Game 25: Mavs vs. Grizzlies

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Grizzlies vs. Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki scores 20 points in his return to the lineup and the Mavericks defeat the short-handed Grizzlies 105-88.

DALLAS — Another night and another dominant performance by the Dallas Mavericks on their home floor.

One game after sprinting to a 106-93 victory Saturday without the services of 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle due to illnesses, the Mavericks gladly welcomed their two leaders back to the court. Wednesday night, the Mavs tried to take advantage of a short-handed Memphis Grizzlies squad, which was playing without reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol (sprained left knee) and starting point guard Mike Conley (left thigh bruise).

And with very little resistance, the Mavericks (15-10) had no problem moving to 11-2 this season at American Airlines Center, improving to 2-0 to start their three-game homestand and sending the Grizzlies (10-15) to a fifth straight defeat after a 105-91 victory.

“Well, it was a good win against an obviously undermanned team,” Nowitzki said while summing up the night. “They’re scrappy and they’ve got a bunch of guys that play hard, so it was a good win.”

Attempting to replicate their 111-89 home victory over the Grizzlies back on Nov. 2, the Mavericks came out of the gates quickly against a Memphis team still reeling after Tuesday’s 96-92 home defeat to the Los Angeles Lakers. And behind Nowitzki and four-time All-Star Shawn Marion, the Mavs slid into the second stanza with a 27-21 advantage.

Led by the perimeter defense of rookie point guard Shane Larkin and second-year standout Jae Crowder off the bench, the Mavs would begin to make a stand early in the second quarter. Nowitzki then took the offense into his own hands, moving into double figures as the Mavericks created more separation on the scoreboard.

Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki comments on how important Wednesday's win against the Grizzlies was, Samuel Dalembert's impact on the game, taking care of business at home and more.

Starting point guard Jose Calderon then lent Nowitzki a helping hand, finding the touch from behind the 3-point arc as the Mavs went ahead by as much as 15 before entering the halftime intermission with a 52-39 advantage.

Led by Nowitzki’s 14 first-half points on 6-of-10 shooting, the Mavericks connected on 52.6 percent from the field through two quarters while holding the Grizzlies to 36.2 percent at the other end of the floor. The Mavs also overcame Memphis’ 30-14 advantage in points in the paint.

After a 1-of-5 first half, an aggressive Monta Ellis began to attack as the third quarter got underway.

“I mean, I got in foul trouble in the first half, so I really had to sit. Second half, I just took what the defense gave me and tried to be aggressive,” Ellis foreshadowed.

But the cat-quick guard couldn’t stop the Grizzlies from clawing back into the game, looking up to see the Memphis team within four. Still, with Carlisle turning to center Samuel Dalembert to establish an interior presence, the Mavs escaped into the fourth period with a 78-66 lead as the big man restored order.

“You know, I really felt [Dalembert] was going to be a factor in the game heading into it,” Carlisle later explained after Dalembert registered a DNP-CD Saturday night. “I wasn’t sure exactly when to put him in, but when we got to the third quarter it just seemed like it was time. They were making a run, [Zach] Randolph had gotten involved a little bit, and we had been double-teaming and fronting, which opens up other things. So we had Sam play him straight up, and over the course of time he was in there he was a big plus, because he was able to guard, he rebounded and blocked shots. He did some great things offensively as well.”

One-on-one with Samuel Dalembert

Lonnie Franklin III talks with Mavs C Samuel Dalembert about staying ready despite inconsistent playing time, how important his impact was in Wednesday night's win over the Grizzlies and more.

“I just played the way I’m capable of playing,” Dalembert added after finishing with eight points on 3-of-3 shooting to go with seven rebounds during his 13 minutes in a reserve role. “You know, it’s been a downside couple of weeks for me and I just stayed positive and professional. I was just getting ready for my chance and opportunity to really prove myself.”

The Mavs then tried to slam the door on the Grizzlies when Ellis’ steal led to Nowitzki’s unselfish feed for a breakaway dunk by Crowder with 7:06 left to play. Dalembert took it from there, converting sixth man Vince Carter’s needle-threading pass for a three-point play with 5:40 remaining and lifting the Mavericks to a 93-77 advantage.

Ellis’ attacking play and Dalembert’s emphatic put-back dunk then put the finishing touches on the win as the lead reached as much as 21 before the final buzzer.

Leading five Mavericks in double figures, Nowitzki finished the night with 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting, adding six rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot to boot.

“I felt fine out there,” Nowitzki said after returning to game action. “It was obviously not what I planned on Saturday, but the good thing was I didn’t feel well Monday in practice and I was still weak, but we didn’t have a game for another two days and by Tuesday I was a lot better. Today, I felt fine and nothing happened, so I used the break to get healthy.”

Meanwhile, Ellis scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, finishing off a 6-of-12 shooting night. Off the bench, Carter added 14 points and six assists while Calderon pitched in 12 points and Marion registered 10 points in the first unit.

“Like I’ve been saying since the beginning of the season, we’ve got a lot of scorers on this team and any given night anybody can get hot. As long as we continue to share the ball and play with one another, we’ll come out like we did tonight,” Ellis added after the Mavs dished out 25 assists on their 40 made field goals.

Tony Allen led five Grizzlies in double figures with 16 points and 11 rebounds (10 offensive), but the Mavs finished the night outshooting the Memphis team, 54.8 percent to 39.8 percent. The Mavs also overcame the Grizzlies’ 54-36 advantage in points in the paint and 43-42 rebounding edge, as the Memphis team collected 22 offensive boards. Both teams ended the game with 15 turnovers.

“The spirit on the bench was really terrific tonight. It was a game were we had to hang in the entire time, because Memphis really threw everything at us, even though they were on a back-to-back,” Carlisle concluded.

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their three-game homestand Friday night against the Toronto Raptors. 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: Vince Carter

Mavs G-F Vince Carter weighs in on the team's assist totals the last couple games, his ability as a facilitator and more.


All Stats

M. Miller, F 29 3-5 2-4 0-0 1 3 4 2 0 0 1 1 -1 8
Z. Randolph, F 31 5-18 0-1 4-6 6 3 9 3 0 0 2 3 -6 14
K. Koufos, C 17 3-9 0-0 0-1 4 3 7 1 1 1 1 4 3 6
T. Allen, G 32 7-17 0-1 2-3 10 1 11 3 3 0 4 4 -8 16
J. Bayless, G 33 3-13 0-5 1-1 0 5 5 6 3 0 1 2 -4 7
J. Leuer 23 6-10 2-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 1 5 -17 14
E. Davis 23 6-11 0-0 0-1 1 1 2 0 0 0 2 2 -8 12
N. Calathes 17 0-4 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 4 1 1 2 2 -10 0
J. Franklin 9 1-1 1-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 1 -5 3
J. Johnson 20 3-5 3-3 2-2 0 2 2 2 1 0 1 1 -14 11
M. Conley 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Gasol 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Q. Pondexter 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Prince 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   37-93 8-18 9-14 22 21 43 23 11 2 15 25   91
    39.8% 44.4%                      

Show Bench Hide Bench


All Stats

S. Marion, F 30 5-10 0-0 0-0 1 6 7 1 1 1 1 3 0 10
D. Nowitzki, F 27 9-15 0-1 2-2 1 5 6 5 2 1 2 3 23 20
D. Blair, C 19 3-6 0-0 0-1 2 3 5 2 1 0 1 1 7 6
M. Ellis, G 32 6-12 1-4 5-5 1 3 4 4 3 0 3 3 6 18
J. Calderon, G 32 5-7 2-4 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 1 8 12
V. Carter 29 4-6 1-2 5-6 1 3 4 6 0 1 2 2 11 14
B. Wright 13 0-3 0-0 4-4 1 1 2 0 0 3 1 0 7 4
J. Crowder 21 3-6 0-2 2-2 0 5 5 0 2 2 1 1 5 8
S. Larkin 13 2-4 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2 0 9 5
W. Ellington 3 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 -1 0
S. Dalembert 13 3-3 0-0 2-3 4 3 7 1 2 2 2 2 5 8
G. Mekel 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -5 0
B. James 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -5 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
TEAM   40-73 5-15 20-23 11 31 42 25 11 10 15 16   105
    54.8% 33.3%                      

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Shootaround: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion talks about his improved 3-point shooting this year, the disappointing news of Devin Harris' setback, Wednesday night's game against Memphis and more.

DALLAS — Despite an apparent setback to the return of guard Devin Harris, as he continues to rehab from offseason toe surgery, the Dallas Mavericks are expected to take the court Wednesday night the healthiest they’ve been all season.

Getting big man Brandan Wright back during Saturday’s 106-93 win over Milwaukee to begin a three-game homestand, the Mavericks (14-10) inched closer to becoming fully intact while they await the return of Harris. However, after 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle were both sidelined for a game with illnesses, it’s the Memphis Grizzlies that will be greeted by a near-complete Mavericks team Wednesday night.

“I mean, health is so important in this league and working to stay healthy or get healthy is what everybody is doing,” Carlisle explained Wednesday following his team’s morning shootaround. “So, you know, right now we’re in a pretty good position but it’s very fragile. You never know when you’re going to wake up feeling like crap, like I did the other day or Dirk did the other day, and that’s why you’ve got to have everybody ready to play at all times.”

Finding a way to win without Carlisle and Nowitzki available, the Mavs began their stretch of three home games against sub-.500 teams with a dominant victory. And after plenty of practice time in between games, the Mavericks will now try to feast on a short-handed Grizzlies squad that has lost four straight overall entering the night, including Tuesday’s 96-92 defeat at home to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on how important the upcoming stretch is for the team, Shawn Marion's 3-point shooting, how the team matches up against a depleted Grizzlies team and more.

Still, even with the Grizzlies (10-14) possibly taking the court without big man Marc Gasol (sprained left knee) and starting point guard Mike Conley (left thigh bruise), the Mavericks admit that they still will have to put their added practice time into action if they hope to make up ground during a lighter stretch on the schedule.

“I was hoping the other day we would get some good news and Devin would be back 100 percent, but we’re almost at full strength,” four-time All-Star Shawn Marion said. “We were able to get some good work and competitive work in, and we got some stuff done.

“We need to make sure we take care of business. You know, all these teams are capable teams and we can’t sell any of them short. We’ve got to take it one game at a time, and we definitely need to gain some ground here.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 111-89 home victory on Nov. 2. 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.


DALLAS — With their two leaders both sidelined due to illnesses, the Dallas Mavericks didn’t fold in the tent Saturday night.

Instead, led by the impressive season debut of athletic big man Brandan Wright, the Mavericks (14-10) made a stand on their home floor, downing the Milwaukee Bucks with a 106-93 victory as five players scored in double figures to make up for the absences of 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki and championship-winning coach Rick Carlisle. And after jumping out to a lead as large as 34, the Mavs showed just how formidable they figure to be when Nowitzki and Carlisle return Wednesday night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We were just loose,” said Wright, who scored a team-high 19 points on 9-of-10 shooting in just less than 19 minutes. “You know, with Coach [Carlisle] not being here and Dirk not being here, all we could do was play hard. We had a huge team effort. We kind of slouched around the fourth quarter, but we dominated the first three.”

Rebounding from road losses to Sacramento and Golden State, the Mavericks got back on track with the win to begin a three-game homestand. Wednesday, the Mavs will try to continue their home-court dominance, looking to improve to 11-2 at American Airlines Center this season and attempting to replicate their 111-89 home win over the Grizzlies (10-14) back on Nov. 2 as the Southwest Division rivals square off for a second time.

Catching the depleted Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs will once again try to assert themselves early as the Memphis team comes to town following Tuesday’s 96-92 home loss to the Los Angeles Lakers. And after the Grizzlies fell to a fourth straight loss and just a 3-8 mark without injured big man Marc Gasol (sprained left knee), the Mavericks hope to continue their divisional foe’s downward slide Wednesday night as well.

“[Gasol] is one of the best centers in the game, Defensive Player of the Year and one of their key playmakers. You know, they’ve been without him for a while, they’ve adjusted and they’re still playing well without him,” Carlisle explained. “They’re athletic, they’re tough and physical, they rebound, and we’ve got to be ready to guard the other guys. … There aren’t a lot of bargains when you play these guys.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Wednesday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 111-89 home victory on Nov. 2. 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.

Vince Carter has 1,697 3-pointers and needs three treys to become the 10th player in NBA history with at least 1,700 career triples.

Dirk Nowitzki logged 35 minutes at Golden State on 12/11/13 and is now tied with Bill Russell for 24th place on the NBA’s all-time list for minutes played with 40,726. Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce ranks 23rd all-time in career minutes with 40,904.

Dirk Nowitzki has 25,537 career points and needs 77 points to pass Alex English (25,613) for 13th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.