Game 61: Mavs vs. Grizzlies

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Highlights: Mavs vs. Grizzlies

Nerlens Noel records his best game as a Maverick with 15 points and 17 rebounds, and Seth Curry adds 24 points in the Mavericks win over Memphis.

DALLAS — Looking to bounce back after falling to a hard-fought 100-95 loss Wednesday in Atlanta, the Dallas Mavericks returned to their home floor and tried to avenge perhaps their most disappointing loss of the season two nights later.

Welcoming in the Memphis Grizzlies, the Mavericks attempted to atone for Wednesday’s loss. The Mavs also sought revenge for an 80-64 home defeat against the Grizzlies back on Nov. 18, looking for a better showing the second time around Friday night. And after outlasting the Grizzlies (36-36) for a 104-100 win, the Mavericks (25-36) began their current five-game homestand in style.

“I think it was a great team effort,” new addition Nerlens Noel said after all five starters scored in double figures during the win. “Guys were just out there moving the ball and playing really unselfish. You know, guys were hitting open shots, so that opened up a lot in the pick-and-roll. And it was definitely an efficient game for us, so we stuck to our bread and butter. I think it worked out for us to get great and open looks.”

Playing a second straight game minus swingman Wesley Matthews, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle hoped his team could get off to a fast start by inserting Noel into the first unit at center. But with the Mavs struggling to a 3-of-12 start from the field, the home team held just a 6-5 edge midway through the opening quarter.

The Grizzlies then surged in front behind the scoring of point guard Mike Conley and former Mav Chandler Parsons. The Mavs countered with an aggressive sharpshooter Seth Curry to remain even on the scoreboard. But despite seeing Noel make his presence known inside during the period, the Mavericks found themselves in a 22-20 hole after 12 minutes off play following former sixth man Vince Carter’s late triple.

Turning to backup big man Zach Randolph off the bench, the Grizzlies tried to keep their foot on the gas in the second stanza. But after newly-named Western Conference Rookie of the Month Yogi Ferrell’s and-one score over Carter, the Mavs grabbed a slight edge.

Veteran reserve guard Devin Harris took matters from there, feeding Tunisian center Salah Mejri for a dunk and then driving the lane for a score of his own the next time down the floor. Meanwhile, Noel continued to provide a spark at both ends of the court, scoring with an athletic move inside and skying for a rejection on Parsons at the rim to protect the lead. Noel then moved in double figures, hoping to send the Mavericks into the intermission with an advantage after an alley-oop connection from Curry. Noel’s 13 points and nine rebounds in the half then sent the Mavs into the break with a 51-50 edge.

Led by 25 combined points from the duo of Noel and Curry on 10-of-14 shooting, the Mavericks’ 50 percent from the field through two quarters bettered the Grizzlies’ 46.3 percent. The Mavs also overcame Memphis’ 23-21 rebounding edge, committing just two turnovers in the half.

“You know, not having a 10-turnover half and giving up 15 points was the big difference for us,” leading scorer Harrison Barnes said after the Mavericks committed 22 total turnovers during Wednesday’s loss. “We kept it close. Coming into halftime, it was a close game, and then we just kept our foot on the gas in the second half.”

Surrendering the lead on the opening possession of the second half after a score by Parsons, the Mavericks then surged back in front to take a 58-54 edge after Curry’s three-pointer from the wing. Curry stayed on the attack from there, converting a driving score and swishing another trey in back-to-back possessions to reach the 20-point plateau for the fourth time in five games.

The Mavericks then attempted to pull away in the quarter, surging ahead by as many as 10 as Barnes took charge of the offense. But with Randolph attempting to will his team back into the game, the Mavs slid into the fourth with a 79-72 advantage under their belt.

Charging to within three after back-to-back baskets by Randolph, the Grizzlies began to swing the momentum in their favor early in the final period. Ferrell then tried to settle his team down with consecutive scores while Mejri supplied the defense inside, leading to a thunderous slam by rookie Dorian Finney-Smith to put the Mavericks back in control. And after a timely three from the top of the key by 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs surged to an 88-76 lead with 8:45 left on the game clock.

“It took a while for me to find it, but I was trying to find how they were playing pick-and-rolls. Once I found that, I knew different gaps I could get into to make open shots or kick out to my teammates,” Ferrell said of his fourth-quarter engineering of the offense.

The lead wasn’t safe, however, as Conley tried to take charge of the scoring for the Grizzlies midway through the quarter. The Dallas defense then began to suffocate the cat-quick guard down the stretch, stringing together stops in the process. But after Tony Allen’s driving score over Barnes with 1:16 still on the clock, the Mavs saw their lead shrink to just four at 94-90.

The Mavericks then began to pad the lead at the free-throw line, taking advantage of a technical foul call on Grizzlies coach David Fizdale with 46.6 ticks left to grab a 97-90 advantage. And despite Conley’s best efforts the rest of the way, clutch free throws by Curry and Barnes helped the Mavs put the finishing touches on their win at the charity stripe.

Scoring 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, Curry also grabbed five rebounds to lead the Mavericks to the win. Barnes pitched in 18 points, and Ferrell added 17 points with five assists in the first unit. Meanwhile, Noel tallied 15 points and a career high-tying 17 rebounds in his first start with the team. Nowitzki made it five Mavs in double figures with 10 points and seven boards inside.

Conley led four Grizzlies in double figures with a game-high 30 points on 9-of-15 shooting. However, the Mavericks outshot the Grizzlies for the game, 47.6 percent to 46.3 percent. The Mavs also finished with a 45-39 rebounding edge, forcing the Grizzlies into 10 turnovers while committing nine giveaways of their own.

“You know, rebounding has always been a tough area for us as a team, and [Noel] coming in here tonight getting those rebounds and providing an inside presence was huge for us,” Barnes said.

“[Noel] did a good job,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle echoed. “He was very active. You know, it’s very difficult to out-rebound this team. And when you’ve got a guy putting up 17, it gives you a chance. He was a big part of that, and offensively he was active around the basket. He got to the free-throw line a few times, which was good, so he did a very good job.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to their home floor on Sunday night, hosting the Oklahoma City Thunder. Oklahoma City leads the season series 1-0 after a 109-98 home win on Jan. 26. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:
Wesley Matthews (hip injury) — out
J.J. Barea (left calf strain) — out

Grizzlies

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
C. Parsons, F 23 3-11 1-4 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 1 3 -7 7
J. Green, F 25 2-4 1-1 0-0 0 7 7 1 0 0 0 3 4 5
M. Gasol, C 36 6-18 0-3 1-4 1 5 6 4 0 0 4 4 -10 13
T. Allen, G 22 3-6 1-2 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 -7 7
M. Conley, G 35 9-15 3-6 9-10 0 2 2 4 1 0 1 4 -3 30
V. Carter 27 3-7 3-6 1-2 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 3 5 10
Z. Randolph 29 11-14 0-1 2-4 5 5 10 2 1 0 0 2 -2 24
T. Douglas 20 1-2 0-1 2-2 0 2 2 3 0 0 1 4 -2 4
T. Daniels 14 0-5 0-4 0-0 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 4 0
J. Ennis 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 1 0 3 0
D. Davis 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Harrison 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
W. Baldwin 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Martin 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   38-82 9-28 15-22 7 32 39 16 4 0 10 23   100
    46.3% 32.1%                      

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Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
H. Barnes, F 36 6-15 1-4 5-5 1 2 3 1 1 0 0 1 3 18
D. Nowitzki, F 29 4-10 1-4 1-1 0 7 7 2 0 0 1 3 6 10
N. Noel, C 35 6-10 0-0 3-6 4 13 17 2 1 2 0 3 9 15
S. Curry, G 36 8-15 2-7 6-6 0 5 5 2 2 0 2 2 3 24
Y. Ferrell, G 28 6-12 0-2 5-5 0 2 2 5 1 0 1 3 1 17
Q. Cook 15 2-5 1-4 0-0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 1 1 5
D. Finney-Smith 28 2-6 0-3 1-2 2 3 5 1 0 0 0 0 -8 5
D. Harris 15 3-7 0-3 0-2 0 1 1 6 0 0 1 3 1 6
S. Mejri 10 2-2 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 1 2 4 -1 4
N. Brussino 3 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
B. Bentil 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
A. Hammons 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Powell 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Barea 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
W. Matthews 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   39-82 5-27 21-27 8 37 45 23 5 3 8 20   104
    47.6% 18.5%                      

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Postgame: Nerlens Noel

Mavs C Nerlens Noel chats with Jeff "Skin" Wade after his monster performance in Friday night's win over Memphis.

Postgame: Harrison Barnes

Mavs F Harrison Barnes dishes on Nerlens Noel's impact on Friday night's win over Memphis and more.

Noel And-One

Nerlens Noel drives to the basket and gets the unorthodox left-handed layup to fall, plus the foul.

Curry Oop to Noel

Seth Curry throws the beautiful Oop to Nerlens Noel.

Barnes Takes Flight

Yogi Ferrell delivers a nice bounce pass to a streaking Harrison Barnes for the soaring one-handed slam.

Noel Rejects Gasol

Nerlens Noel skies for the block on Marc Gasol.

Finney-Smith Throws It Down

On the break, Devin Harris feeds it to Dorian Finney-Smith for the rising powerful spike.

One-on-one with Yogi Ferrell

Earl K. Sneed goes one-on-one with Mavs G Yogi Ferrell prior to tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle previews tonight's game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Nerlens Noel getting his first start as a Mav and more.

DALLAS — With his team in need of a bounce-back win Friday night against the Memphis Grizzlies to begin a five-game homestand, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will look to one of his young contributors in the first unit and a veteran leader off the bench for a spark.

Making his first start with the Mavericks (24-36) after joining the team at the trade deadline in a deal with Philadelphia, 22-year-old big man Nerlens Noel will try to produce an impact in the first unit. Noel is averaging 7.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals in three games with the Mavs, clocking 23.7 minutes per outing during that span. But after inserting Noel into the starting lineup to begin the second half of Wednesday’s 100-95 loss in Atlanta, Carlisle will ask the big man to provide even more Friday night against the Grizzlies’ physical front line.

“Well, we just want him to be aggressive,” Carlisle of Noel’s pending first start with the team. “We want him to play to his strength. We need him to rebound tonight with their big guys and how well they rebound the ball, and he did a good job to start the third quarter the other night. The first part of the game the other night with (Dwight) Howard was rough, and I think this is an adjustment. You know, he’s coming over from the East, and he’s seeing all these monsters on a consistent basis for the first time. And this is a real good challenge for him.”

While Carlisle will ask Noel to provide a spark in the first unit to make up for the absence of swingman Wesley Matthews (hip injury), the coach also hopes veteran sixth man Devin Harris can continue to impact the game off the bench.

Harris is averaging 6.1 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.8 assists an outing off the bench, making 43 reserve appearances this season. He’s also stepped up his play in recent weeks, averaging 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists during the month of February. But with the Mavs eager to avenge an 80-64 loss at the hands of the Grizzlies (36-25) back on Nov. 18, Harris says he’s prepared to do much more to help the team begin its five-game homestand with a signature win.

“I’m just going out there and trying to be impactful,” Harris proclaimed. “You know, I know I’m not going to play 20-25 minutes. So, whether it be 13 or whether it be 18, I’m just going out there and trying to be impactful. You know, I try to sway the game as much as I can when I’m out there and just to be aggressive. For the guys that are coming off the bench, I’m just trying to install a type of mentality coming out. You know, I’m reading the game, being aggressive and attacking it, and we’re trying to win that eight-minute stretch when we’re out there.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to their home floor on Friday night, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis leads the season series 1-0 after an 80-64 win in Dallas on Nov. 18. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:
Wesley Matthews (hip injury) — out
J.J. Barea (left calf strain) — out

DALLAS — After giving up 21 points off their 22 turnovers Wednesday during a hard-fought 100-95 defeat in Atlanta, the Dallas Mavericks know they must take better care of the ball two nights later on their home floor against a divisional foe.

Committing several costly and uncharacteristic giveaways to nullify a valiant effort on the road during Wednesday’s loss, the Mavericks (24-36) continued an unfavorable trend since coming out of the All-Star break. The Mavs now sit 3 1/2 games behind Denver for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference standings, looking to make up ground during their current five-game homestand. But after falling to an 80-64 home loss at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies the first time the two Southwest Division rivals squared off back on Nov. 18, the Mavericks admit that they will need to raise their collective play in order to get a win during the second showdown Friday night.

“We’ve got to give ourselves a chance to shoot a basket,” 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said while addressing the team’s turnover-prone play during the last four games. “I think we’ve got some guys that are shooting incredibly well, and we’re shooting ourselves in the foot when we don’t get a shot up. Plus, so far when we turn it over, we’re not a great transition-defense team, so we’ve got to give ourselves a chance to get a look. I mean, you’re never going to have zero turnovers, and there’s always going to be some accidental stuff. Everybody is making mistakes, but we’re making too many and we’re making some that are avoidable, I think.”

Unable to keep their turnovers down, the Mavs struggled to muster up enough offense to keep pace with the gritty Grizzlies (36-25) the last time the teams faced off back in November. The Mavericks also just avoided a franchise record for lowest-scoring outing in team history of 62 against Milwaukee on November 22, 1997. Now, the Mavs will try to put more points up on the board, looking to move to 1-1 in the season series with a win to begin their homestand.

Posting 15 points on just 5-of-17 shooting, versatile forward Harrison Barnes also grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Mavericks in a losing effort. Meanwhile, former Mav Chandler Parsons led four Grizzlies in double figures with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting and 3 of 5 from three as Memphis’ 40.3 percent from the field bettered Dallas’ 28.8 percent. Memphis also finished with a 48-45 rebounding edge, converting the Mavs’ 17 turnovers into 27 points. That said, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle knows his team must protect the ball better against an aggressive Memphis defense in order to walk off its home floor with a win.

“We’ve got to move it around, and we’ve got to keep turnovers down,” Carlisle confessed. “I mean, 22 turnovers is a recipe for disaster. It’s amazing that we were even close to being in the game (Wednesday night), let alone having a four-point lead with two minutes to go. So, we looked at some of those situations that gave us problems (Wednesday night), and we worked a little bit at remedying that. But Memphis is a different kind of animal. … You know, it’s brutal, so you’ve got to do things hard and you have to know where they are. But they’re super quick, they anticipate, and they turn turnovers into points with lightening speed.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to their home floor on Friday night, hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis leads the season series 1-0 after an 80-64 win in Dallas on Nov. 18. That game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:
Wesley Matthews (hip injury) — out
J.J. Barea (left calf strain) — out