Game 48: Mavs vs. Kings

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Mavericks vs. Kings

Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis combined for 54 points as the Mavs dethroned the Kings Friday night, 107-103.

DALLAS — Set to square off for a second time this season, both the Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings stepped into American Airlines Center Friday without one of their central figures.

With the Kings taking the court minus leading scorer and rebounder DeMarcus Cousins (sprained left ankle) for a fifth straight game, the Mavericks hoped to continue Sacramento’s five-game losing streak. Meanwhile, the Mavs were also without their top rebounder and perimeter defender, as four-time All-Star Shawn Marion sat out Friday’s outing due to a sore right shoulder.

Still, the Mavs looked to continue their 18-game home winning streak over the Kings, attempting to avenge a 112-97 road loss back on Dec. 9. And despite having to fight for a full 48 minutes, the Mavericks (27-21) would indeed run that streak to 19 straight following a 107-103 victory.

“We had to grind it out,” leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki said after the win. “We knew even without Cousins they’re a talented team. They can score, and we really had to dig deep and get some stops in the fourth quarter.”

Playing without the services of Marion, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle filled the starting small forward spot with second-year standout Jae Crowder, looking to improve on a 5-1 mark this season entering the night when the former Marquette star was in the first unit. The Mavs then quickly tried to spit out the bitter taste of Wednesday’s 117-115 loss to Houston.

Catching an alley-oop lob pass from point guard Jose Calderon before rejecting a shot that led to Crowder’s breakaway slam, center Samuel Dalembert would ensure that the Mavericks got off to a fast start. Fresh off his 12th All-Star selection, Nowitzki took it from there, scoring with ease after his 38 points and season-high 17 rebounds came in a losing effort Wednesday. And despite Rudy Gay’s 10 quick points, the Mavs took a 24-20 edge into the second stanza.

With Nowitzki back on the attack in the second quarter, the Mavericks tried to create some separation on the scoreboard. Reserve guard Devin Harris lent some assistance, penetrating the lane as the Mavs seized a double-digit lead. But, after leading by as many as 11, the Mavericks took just a 54-49 advantage into the halftime intermission.

Led by Nowitzki’s 18 first-half points on 7-of-8 shooting, the Mavericks seized the lead while getting outshot through two quarters, 55.6 percent to 53.7 percent. Meanwhile, the Mavs held a 20-12 rebounding edge and 12-3 advantage in fast-break points at the midway mark.

However, whatever momentum the Mavs finished the first half with would quickly fade away as Sacramento began the third quarter with a 17-3 spurt to gain the upper hand. Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas also began to catch fire, lifting the visitors to a 14-point lead in the process.

“If we do have a lead at halftime, we tend to come out really slow. We missed some shots, turned the ball over and they took advantage of that,” Nowitzki admitted.

Not to be outdone, 2-guard Monta Ellis tried to will the Mavs back into the game. And following an 11-3 run to end the third, the Mavericks trailed by an 81-75 margin entering the final 12 minutes of play.

Continuing the momentum from the close of the third, Nowitzki broke back into the scoring with a three-point play as the fourth period got underway. Nowitzki then switched in a 3-pointer from the top of the key, breaking out of the Mavs’ 0-of-14 drought from behind the arc.

Ellis tied the game at 87-all from there with two foul shots, before Nowitzki followed suit with two free throws of his own to regain the lead with 6:54 remaining. Calderon’s 3-pointer to keep the Kings at bay came a short time later. But the Kings (15-31) refused to go away as Thomas and Gay continued to will their team, while backup big man Brandan Wright asserted himself inside for the Mavs.

Ellis and Nowitzki then took turns closing the Kings out,  leading to sixth man Vince Carter’s feed inside to Ellis for a three-point play with 12.4 seconds remaining to go up 105-100. And despite Marcus Thornton’s 3-pointer with 5.6 seconds left, the Mavs successfully put the game away after Ellis’ 2-of-2 trip to the foul line with 4.6 ticks on the game clock.

“It was a tough night, because our shotmaking wasn’t great,” Carlisle said of the win. “It took us almost three and a half quarters to hit a three. On those nights, you’ve got to hang in somehow and Sacramento had a pretty good groove going. … We got down, but we hung in.”

Finishing an 11-of-19 shooting performance, Nowitzki led the way to the win with 34 points in 34 minutes of work. Ellis added 20 points and Calderon tallied up 14 points and seven assists in the first unit. Meanwhile, Wright recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

“I thought Ellis played probably his best all-around game of the season,” Carlisle explained. “He had zero turnovers. He was extremely disciplined at both ends of the floor. He waited for the opportunities to pop, and then he got to the rim. He had assists, he made huge free throws at the end and he was fantastic tonight. And Dirk was great, obviously, with 34 points in 34 minutes.”

Gay led the Kings with a game-high 35 points on 10-of-16 shooting, and Thomas was the only other Sacramento scorer in double figures with 19 points to go with his six assists. The Kings also outshot the Mavs on the night, 50.7 percent to 47.5 percent, adding a 39-37 rebounding edge. But the Mavericks committed just four turnovers for the game, scoring 18 points at the other end of the floor off the Kings’ 15 giveaways.

“That was our biggest thing the last few games. Our turnovers have been very high,” Ellis confessed. “I think we were trying to make the risky passes and tonight we didn’t. We had four in the first half and none in the second half. That was one of the reasons way we were able to chip away, get back in the game and come out with the win.”

“In the second half, we had zero turnovers as a team, and that’s the only way we were going to win that game, because the shots weren’t falling,” Carlisle added. “That’s a talented team. They were just jumping over us and making shots. It just took a lot of grit to hang in.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, concluding a four-game homestand. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 102-97 road victory back on Jan. 20. 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



All Stats

R. Gay, F 35 10-16 0-1 15-17 3 9 12 6 1 0 3 0 5 35
J. Thompson, F 19 4-7 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 0 0 0 1 5 11 8
A. Gray, C 22 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 2 0 3 1 1 9 4
M. Thornton, G 33 3-9 3-4 0-0 2 0 2 1 0 0 1 1 5 9
I. Thomas, G 42 8-21 3-10 0-0 0 2 2 6 1 0 3 3 1 19
Q. Acy 30 3-4 0-0 2-2 0 6 6 0 1 2 1 5 -22 8
C. Landry 12 2-2 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 0 1 1 2 -5 4
B. McLemore 14 2-4 0-2 0-0 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 3 -11 4
D. Williams 23 1-6 0-2 3-4 1 6 7 1 0 0 1 4 -8 5
J. Fredette 6 3-4 1-2 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 -5 7
D. Cousins 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
R. McCallum 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Outlaw 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   38-75 7-21 20-23 10 29 39 20 4 6 14 26   103
    50.7% 33.3%                      

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All Stats

J. Crowder, F 29 3-8 0-3 0-0 1 5 6 3 2 0 0 4 -3 6
D. Nowitzki, F 34 11-19 1-3 11-11 0 5 5 2 2 0 1 4 8 34
S. Dalembert, C 15 3-4 0-0 0-0 1 3 4 0 0 1 0 3 -6 6
M. Ellis, G 39 6-10 0-1 8-9 1 2 3 3 3 1 0 1 4 20
J. Calderon, G 33 6-14 1-6 1-2 0 1 1 7 1 0 1 2 -1 14
D. Blair 12 1-5 0-0 4-6 2 1 3 0 1 0 1 0 -2 6
V. Carter 26 2-6 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 1 3 8 4
B. Wright 25 4-6 0-0 2-5 4 6 10 0 1 0 0 0 7 10
S. Larkin 4 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -1 0
D. Harris 17 2-7 0-3 3-3 2 0 2 5 0 0 0 1 6 7
W. Ellington 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
R. Ledo 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Marion 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
G. Mekel 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   38-80 2-19 29-36 12 25 37 21 10 2 4 18   107
    47.5% 10.5%                      

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Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki weighs in on the groove he's in right now, his game against the Kings Friday night, how happy he is with being selected to his 12th All-Star appearance and more.


Postgame: Monta Ellis

Mavs G Monta Ellis talks about not having any turnovers in the win over the Kings Friday night, how the team was able to fight back, Dirk's performance and more.


Dirk Goes for 34 in Win

Dirk Nowitzki scores 34 points to lead the Mavericks to a win over the Kings.


Block and Slam

Samuel Dalembert gets the big block and it leads to a Jae Crowder dunk on the other end of the floor.


Practice Report: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki says he isn't sure if he'll make the All-Star team this year but would be honored if he got invited.


Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick talks about the challenges the Kings present Friday, says Shawn Marion will miss the game, whether or not they are preparing to face DeMarcus Cousins and more.


2014 All-Star Top 10: Dirk Nowitzki

Watch in amazement as we run down some of the top plays from the Western Reserve All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

DALLAS — If the Dallas Mavericks are going to extend their 18-game home winning streak over the Sacramento Kings Friday, then they’ll have to do so without their best perimeter defender and leading rebounder.

After being held out of Thursday’s team practice, four-time All-Star Shawn Marion was ruled out of Friday’s matchup against the Kings (15-30) as he continues to battle a sore right shoulder. Marion originally suffered a shoulder contusion and bruised upper ribs during the Mavericks’ 110-97 home win Jan. 7 over the Los Angeles Lakers, before eventually missing four games. He’s since battled through the pain, but was scratched from the lineup by Mavs coach Rick Carlisle following the team’s Friday morning shootaround.

“He’s not going to play tonight. He’s probably going to be listed as day-to-day, and we hope he can feel better sometime soon,” Carlisle said of Marion’s status for the foreseeable future. “It’s not a setback. It’s just not there.”

Marion has averaged 11.1 points and 6.9 rebounds in his 43 games this season, operating as the team’s lockdown defender at the same time. Without the versatile forward in the lineup, however, the Mavericks (26-21) will have to throw a multitude of defenders at Kings new addition Rudy Gay, who sat out Sacramento’s 112-97 win over the Mavs back on Dec. 9 while he awaited a trade from Toronto to be completed.

And with the Mavs looking to claim a 19th straight meeting in Dallas over the Kings, Carlisle will have to turn to other players on the roster for a defensive spark, after the Mavs allowed Houston to shoot a season-worst 55.4 percent from the field Wednesday night in a 117-115 loss.

“With Marion out, it’s going to bump other guys possibly into the rotation,” Carlisle confessed. “A lot of guys are going to have to be ready, and we’ve got to bring high energy to this game.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Sacramento Kings, playing the third outing of a four-game homestand. The Kings lead the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavs a 112-97 road loss back on Dec. 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



DALLAS — Failing to take advantage of a James Harden-less Houston team Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks will have revenge on their minds as they return to the court for the third outing of their four-game homestand.

Looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s 117-115 loss to the Rockets, the Mavericks (26-21) will now attempt to avenge a 112-97 loss in Sacramento back on Dec. 9. And with the Kings (15-30) entering Friday’s matchup on a five-game losing streak, the Mavs should have plenty of incentive to treat their hometown fans to a show.

“[The Kings] have been in a lot of close games. They’ve lost a lot of close games recently to really good teams. I don’t think we took them lightly. I just think that they outplayed us, and it was just one of those nights where they made a lot more plays than we did,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said of the first meeting.

Meanwhile, Mavs leading scorer Dirk Nowitzki will try to pick back up where he left off at, scoring 38 points and snatching down a season-high 17 rebounds in the loss to Houston before being announced as a Western Conference All-Star reserve for the 12th time in his illustrious career. And after becoming just the 13th player in NBA history to eclipse 26,000 career points, Nowitzki will now try to lead the Mavs to a win on their home hardwood.

“I always said numbers don’t mean anything in a loss. It really means nothing. We should have found a way to kind of win this one,” a disappointed Nowitzki said following Wednesday’s defeat.

In order to get back on track, however, the Mavs will have to limit Sacramento’s effectiveness in the lane. Against the Rockets, the Dallas defense surrendered a season-worst 55.4 percent shooting and allowed seven Houston scorers to reach double figures. The Rockets also feasted in the interior, scoring 56 points in the paint.

That can’t be the case Friday night, according to Carlisle and Nowitzki, if the Mavs hope to extend an 18-game home winning streak against the Sacramento squad.

“Well, our transition defense has been pretty good at times. The blow-bys are happening just in halfcourt, lining us up and driving us,” Carlisle explained. “We’ve got to do a better job with our stances, moving our feet and getting our body position right, and our early-help guys have got to show more help. When players in this league see big gaps, they put their heads down, drive it and they look for the official to blow the whistle. And so it’s got to be a better effort collectively.”

“We’ve just got to do a better job of keeping the man in front of us,” Nowitzki echoed. “We know we’re not the best defensive team, but we’ve got to have five guys working together. We’ve got to have Samuel [Dalembert] protect the rim for us, and we’ve just got to do collectively a better job of just keeping the man in front of us. It was just too many penetrations, and [the Rockets] were living in the paint. They were laying the ball up all the time, and it’s tough to win a game at home where you give up 117. That puts a lot of stress on the offense, and it shouldn’t be that way.”

Note: The Mavericks return to American Airlines Center on Friday against the Sacramento Kings, playing the third outing of a four-game homestand. The Kings lead the season series 1-0 after handing the Mavs a 112-97 road loss back on Dec. 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


The Mavericks have won 18 consecutive home games against the Kings. It’s their longest ever home winning streak against one opponent. The Kings have not won in Dallas since 2/27/03, when they recorded a 126-124 overtime-victory.

Dirk Nowitzki earned his franchise-best 12th All-Star selection.

Nowitzki has shot 6,360-of-7,241 (.878) from the line for his career and ranks 12th all-time in free throws made. He needs 16 free throws to pass Allen Iverson (6,375) for 11th place on the NBA’s all-time free throws made list.

Vince Carter is currently tied with Hubert Davis (306) for ninth place on the Mavericks’ all-time 3-point field goals made list. He needs one trey to take sole possession of ninth place. Josh Howard ranks eighth in Mavericks history with 318 treys.

Shawn Marion ranks 19th all-time in career steals with 1,693. Ron Harper ranks 18th with 1,716. Marion needs seven thefts to become the 19th player in NBA history with at least 1,700 steals. Marion has 1,194 career blocks and needs six rejections to become the 52nd player in NBA history with at least 1,200 blocks.