Game 19: Mavs vs. Bobcats

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Bobcats vs. Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki comes alive in the 2nd half to lead the Mavericks over the Bobcats with 25 points.

DALLAS — With his team experiencing its first rough patch of the season, Dallas Mavericks point guard Jose Calderon hoped to provide a spark Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

Missing Saturday’s 112-106 loss to Minnesota due to a bone bruise in his right ankle, Calderon valiantly returned to the court against the Charlotte Bobcats while looking to get the Mavs back on track after dropping four of their previous five games. And although he did most of his damage in the first half, the veteran floor general would keep the Mavericks (11-8) afloat until 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and leading scorer Monta Ellis staged a comeback in the fourth quarter en route to an 89-82 victory.

“You know, I went through the whole game and that was good,” Calderon said while summing up the night. “I could help my teammates … and I’m happy. We needed this win, and it was really important for us after what happened the last couple of games. We fought for 48 (minutes), and it was great.”

Back in action and in the starting lineup once again ahead of 25-year-old rookie Gal Mekel, Calderon showed no ill effect from the injury while swishing a 3-pointer to put the Mavs up 7-3 early in the opening period. First-rounder Shane Larkin then assumed the backup lead guard minutes ahead of Mekel, helping the Dallas reserves lift the Mavericks to a 22-18 edge after one.

With two fouls apiece on first-string center Samuel Dalembert and backup big man DeJuan Blair, an opportunity to step in and contribute fell in second-year standout Bernard James’ lap. James’ three-point play with 10:40 left in the half then put the Mavs up seven, 27-20.

Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki dishes on his struggles in the first half against the Bobcats, how he turned it around, Wednesday's game against the Pelicans and more.

But Nowitzki would struggle to find a rhythm on the offensive end as the two teams remained locked in a low-scoring affair. Back-to-back treys by Calderon, however, would settle the Mavs after a Charlotte charge to take the momentum. Still, with Nowitzki 1-of-10 shooting through two quarters, the Mavs faced a 42-39 deficit at the midway mark.

Despite 19 combined points on 7-of-14 shooting from the backcourt duo of Calderon and Ellis, the Mavs were outshot through 24 minutes of play, 35.9 percent to 31.0 percent. Charlotte also held a 30-24 rebounding advantage at the intermission.

With Bobcats big man Al Jefferson back on the attack to open the third period, Calderon continued to pace the Mavs with his fourth 3-pointer of the night. But Kemba Walker’s step-back three would put the Mavs in a wider hole, forcing a timeout by Dallas coach Rick Carlisle with his team down nine, 51-42, as 9:18 remained in the third.

The margin then reached 12 before Nowitzki started to come to life, draining a jumper and then a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

“I was a little cold there in the first half. I thought I had some good looks, but I guess it helps when you bend your knees a little bit. So I came out at halftime, went out there a little earlier, and tried to really focus on bending my knees and get my legs into the shot. It really helped me, and I found a little rhythm there. And we needed it. I thought they made us work,” Nowitzki explained.

Blair and four-time All-Star Shawn Marion took matters from there, bringing the Mavs within five before Charlotte answered with five quick points. Jae Crowder’s three-point play then brought the Mavs within seven, 67-60, entering the fourth.

After Carlisle chose Mekel over Larkin to open the final period, sixth man Vince Carter drove in for a floater as the Mavericks tried to rally in front of their hometown fans. Nowitzki and Carter then took turns swishing in shots from behind the 3-point arc to bring the Mavs within one, 71-70, while forcing a Charlotte timeout with 8:56 remaining.

Postgame: Monta Ellis

Mavs G Monta Ellis weighs in on his big fourth quarter performance against the Bobcats, the team's resiliency, Jose Calderon returning from injury and more.

Finishing the night without small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist due to a fractured left hand, the Bobcats (8-11) then did everything they could to hold off Nowitzki and the Mavs. But No. 41 wouldn’t be denied, finding the bottom off the net on three consecutive jumpers to give the Mavericks a 76-75 edge with 4:24 still on the clock.

“Even if Dirk goes 1-for-10 or Monta, you know they’re going to come back. At some point they’re going to get hot and they’re going to make big shots for us, and that’s what they did,” Calderon said with high praise for his teammates.

But after Jefferson split a trip to the free-throw line, the two teams remained locked in a dogfight until Nowitzki took advantage of a technical foul call on Bobcats big man Josh McRoberts with a free throw to give the Mavs the lead right back with 3:08 remaining. Ellis then began to close the Charlotte team out with timely scores to beat the shot clock.

But it would be Nowitzki that would deliver the dagger, draining a vintage mid-range jumper on the baseline to go up seven, 85-78, with 27.5 seconds left. Ellis then put the finishing touches on the win with free throws in the final seconds.

Scoring 21 of his 25 points in the second half, Nowitzki finished the night 10-of-21 from the field. Ellis pitched in 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting, adding five rebounds and five assists to boot as he and Nowitzki finished the night scoring the Mavs’ final 19 points.

“My team, obviously, wants me to keep attacking, and I finally got some to go down,” Nowitzki said. “And then Monta was great down the stretch. You know, the pick-and-roll is really our bread and butter, and Monta really attacked well off of it and made some shots. They went under some, and he rose up behind the screen and really put it away for us in the fourth.”

“We had to find a way,” Ellis modestly added. “You know, we got defensive stops and got to the other end and made shots. … I mean, we were just reading one another. You know, Dirk did a great job of keeping us close and then he got us ahead. We ran the two-man game, and we just picked through to see what the defense was doing.”

Meanwhile, Calderon returned to the court to score 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting and 4-of-5 from three-point range. Carter made it four Mavs in double figures with 10 points off the bench.

Jefferson led four Bobcats in double figures with 19 points and 12 rebounds. But the Mavs finished the night outshooting the Bobcats, 40.2 percent to 38.5 percent, overcoming Charlotte’s 50-45 rebounding edge and 38-30 margin in points in the paint.

“Our first and fourth quarters were very solid. Our second and third quarters were very poor,” Carlisle concluded. “We’re lucky to survive it, but it’s the kind of game we totally expected it to be, so there’s no surprise.”

Note: The Mavericks will now play their next four games away from home, traveling to meet the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday on the second night of a back-to-back. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.

“We needed that win before we head out on the road,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after leading a fourth-quarter rally against the Bobcats. “We’ve got some tough games starting (Wednesday) and then we go out West, so we definitely needed this one before we leave.”

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Saturday, Nov. 14, against O.J. Mayo and the Milwaukee Bucks. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 91-83 victory in Milwaukee back on Nov. 9. 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.

Postgame: Jose Calderon

Mavs PG Jose Calderon comments on how his ankle felt after Tuesday's win over the Bobcats, his confidence in Dirk despite his cold shooting first half and more.


All Stats

M. Kidd-Gilchrist, F 18 2-6 0-0 2-4 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 3 -1 6
J. McRoberts, F 29 3-6 0-2 4-4 1 7 8 3 3 0 1 5 -1 10
A. Jefferson, C 38 6-10 0-0 7-10 2 10 12 2 0 3 2 2 -3 19
G. Henderson, G 26 7-11 0-0 2-3 1 2 3 0 1 0 2 2 -7 16
K. Walker, G 34 7-15 2-5 0-0 1 6 7 5 0 1 0 0 1 16
R. Sessions 21 1-9 0-2 4-4 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 -10 6
C. Zeller 18 1-5 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 1 0 0 1 2 -6 2
J. Taylor 3 0-2 0-2 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
B. Biyombo 9 0-1 0-0 0-0 3 2 5 0 1 0 0 0 -4 0
B. Gordon 13 2-8 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 2 4
A. Tolliver 26 1-5 1-5 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 2 -6 3
J. Adrien 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B. Haywood 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Pargo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Southerland 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   30-78 3-17 19-25 10 40 50 11 5 4 10 18   82
    38.5% 17.6%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 33 4-10 0-2 0-0 2 8 10 1 1 0 0 2 1 8
D. Nowitzki, F 34 10-21 2-6 3-3 0 3 3 1 0 1 2 0 14 25
S. Dalembert, C 17 0-3 0-0 2-2 2 4 6 0 0 0 0 4 -1 2
M. Ellis, G 37 8-18 0-2 6-6 0 5 5 5 0 1 3 2 -5 22
J. Calderon, G 32 4-10 4-5 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 -3 12
V. Carter 25 3-8 2-5 2-4 0 7 7 3 1 0 1 1 3 10
D. Blair 20 1-4 0-0 0-0 1 6 7 3 0 0 1 5 11 2
S. Larkin 8 0-4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 0
B. James 10 2-3 0-0 1-1 2 2 4 0 0 0 0 1 -3 5
J. Crowder 12 1-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 8 3
G. Mekel 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 1 4 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   33-82 8-21 15-17 7 38 45 16 3 3 9 18   89
    40.2% 38.1%                      

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Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle says Jose Calderon will be a game-time decision Tuesday against the Bobcats.

DALLAS — Despite dropping four of their last five games, the Dallas Mavericks’ confidence isn’t shaken as they prepare to welcome in the Charlotte Bobcats to American Airlines Center Tuesday night.

Still sitting with the seventh-best record in the Western Conference and an 8-2 mark on their home floor, the Mavericks (10-8) are not dismayed by their recent play. Instead, while looking for a turnaround Tuesday against the Bobcats (8-10), the Mavs are focusing more so on sticking together in hopes that the team will continue to jell while also improving on the health front.

“Just come out ready to play — effort, energy, attack, stay confident. I think more than anything everybody is in a frenzy. We’re 19 games in and it’s an easy fix,” sixth man Vince Carter said as he tries to keep his team from panicking. “You know, we have a long way to go, and everybody just needs to stay on board, stay in attack mode and stay focused. It’s simple. I mean, it’s simple basketball. We know how to play basketball, we know how to play together and we’ve seen what we’re capable of against very good teams, so I think we just need to stay the course. I mean, everybody goes through rough patches throughout the season, and this is our patch right now. In my opinion, it’s an easy fix. We know what needs to be done. I could see if we didn’t know what was going on and didn’t know how to fix it, then it’s something to worry about. But I think we can fix it.”

Shootaround: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion says the team needs to play with a sense of urgency, that you have to ride a wave of ups and downs throughout an NBA season and more.

Facing an improving Charlotte team on the front end of a back-to-back to begin the month of December, the Mavs will attempt to correct things on their home floor before traveling to New Orleans for a meeting against the Southwest Division rival Pelicans. However, with his team in need of a win, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle isn’t overlooking Tuesday night’s opponent, after the Bobcats fell apart late before suffering a 99-98 road loss Sunday in Miami.

“Tonight, we’ve got to be braced and ready for 48 really hard minutes from Charlotte,” Carlisle explained. “They’re a much-improved team. They’ve added some much more competitive guys than they’ve had in the past, they’re very well-coached, and so they’re a very formidable team. And they should have beat Miami, probably. I mean, Miami had to hit three threes in a row down the stretch to beat them, so Miami was fortunate to win that game and it tells you how good Charlotte is playing, too.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Tuesday, taking on the Charlotte Bobcats. 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

Shootaround: Vince Carter

Mavs F Vince Carter says the team knows what it needs to do in order to get back on track, the strain of a schedule with multiple back-to-backs and more.

DALLAS — After dropping four of their last five games, if the Dallas Mavericks are to get back on track, it may be due to a renewed focus on the defensive end of the floor Tuesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats.

Falling to a 112-106 defeat Saturday against Minnesota without starting point guard Jose Calderon (right ankle bone bruise) in the lineup, the Mavericks (10-8) would once again display a lackluster performance on defense while allowing the Timberwolves to shoot 50.6 percent from the field. The Mavs also lost the rebounding battle, 44-37, while giving up 56 points in the paint. All of which must be corrected two nights later against a Charlotte team that’s coming off a 99-98 loss Sunday in Miami.

“It seems like sometimes we can’t put together a good four or five stops in a row and that’s what we need,” four-time All-Star forward Shawn Marion said while critiquing the defensive effort. “We need some chain stops instead of just one good one. We’ve just got to stay with it and keep helping each other.”

He added: “It’s going to be some ups and downs throughout the season. We just have to make sure that we stay together and keep helping each other to get through it. It won’t happen overnight, but at the same time it can as well. We have to get rested up and get everybody healthy and go out there and take it one game at a time.”

Following their last defeat, the Mavs now rank 28th in the NBA in scoring defense while allowing 103.0 points an outing. The Dallas team now hopes to get a defensive spark against the league’s worst scoring offense, as the Bobcats (8-10) come to town posting just 89.2 points a night.

However, after seeing the Bobcats push the two-time defending champion Heat to the brink of defeat behind their second-ranked scoring defense, which is giving up just 91.8 points a game, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle knows that his team will have to put together four quality quarters in order to get back in the win column.

“You know, keeping people out of the paint is a real priority right now, and we got hurt with that badly against Minnesota,” Carlisle confessed following his team’s Monday practice. “It’s been our most consistent challenge defensively, and we’re working hard on that. It’s got to be a collective group challenge that we take on.

“Look, there’s adversity all the time. But, when you lose four out of five, it’s time to circle the wagons and get everybody together,” he added. “We needed a good practice (Monday), which we had. Charlotte is a very good team. They’re the most improved defensive team in the league, and they’re giving up 11 less points than they did last year, which is phenomenal improvement. And they’re going to make it hard on you at both ends, so right now we’ve got to embrace the difficulty of this challenge. And with some guys dinged up and not able to play, we’ve got to circle the wagons with the guys that are available and find a way to get it done.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Tuesday, taking on the Charlotte Bobcats. 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


Dirk has logged 40,557 minutes in the regular season and needs 38 minutes to pass Patrick Ewing (40,594) for 25th place on the NBA’s all-time list for minutes played (won’t be met tonight unless he logs a new season-high for minutes played).