got to be ready.”

Against an Atlanta team that sat its starters when the two squads squared off one week prior to the opener in a 98-88 Dallas win, the Mavs hope to take the court clicking on all cylinders. In order to do so, however, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle knows that his cast of new characters will have to play as a collective unit if the Mavs are going to claim a victory.

“Right now, you know, our focus is on how we come together as a team on Opening Night and how we stick together when things get tough in the first game, because they will get tough, and concentrate on the simple things,” the coach explained. “You know, concentrate, play defense, rebound and be aggressive on offense while taking care of the ball. That’s really where it’s at.”

And if the Mavs can do so, they may be on their way to another playoff run.

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center when they open up the regular season Wednesday night against the Atlanta Hawks. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. CT and $1 hot dogs and sodas be available for purchase until 6:30 p.m. The game will air locally on Fox Sports at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.

Dirk Nowitzki has played 39,975 minutes and needs 25 minutes for 40,000 in his career. He will become the 27th player in NBA history to log 40,000-plus minutes in the regular season.

Vince Carter looking to continue 3-point streak in 2013-14:

Carter made at least one 3-pointer in each of the final 25 games of the 2012-13 campaign (at Brooklyn 3/1/13-vs. New Orleans 4/17/13). It was his longest streak with a least one 3-point basket over a single season (previous high: 16 straight games from 12/10/10-1/22/11 and 16 straight from 12/31/01-1/16/02). In fact, prior to his run to end the 2012-13 season, Carter’s longest streak with at least one 3-point basket (over multiple seasons/any span) was 23 consecutive games from 3/30/00-11/23/00. He looks to extend his streak to 26 with a 3-pointer in Wednesday’s season opener against Atlanta.

Jose Calderon enters the 2013-14 season with 499 steals, needing just one for 500 in his career.

2 comments
joyresurreccion74
joyresurreccion74

The Mavs still have a lot of work ahead, but this was a good win!