Game 11: Mavs vs. 76ers

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Postgame: Shane Larkin

Mavs G Shane Larkin talks about his first game in the NBA, how it felt to have his family in the stands, what coach expects of him going forward and more.

DALLAS — After suffering an injury before ever playing his first NBA game, Dallas Mavericks rookie first-rounder Shane Larkin made his long-awaited professional debut Monday night.

Battling back from offseason ankle surgery, the No. 18 pick in June’s draft was active for the first time this season as the Mavericks began a three-game homestand against the Philadelphia 76ers. Meanwhile, the Mavs tried to move to 5-0 at home for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign, looking to build off Saturday night’s 108-100 win in Orlando.

And with Larkin seeing limited action in his first outing, the Mavericks (7-4) would come off their home hardwood with a hard-fought win, using a second-half rally to claim a 97-94 victory.

“It was like a dream come true. A lot of nerves, anxiousness and butterflies. All those things were built up inside of me,” the young point guard said of his first NBA action. “It was a good feeling. I think it was pretty good. No turnovers, that was the big thing. I kept the offense going, played pretty good defense … and we got the win. That’s the biggest thing. Hopefully I can keep on building and become a solid player for the team.”

After using the same starting lineup for the first 10 games of the season, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle surprisingly made a change to his first unit, sitting center Sam Dalembert and going small with second-year standout Jae Crowder moving from his reserve role. But both teams would get off to a slow start, combining to miss the first 12 shots of the night.

Playing without rookie standout Michael Carter-Williams (bruised left arch), the 76ers (5-7) then surged in front with an 8-0 run to open the scoring, before 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki restored order following a 0-for-8 start to the night by the Mavs. Larkin would then check in with 1:01 left in the opening period, collecting a steal and connecting on a free throw before the Mavs found themselves down three, 21-18, after the first 12 minutes of play.

“We were a little sloppy coming from a day off yesterday and that’s how we looked today,” Nowitzki confessed. “They lost by over 30 last game, and they came out really taking it to us. And we weren’t quite ready. We had to fight back a little bit, but the good thing is we were right back in it after a couple of minutes.”

After a 7-for-20 shooting period in the first, the Mavericks tried to come out quickly in the second stanza. But despite Nowitzki’s best efforts the Sixers would force a timeout by Carlisle with the home team in a 30-23 hole as 9:03 remained in the first half.

The visiting team would take the lead into double digits from there, before a Monta Ellis-led rally brought the Mavs within four, 47-43, entering the halftime intermission.

Led by Nowitzki’s 13 points on 5-of-7 from the field, the Mavericks outshot the 76ers through two quarters, 43.2 percent to 39.2 percent. But, after committing just 10 turnovers for the game against the Magic, the Mavs matched that number in the first half while surrendering 12 points off their giveaways.

Making the adjustment with Dalembert back in the first unit to start the second half, Carlisle would quickly see his team tie the game at 53-all as Nowitzki found Ellis on the wing for a 3-pointer. But again the Sixers would separate themselves on the scoreboard led by swingman Evan Turner, only to see sixth man Vince Carter’s rejection of Hollis Thompson lead to four-time All-Star Shawn Marion’s breakaway slam for the Mavs’ first advantage of the night at 70-69 with 1:44 left in the third.

Ellis then led the Mavs into the final quarter with a 74-71 edge under their belt.

After a 3-pointer by Carter set the stage for the fourth, Larkin unselfishly fed Crowder for a slam on the break to force a Philadelphia timeout with 10:38 remaining. Larkin then went in for the hoop himself for the first basket in his young career with 9:15 still on the clock.

Ellis took matters from there, scoring with an array of moves to the basket before dishing out his ninth assist to Dalembert for a slam to go up 88-81. After the Sixers charged within three, point guard Jose Calderon then stepped in with a timely 3-pointer prior to a technical foul on Turner for arguing with officials.

Marion’s slam in transition to make it a 96-87 game with 2:06 remaining then served as the exclamation point on the win before the Mavs held off a late Philly rally.

Coming on strong in the second half, Ellis led the Mavs to the victory while scoring 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out 10 assists to boot.

“We’ve got so many guys that can score, and my main thing is attack and make plays for not only myself but for others,”  a modest Ellis explained. “We’ve got so many scorers and shooters on this team that the spacing is so wide open it makes the game much easier for me.”

Nowitzki also matched Marion’s 20 points while collecting 10 rebounds, recording his 376th career double-double and first of the season. Calderon added 14 points in the first unit.

Meanwhile, Larkin scored three points, dished out three assists and came away with three steals in his debut after putting in just over eight minutes of work.

“He looked good,” Nowitzki said of his young teammate. “I thought he tried to play within himself and don’t do anything he can’t do. … It’s early and this was his first game. He didn’t play summer league under NBA rules and he’s got a lot of catching up to do, but he definitely has potential.”

“I thought he did very well considering it was his first live action in a real game. And we’ve had a tough 10 days to try to get him ready, because we haven’t had a lot of practice time,” Carlisle added while praising the rookie’s debut. “This is the beginning of a process, but I like what he did.”

Turner led five Philly players in double figures with 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting, adding nine rebounds and seven assists. The 76ers also converted Dallas’ 21 turnovers into 22 points, giving the ball away just 12 times themselves for 11 points at the other end. But the Mavs outshot the Sixers on the night, 43.6 percent to 38.4 percent, battling to a 53-all rebounding stalemate led by Dalembert’s 14 boards off the bench.

“You know, I’ll take it. They always ain’t going to be pretty, but a win is a win in this league,” Marion concluded.

“I didn’t like the matchups to start the game,” Carlisle confessed, “but we didn’t play well and they played harder than us. I felt starting the second half we needed the length. Sam came in and we were having trouble rebounding. The lineup to start the game didn’t work out, but we just had to keep searching. And by the time the game was over we had played 11 guys, and everybody that played contributed. This is a survival-type game. We did what we had to do to win, and it was just a difficult game as we knew it would be.”

Note: The Mavs continue their three-game homestand Wednesday night against the Houston Rockets. The Rockets lead the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavs a 113-105 road loss on Nov. 1. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting


All Stats

E. Turner, F 36 10-22 2-4 4-6 2 7 9 7 0 0 4 3 9 26
T. Young, F 30 6-18 0-0 0-0 5 6 11 3 3 0 2 5 7 12
S. Hawes, C 36 4-11 1-3 1-2 1 10 11 4 1 3 0 2 9 10
J. Anderson, G 41 5-13 3-7 1-2 3 4 7 3 3 1 0 1 2 14
T. Wroten, G 36 8-17 0-4 3-9 1 2 3 3 5 0 4 3 -1 19
H. Thompson 18 0-3 0-2 0-0 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 3 -17 0
L. Allen 11 2-5 0-0 2-2 4 0 4 1 0 0 2 1 -11 6
D. Morris 11 1-5 0-1 1-1 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 -2 3
B. Davies 17 2-5 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 0 0 0 0 2 -11 4
K. Brown 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Carter-Williams 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Moultrie 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Noel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Orton 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Richardson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   38-99 6-21 12-22 18 35 53 24 12 4 12 22   94
    38.4% 28.6%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 34 7-13 2-3 4-4 2 5 7 1 2 2 2 3 -1 20
D. Nowitzki, F 32 8-15 1-5 3-3 0 10 10 3 1 1 3 2 3 20
J. Crowder, C 19 1-8 0-5 0-0 0 6 6 2 0 1 3 1 -2 2
M. Ellis, G 39 7-14 1-2 9-13 1 3 4 10 0 2 4 1 2 24
J. Calderon, G 32 5-13 4-10 0-0 1 2 3 4 1 0 2 3 -2 14
D. Blair 7 0-1 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 1 0 0 1 4 -3 0
V. Carter 24 2-5 1-3 1-2 0 4 4 2 1 2 2 2 12 6
G. Mekel 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 -1 0
S. Dalembert 27 3-6 0-0 2-2 5 9 14 0 0 3 1 1 1 8
S. Larkin 8 1-3 0-1 1-2 0 0 0 3 3 0 0 2 -3 3
B. James 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 9 0
W. Ellington 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Harris 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R. Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B. Wright 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   34-78 9-29 20-26 10 43 53 26 8 11 20 20   97
    43.6% 31.0%                      

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DALLAS — Despite welcoming in a team coming off of a 37-point loss, the Dallas Mavericks aren’t overlooking their opponent Monday night while trying to remain unbeaten at home.

Facing a Philadelphia team that’s looking to spit out the sourness of a 135-98 loss in New Orleans on Saturday night, the Mavericks (6-4) will try to assert themselves early. They’ll also attempt to show plenty of respect for Philadelphia’s ability to put the ball in the basket, as the 76ers (5-6) enter Monday’s matchup 10th in the NBA in scoring while putting up 104.5 points an outing.

“Well, we’ve just got to have the right disposition and posture and demeanor tonight,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle confessed after his team’s Monday morning shootaround. “They’ve beaten two or three teams that we’ve lost to, so we’ve got a lot of respect for what they’ve done. They play extremely hard, they generate pace, they’ve got a lot of guys that can shoot it, they’ve got guys that attack the paint, and so we’re going to be in a stance all night and we’ve got to make them come through us. It’s going to be a challenging game.

“We’ve got to take care of this tonight, and this is going to be challenging. This a different kind of team than we’ve played, and we’re going to have to really be right.”

One player hoping to get his chance at helping the Mavs move to 5-0 at home is rookie point guard Shane Larkin, who appears to be nearing a return to the floor as he anxiously awaits his professional debut after offseason ankle surgery.

Since returning to full-contract practice on Nov. 4, Larkin has gradually moved closer to game action. And with the Mavericks beginning a stretch of seven out of the next nine games at American Airlines Center, the cat-quick guard could finally give the Dallas fans a glimpse into the future.

“It may be today. It may be on Wednesday. Maybe Friday. I’ve just got to talk to the trainer. Whenever they give me the OK is when I’ll go,” Larkin explained. “I feel good. After the first practice it was sore, but I’ve practiced a couple of times since then, so my ankle is getting back to the pounding. I’m feeling good.

“I’m really anxious. It’s been a long time coming. It’s been my life-long dream just to play in the NBA. I’m here now practicing. Now, the next step is to play in an NBA game.”

Note: The Mavs return to Dallas for the start of a three-game homestand Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. 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


DALLAS — Not since beginning the 2007-08 campaign by winning their first six home games have the Dallas Mavericks gotten off to such a hot start on their own hardwood, beginning this season 4-0 at American Airlines Center.

After seizing a 108-100 road victory Saturday in Orlando to complete their fourth back-to-back in November, the Mavericks (6-4) will now try to continue that dominance at home Monday night, facing the Philadelphia 76ers to start a three-game homestand.

“You know, it’s a huge swing between 5-5 and 6-4. We’ve got a winning record going home for three games now,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after the Mavs outlasted the Magic.

“It’s very important,” newcomer DeJuan Blair added of the Mavs’ unbeaten start at home. “That keeps the fans coming and keeps them excited. That keeps us going. You know, [the fans] help us out a lot here, and it’s going to be some tough games and tough teams here, but we’ve just got to keep going, keep playing and let our game speak for itself. I think it’s a real good thing when we can win at home and win on the road. Obviously, that’s going to make everything that much better. So, if we protect the house, that’s going to be cool.”

Coming up just short against the two-time defending champion Miami Heat while falling to a 110-104 defeat Friday, the Mavs then showed the ability to quickly bounce back one night later in Orlando as six players scored in double figures. The Dallas defense will now try to contain 76ers guard Tony Wroten, who subbed in for injured rookie Michael Carter-Williams due to a bruised left arch and tallied a triple-double in his first career start last Wednesday night with 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the 76ers’ 123-117 overtime win over Houston.

And with the Sixers (5-6) ranked 30th in the league in points allowed while giving up 111.1 points an outing, the Mavericks’ fourth-ranked scoring offense (106.6 ppg) should once again be able to thrive on their home floor.

Note: The Mavs return to Dallas for the start of a three-game homestand Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. 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