Game 3: Mavs vs. Grizzlies

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Postgame: Shawn Marion

Mavs F Shawn Marion weighs in on his monster performance against the Grizzlies, addresses the comments made my coach Rick Carlisle comparing him to defenders who can guard multiple positions and more.

DALLAS — Just 24 hours after suffering their first defeat of the young season, the Dallas Mavericks needed to catch a convenient case of amnesia as the Memphis Grizzlies invaded American Airlines Center for Saturday night’s Southwest Division showdown.

Looking to bounce back following their 113-105 loss in Houston, the Mavericks hoped to feed off their home crowd against a Memphis team that was also on the second night of a back-to-back following a 111-108 overtime home win over Detroit. Mission accomplished.

Behind a balanced team effort, the Mavericks (2-1) would quickly put the events of the night before out of their minds. And with six scorers in double figures the Mavs had no problem claiming a 111-99 victory.

“I thought we played with good energy,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of the win. “We knew they had a tough game yesterday. They won in overtime, so that was good. … Overall it was a great win after obviously a tough loss last night. This was a great win.”

After falling behind early in Houston following 8-of-22 shooting in the first period, the Mavs would continue to come out of the gates slow while missing their first seven shot attempts before Nowitzki banked in a 3-pointer to get his team on the board. Starting point guard Jose Calderon then followed suit, connecting on a triple from the wing after going 1-of-15 from the field through the team’s first two games.

Calderon would again look for his own shot as teammate Shawn Marion found the pass-first floor general on the wing for a transition trey to put the Mavs ahead 23-11. The home team then slid into the second stanza comfortably ahead 32-16 after 12 minutes of play.

“Obviously, we heard about it from [Mavs coach Rick Carlisle] all day today about how we started the game off yesterday and how we gave up 40 points in the first quarter yesterday, so that was a big emphasis coming in,” Nowitzki explained.

Holding the Memphis squad to 6-of-17 shooting in the opening period with Marion picking up point guard Mike Conley, the Dallas defense continued to hound the Grizzlies’ attack early in the second period. Meanwhile, sixth man Vince Carter took the lead for the Dallas offense before the Marion-to-Calderon connection hooked up again for a three-point play to put the Mavericks up 20, 42-22.

But, after the Mavs’ advantage peaked at 21, the Grizzlies (1-2) would come rumbling back with a 17-2 run to close the first half. Still, the Mavs escaped into the locker room with a 49-43 edge at the midway mark.

Led by Calderon’s 13 points on 4-of-9 shooting, the Mavs held the halftime lead despite getting outshot by the Grizzlies, 39 percent to 37.2 percent. The Mavs also used a 27-24 rebounding edge to overcome Memphis’ 20-14 advantage in points in the paint and 17-10 margin in fast-break points.

“It’s the NBA. Teams make runs,” Carlisle said of the Grizzlies’ sudden offensive explosion to close the first half. “We made a run last night when we were getting our (tails) kicked, so we had to withstand it and change a bit of a paradigm shift to start the second half. We had to kind of get back to the side of having an edge and playing with an edge and remembering last night and remembering the run, and I thought the guys did.”

Locked in a dogfight to open the third, the Mavs would get a jolt of energy from 2-guard Monta Ellis’ steal and slam to force a Memphis timeout with the home team up 56-49 with 7:40 in the period. Marion then served Tayshaun Prince up with a posterizing facial as the Mavericks reassumed control of the game.

Ellis’ perimeter defense and ability to play the passing lanes then helped the cat-quick guard grab his 900th career steal in the quarter. But it would be Nowitzki and Carter that would lift the Mavs into the final quarter up 10, 73-63.

With Nowitzki tying Bob Pettit (6,182) for 14th place on the NBA’s all-time free-throws made list early in the fourth, the Mavs tried to create even more separation on the scoreboard. Nowitzki would do his part, draining a 3-pointer from the top of the key to keep the lead at 10 before converting a needle-threading pass by Ellis into two points inside.

The Mavs then reached the bonus with 8:27 still remaining on the clock, but wouldn’t need the assistance at the line as center Samuel Dalembert’s score inside put the Dallas squad up 90-77 midway through the final quarter. Ellis then put the finishing touches on the win while Nowitzki moved into sole possession of 14th place on the free-throw list.

One night after fouling out for the first time since Nov. 4, 2009, Nowitzki led the way to the win with  24 points on 7-of-16 shooting, adding six rebounds to boot. Meanwhile, Marion tallied up 21 points, 14 rebounds and four assists for his first double-double of the season, seeing time guarding multiple positions on the defensive end as well.

“Just helped my team the best way I could,” a modest Marion said of his effort. “You know, I think with me starting on Conley early trying to set the tone on defense kind of set the pace for the game, and I think that’s what we’ve got to do. When we ain’t able to score the ball the way we should we’ve got to be able to play defense still, and we were able to do that early. … We knew they were going to make a run at us. They’re a great team, but we were able to withstand that run and for the most part we were about to hold the lead and get the win.”

“You know, if you think of the history of the modern game, I can think of less than five or maybe six guys that can guard a guy like Conley for big minutes and then turn around and guard Zach Randolph, and then any other kind of guy in between,” Carlisle added with high praise for Marion’s night. “[Michael] Jordan could do it. [Scottie] Pippen showed that he could do it. LeBron James does it. And I could probably come up  with other names, but there aren’t many. So we’re talking about a really special player, and he really personalized this game tonight. He felt lousy about last night. He knew we needed a spark, and from start to finish he was on.”

Ellis added 18 points, Calderon pitched in 15 points, and Dalembert registered 14 points and nine rebounds in the starting lineup. Carter added 11 points off the bench.

Conley led four Grizzlies in double figures with 24 points on 7-of-16 shooting, as Memphis’ 42.5 percent shooting as a team bettered the Mavs’ 40 percent at the other end of the floor. The Mavs also overcame the Grizzlies’ 51-45 rebounding edge, converting Memphis’ 18 turnovers into 20 points and surrendering 15 points off their own 11 giveaways.

“We needed it and it’s a great response,” Marion said as his team bounced back from Friday night’s loss. “You know, it says there’s a lot of depth and character about this team. We’ve still got to keep going. We’ve got four games in five nights coming up here, so it’s going to be another test for us.”

“This is a great win for us,” Carlisle added. “We had a lot of balance and we had a lot of guys step up. We’ll enjoy it for now, and then we’ve got to get ready for Tuesday. We’ve got three back-to-backs in a row here, so this is a challenging time in the schedule and each game is going to be a little bit different, so we’re going to have to find ways.”

Note: The Mavericks return to action at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night when they take on the Los Angeles Lakers. 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


All Stats

T. Prince, F 17 1-2 0-0 1-2 0 2 2 1 1 0 3 1 1 3
Z. Randolph, F 34 9-17 0-1 3-4 5 9 14 2 1 0 2 4 1 21
M. Gasol, C 35 8-14 0-1 7-7 1 4 5 1 0 0 1 5 1 23
T. Allen, G 20 0-6 0-1 0-0 2 1 3 0 1 0 1 2 -8 0
M. Conley, G 38 7-16 1-4 9-10 2 2 4 8 3 1 1 2 1 24
Q. Pondexter 13 1-4 0-2 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 0 2 3 -12 2
M. Miller 17 2-5 0-2 0-0 1 3 4 3 0 0 3 3 -15 4
J. Bayless 30 4-11 2-5 1-1 0 7 7 2 0 0 3 6 1 11
E. Davis 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 1 0 2 -10 2
K. Koufos 17 3-9 0-0 1-2 6 2 8 0 0 0 1 4 -16 7
N. Calathes 6 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 -4 2
J. Leuer 2 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
J. Franklin 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   37-87 3-16 22-26 17 34 51 20 6 2 17 34   99
    42.5% 18.8%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 34 6-17 0-2 9-10 6 8 14 4 0 2 1 2 3 21
D. Nowitzki, F 32 7-16 3-4 7-8 0 6 6 1 2 0 2 3 11 24
S. Dalembert, C 25 4-4 0-0 6-6 2 7 9 2 2 0 2 5 4 14
M. Ellis, G 38 5-14 0-1 8-10 1 2 3 2 3 0 2 3 11 18
J. Calderon, G 38 4-11 3-7 4-4 2 0 2 5 1 0 0 2 6 15
V. Carter 25 3-8 1-4 4-5 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 8 11
D. Blair 22 3-6 0-0 2-3 2 4 6 0 4 0 1 4 8 8
J. Crowder 16 0-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 1 1 0 4 0
G. Mekel 7 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 1 2 0 5 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
B. James 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Larkin 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   32-80 7-19 40-46 14 31 45 18 12 4 11 20   111
    40.0% 36.8%                      

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DALLAS — While the Memphis Grizzlies travel to Texas flying high after claiming a 111-108 overtime victory at home over Detroit, the Dallas Mavericks return home still scratching their heads following their first loss of the season Friday night in Houston.

Getting off to a poor start while shooting just 8-of-22 from the field in the opening quarter against the Rockets, the Mavericks (1-1) eventually found themselves trailing by as much as 22 before storming to within as close as six. Still, with 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki fouling out with 6:11 left in the fourth period, the Mavs wouldn’t be able to muster up a comeback before suffering a 113-105 road loss.

“The truth is it’s a 48-minute game and in the first 12 we got demolished,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of the loss. “That can’t happen. Not against this level of competition.

“We’ve got to play better at the start of the game,” he added. “Our play in the first quarter really put us in such a hole that we could never get back over the hump. Every minute counts in an NBA game, so you fall down double digits in the first quarter and you’re going to be digging out of a hole the entire night. This is too good a team to do that against.”

Back at American Airlines Center and in front of their hometown fans for Saturday night’s showdown, however, the Mavs will try to get off to a better start against the Grizzlies (1-1), who are also expected to be playing with tired legs after outlasting the Pistons during the extra period. But if the Mavericks are to get back on track then they acknowledge that the events of Friday night’s loss can’t carry over to the next outing while completing the first of three straight back-to-backs to begin the month of November.

The Mavericks were outshot by the Rockets from the field, 46.6 percent to 38 percent, in addition to losing the rebounding battle, 51-43. The Dallas team also couldn’t take advantage of Houston’s 23 turnovers, converting the giveaways into 18 points at the other end while committed just 14 turnovers themselves, which led to 18 points for the Rockets.

Now, even if the ball isn’t going in the basket, the Mavs will try not to allow their offense to affect their defensive execution.

“Regardless of if your offense is clicking on all cylinders your defense should be there. That should be your stronghold of what you’ve got going,” four-time All-Star Shawn Marion explained. “They were getting second-chance points and the initial defense was good. We couldn’t stop them from getting second-chance points for a minute there, and that’s what was killing us.”

“You shoot 38 percent on the road and it’s tough to win the game,” Nowitzki added. “You know, I felt like we had some good looks when we needed them, and we were right there and just couldn’t get over the hump.”

Facing a physical Memphis front line headlined by Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph one night later, the Mavericks will again have their hands full on the glass. This time, however, the Mavs hope to be able to feed off their home crowd in order to get back in the win column.

Note: On the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs will now return 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