Game 4: Mavs vs. Lakers

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Postgame: Monta Ellis

Mavs G Monta Ellis addresses the media following Tuesday night's 123-104 win over the Lakers, how comfortable he is with the offense and more.


DALLAS — If there’s anything to be said through the Dallas Mavericks’ first three outings at American Airlines Center this season it’s that there truly is no place like home.

With a chance to continue establishing a home-court advantage early in the season, the Mavericks gladly welcomed a Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers team into their unfriendly confines Tuesday night. The Mavs also had a unique opportunity to build some momentum at home prior to venturing out for a three-game road trip, attempting to follow up Saturday night’s 111-99 win over Memphis with another victory in front of their hometown fans before traveling north on Interstate 35 to Oklahoma City.

And after routing the Lakers (2-3) en route to a 123-104 blowout victory, the Mavericks (3-1) continued to remain unbeaten at home.

“We’re getting better and better every game,” new addition and starting shooting guard Monta Ellis said after the win. “As long as we keep scrambling to help each other I think we’ll be alright.”

With versatile forward Shawn Marion starting the night defending Lakers point guard Steve Nash, the Dallas defense looked to disrupt L.A.’s attack while taking advantage of Bryant’s absence in the early going. The move would quickly prove beneficial for Mavs coach Rick Carlisle as his team jumped out to a double-digit advantage, taking a 35-22 lead into the second stanza even with 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki scoreless in the opening quarter.

“It seemed to get us going, and putting [Marion] on the point guard has gotten us going the last couple of nights,” Carlisle explained after using the same strategy against Memphis point guard Mike Conley.

Led by backup big man DeJuan Blair and reserve rookie point guard Gal Mekel, the Mavs would continue to maintain a safe separation on the scoreboard early in the second quarter. Starting lead guard Jose Calderon then returned to the floor, draining a 3-pointer from the wing to put the Mavericks up 15, 50-35, midway through the period.

Sixth man Vince Carter took over the offense from there prior to Nowitzki’s first hoop on a baseline drive around Pau Gasol for the slam. But it would be Ellis’ offensive assault that would take the home team into the halftime intermission comfortably ahead 67-48 after leading by as much as 20.

Led by Ellis’ 16 first-half points on 4-of-6 shooting, the Mavs’ 51.9 percent from the field as a team bettered the Lakers’ 40.4 percent at the other end of the floor. Committing just two turnovers, Dallas also held a 29-19 advantage in the rebounding department through two quarters while outscoring the Lakers, 34-18, in the paint.

Coming out of the locker room, Ellis picked back up where he left off at with a jumper to open the third quarter. Nowitzki then began to assert himself, scoring at will as the margin between the two teams continued to ballooned.

As was the case in the first half, Carter then found Calderon on the wing for a 3-pointer to put the Mavericks ahead by 30, 90-60. Not to be easily done in, however, the Lakers came rallying back to trim the Mavs’ lead to 94-77 entering the final quarter.

With his team in need of a spark, Mekel stepped back into the scoring with a corner 3-pointer off stellar ball movement before scoring the next trip down in transition. Back-to-back 3-pointers by second-year pro Jae Crowder then pushed the lead back to 21, 107-86, as Carlisle continued to rely on his reserves.

“We’ve got all of our veteran guys starting out the game. We’re asking them to give us four to six hard minutes at the start of the game, and we’ve got to come in and pick up the same slack. I feel like our bench is really focused on bringing energy. … We try to put the energy first,” Crowder explained.

The coach then pulled his last starter, Ellis, with 6:33 left on the clock, finishing the win with his young contributors off the bench in preparation for Wednesday night’s outing.

Playing just over 31 minutes and scoring 30 points on 11-of-14 shooting, dishing out a season-high nine assists to boot, Ellis led seven Mavericks in double figures.

“Monta Ellis was fantastic tonight,” Carlisle said with high praise for the newcomer.  “I mean, all aspects of the game. He defended, he made plays at the rim, he was under control, he hit mid-range shots and he hit guys cutting to the basket. You know, it was a great all-around performance.”

“I think being aggressive opened everything up for us as a team,” Ellis modestly said. “You know, me getting to the basket, they try to play me differently, so I’ve just been trying to open up everybody else. I’ve just got to continue to attack and make the right plays.”

Off the bench, Crowder added a career-high 18 points on 7-of-9 from the field and 4-of-6 from 3-point range. Calderon registered 12 points and Marion and Nowitzki pitched in 11 points apiece in the first unit. Starting center Samuel Dalembert and Blair also added 10 points apiece inside.

Nick Young led five Lakers in double figures with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting off the bench, but the Mavs’ 52.1 percent shooting as a team bettered L.A.’s 44.3 percent. The Mavs also connected on 13-of-27 from long range as a team, adding a 50-35 rebounding advantage and a 52-36 edge in points in the paint.

“It was a really good start. You know, we had the letdown in the second half, which you never like to have happen, but it’s an NBA game and NBA teams make runs. So we fought that off and we were able to finish it,” Carlisle concluded.

Note: The Mavericks will now return to action Wednesday on the second night of a back-to-back, beginning their three-game road trip in Oklahoma City for a battle against the Thunder. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN at 8:30 p.m.

The Mavs return home Nov. 12 against the Washington Wizards. 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

X. Henry, F 21 2-8 0-4 1-2 0 0 0 1 3 2 0 1 -13 5
S. Williams, F 5 1-2 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 -6 3
P. Gasol, C 31 4-9 0-1 2-2 0 8 8 4 0 0 0 0 -32 10
S. Blake, G 27 3-7 3-7 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 -19 9
S. Nash, G 20 2-8 1-2 0-0 1 1 2 4 0 0 1 0 -21 5
C. Kaman 17 5-7 0-0 0-0 2 5 7 0 0 1 3 2 -5 10
J. Farmar 24 3-8 2-4 3-3 0 3 3 7 0 0 3 1 -4 11
N. Young 27 8-12 1-2 4-7 0 1 1 1 3 0 3 2 -6 21
W. Johnson 21 3-8 1-3 0-0 2 5 7 2 2 1 1 4 0 7
J. Meeks 21 4-10 2-5 1-2 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 7 11
J. Hill 15 3-5 0-0 2-2 2 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 -6 8
R. Sacre 4 0-3 0-0 1-2 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 6 1
R. Kelly 3 1-1 1-1 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4 3
K. Bryant 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
E. Harris 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   39-88 12-31 14-20 9 26 35 21 9 4 14 12   104
    44.3% 38.7%                      

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All Stats

S. Marion, F 27 5-15 1-2 0-0 3 4 7 1 1 0 1 1 16 11
D. Nowitzki, F 28 4-9 1-3 2-2 1 7 8 4 2 0 1 1 18 11
S. Dalembert, C 23 5-7 0-0 0-0 2 4 6 1 1 1 1 0 17 10
M. Ellis, G 31 11-14 0-1 8-8 0 3 3 9 1 0 1 3 20 30
J. Calderon, G 21 4-6 4-6 0-0 0 4 4 5 0 0 1 1 22 12
V. Carter 18 3-10 2-5 0-0 0 1 1 3 0 0 0 3 4 8
D. Blair 18 5-10 0-0 0-2 4 4 8 4 5 1 1 0 10 10
G. Mekel 26 4-8 1-3 0-0 0 4 4 6 0 0 3 1 -3 9
J. Crowder 23 7-9 4-6 0-0 0 4 4 1 0 0 0 3 7 18
B. James 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 1 1 1 -8 0
W. Ellington 8 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 -2 2
R. Ledo 6 0-2 0-1 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 -6 2
D. Harris 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
B. Wright 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   49-94 13-27 12-14 10 40 50 34 10 3 12 14   123
    52.1% 48.1%                      

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DALLAS — The last time the Los Angeles Lakers faced the Dallas Mavericks they cruised to a 101-81 win on their home floor led by 15-time All-Star Kobe Bryant’s triple-double with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

Much has changed since that April 2 meeting for both teams, however, as the new-look Mavericks (2-1) now prepare to welcome in the Bryant-less Lakers (2-2) while the NBA’s fourth all-time leading scorer continues to rehab from a torn Achilles’ tendon.

“They’re still the Lakers. They’re still a good franchise,” second-year standout Jae Crowder said as the Mavs prepare for Tuesday night’s showdown. “They’re still in the Western Conference, so we want to get this win early, of course. With or without Kobe, we’ve just got to get the win. We feel like we’re going in the right direction right now, so we’re just trying to get the win before we hit this tough road trip.”

Beginning a stretch of four games in five nights before also heading out on a three-game road trip, the Mavs will try to take advantage of Bryant’s absence. That may be easier said than down, however, as Mavs coach Rick Carlisle prepares to face a young and energetic L.A. squad.

Hoping to also contain the Lakers’ deadly 3-point shooting, the Mavs will try not to get caught looking ahead to Wednesday night’s showdown in Oklahoma City. In order to do so, however, Carlisle stressed to his players the importance of remaining in the moment.

“It’s speed and energy, so you’re game planning against speed and energy,” Carlisle said while assessing the Lakers’ roster. “We’ve got to be ready to move our feet and we’ve got to get back. They’re a very good drive-and-kick team. They’re a liberal 3-point shooting team, and we’ve got to limit their open looks from three. If they get it going from three, you know, they’re very difficult to beat. In their two wins they’ve made an average of 12 a game, and in their two losses they made eight. So we’ve got to keep them out of that big 3-point night.”

He added: “We just stay in the present. You know, we’ve got to worry about today’s game and concern ourselves with it, and do everything possible to play our best today and tonight. We’ll move on from there. It’s a busy week and a lot’s going on. Travel, difficult buildings, all that kind of stuff, but we’ve got to focus on what’s happening right now.”

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 and nationally on NBA TV at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

DALLAS — Although it was a small sample of how effective their offense figures to be this season, the Dallas Mavericks showcased a balanced attack Saturday night while sprinting to a 111-99 victory over Memphis to improve to 2-1 this season.

With six Mavericks scoring in double figures led by Dirk Nowitzki’s 24 points on 7-of-16 shooting, the Dallas team bounced back from its first loss of the season in Houston the night prior. Now, while beginning a stretch of four games in five nights Tuesday against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavs will try to replicate that winning formula.

“We had a lot of balance and we had a lot of guys step up,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of the win over the Grizzlies. “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.”

“We needed it and it’s a great response,” Shawn Marion added after his 21-point, 14-rebound effort. “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.”

The Mavs will try to duplicate that performance as their difficult schedule to begin the month of November continues, welcoming in the Lakers (2-2) before journeying away from home for a three-game road trip that starts Wednesday night in Oklahoma City. But, if the Mavs are going to continue trending upward before hitting the road, correcting the mistakes from Saturday night’s win may be needed.

Despite claiming the win, Memphis’ 42.5 percent shooting as a team just bettered Dallas’ 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.

However, the Mavericks’ ability to share the scoring responsibilities would eventually help the team prevail. And according to Carlisle, that may also need to be the case Tuesday night against a Kobe Bryant-less Lakers team, as the visiting L.A. squad awaits the 15-time All-Star’s return from a torn Achilles’ tendon suffered in April.

“We did some good things to win that game,” Carlisle explained, “but now we’ve got to move on to the Lakers, and they’re a different look this year. They’re playing a lot with smaller, athletic guys. The 3-point shot is a real big part of their game, and they still have great players with [Steve] Nash and [Pau] Gasol, who can cause a lot of problems.

“It’s different, but they’ve got a lot of guys playing well. [Chris] Kaman is shooting 58 percent and making jump shots. Gasol is making threes and making jump shots. [Jordan] Hill is doing a great job of rebounding for them, and they’ve got a lot of guys that are stepping up in that system. You know, [Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni] does a great job of taking guys that aren’t household names and turning them into players. Xavier Henry is one of their leading scorers, and he’s making threes this year. Wesley Johnson is playing well. You know, [Jodie] Meeks is continuing to shoot the ball well, and they’ve got a lot of guys who are dangerous.”

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 and nationally on NBA TV at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting

Shawn Marion has 1,646 career steals and needs three to pass Charles Barkley (1,648) for 21st place on the NBA’s all-time steals list. Fat Lever ranks 20th all-time with 1,666 career steals.

DeJuan Blair has 990 career field goals and needs 10 baskets for 1,000 in his career.

Jose Calderon has 3,977 assists needs 23 assists for 4,000 in his career. Calderon ranks 101st all-time in assists and needs five assists to move back in front of New York’s Raymond Felton (3,981) for 100th place on the all-time assists list.

Mavs Head Coach Rick Carlisle

On having Shawn Marion guard Steve Nash
“It seemed to get us going, and putting him on the point guard has gotten us going the past couple of nights. Shawn’s versatility is a really fantastic feature of his game. His length around the ball is a good thing. We got off to a good start and were moving the ball well. It’s a good win for us.”

On the Mavs scoring 35-first quarter points without Dirk Nowitzki scoring
“It means we’re moving it, we have good balance. Monta Ellis was fantastic tonight – all aspects of the game. He defended, he made plays at the rim, he was under control, he hit midrange shots, he hit guys cutting to the basket. It was a great all-around performance.”

On how Monta Ellis changes the Mavs’ offense
“He’s just a different kind of weapon. His catch-and-go ability, his speed in transition, his ability to change direction and attack the rim is unique in this league. He’s one of about, I don’t know how many guys. [James] Harden gets to the rim like that. Monta gets to the rim like that. Chris Paul can, of course. There’s a few guys, [Russell] Westbrook can. [Kevin] Durant is a different kind of guy; he can, too, but he’s seven feet tall. He’s (Ellis) unique and it’s important that we put him in the right positions and right situations. As games go on, he’s getting a good feel for what we want to do. Not only is he fast, but his change of speed and deception is really unique, too.”

Mavericks forward DeJaun Blair

“Yeah it was fun out there tonight. The Lakers knowing what they do, trying to get the ball to Pau (Gasol) and I’m so low that I can get him so it was pretty fun.”

Lakers starting five aren’t as big as they use to be and with Kobe out did you guys try to do anything different?
“No it’s just coming in and playing the way you play. The Lakers are still a great team even though they are missing Kobe of course right now, but they still have great players and they are working hard with what they have. I just tried to go out there and play hard, have fun and do the little things right. I try to bring the energy off the bench.”

You guys have got off to quick starts so far this season
“It’s just our first group coming and a doing a good job. And everybody is making shots and we’re all moving and no one is standing around and just watching and that’s a big key to our game. Once everyone moves around, gets touches and we’re scrambling on defense and playing the right way and we get into a groove.”

Mavericks forward Jae Crowder

How about your improved shooting this season?
“I just stayed in the gym and worked on my shot. I knew I wasn’t a 32 percent three point shooter.  In the offseason I spent a lot of time in the gym and really worked on my shot. I have a lot of confidence in my shot right now”

“We just wanted to come out with energy tonight. We felt like this was a game we really needed tonight and we wanted to come out tonight and make a stand.”

“Monta (Ellis) is a great scorer, but he’s a great passer as well as you can see. When he drives to the lane he collapses the defense so much and always makes the right pass to the open man.”

Mavericks guard Ricky Ledo

“It went ok out there tonight. We had good moments and we had bad moments. We had a lot of turnovers, but as a team we’re doing well so far.”

Talk about entering into your first game as a NBA player?
“It was good experience, a good learning experience. I’m just trying to get better each day. Every situation is a learning experience so next time I know what to do different and what not what to do.”

What’s something’s that you would change?
“Just to be more aggressive on the offense end and close out better on defense. I just need to get better and better every game.”

“I just need to become more comfortable with the offense. There’s a lot going on and it’s going to be a learning experience.”

Did that final shot feel good leaving your hands?
“I thought it was going to hit the backboard and go in, but too much of a lean.”