Game 55: Mavs vs. Jazz

Assist of the Night: Zaza Pachulia

Zaza Pachulia ends up the with official assist but the entire Mavericks team gets in on the action before Deron Williams finishes with the layup.

Game 14: Mavs at Thunder

Postgame: Rick Carlisle

Rick Carlisle discusses Mavs/Thunder.

Game 44: Mavs vs. Bulls

Bulls vs. Mavericks

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 24 points but it wasn’t enough as the Mavs fall to the Bulls.

Game 21: Mavs vs. Suns

Ellis’s Big Night

Highlights from Monta Ellis' big night as he scores 33 points in 37 minutes of action going 14-22 from the field.

Game 17: Mavs at Raptors

Highlights: Mavs vs. Raptors – 11/28/14

Monta Ellis scores 30 points in the Mavericks 106-102 win over the Raptors.

Monta Ellis shows he can put Mavs on his back

Highlights: Mavs vs. Wizards – 11/19/14

The Mavs increased their win streak to five games after pulling out a hard-fought 105-102 win over Washington.

DALLAS — Leading the Dallas Mavericks in scoring each of the last three games, starting shooting guard Monta Ellis has hit the ground running to start the 2014-15 campaign while picking up where he left off at during the team’s first-round playoff series against the eventual champion San Antonio Spurs last season.

Joining the Mavericks (9-3) last summer as a free agent, Ellis would quickly make himself at home while averaging at least 19.0 points per game for the seventh straight year. But, after scoring 18 of his game-high 34 points in the first quarter of Wednesday’s 105-102 road victory against the Washington Wizards, Ellis may have announced to the rest of the NBA that he’s in for a career year.

“Monta kept us going in the first quarter,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said after Ellis’ 6-of-7 shooting in the opening period made up for a 1-of-12 start by his teammates Wednesday night. “I mean, he had 18 points and we had three other guys to score. And he just carried us on his back. We were not playing well at either end, so that was much needed. Our game picked up in the second quarter, and then second half was just a great basketball game. You know, very close, very competitive and some of the top refs out there. It was just like a playoff game. So, any time you can get in those situations in mid-November, it’s going to make you a better team – win or lose.”

Finishing the first half with 24 points while hitting seven of his first 10 shots, Ellis would singlehandedly will the Mavericks to a 54-53 edge while 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki struggled to get into a rhythm with three fouls at the midway mark. Ellis’ teammates then collectively came together to help the Mavs finish off the victory, extending their overall winning streak to five in the process.

But it’s Ellis’ first-half play that received the attention of his teammates after the game as he once again displayed an ability to put the squad on his back.

“We had nothing going there. They came really out and set the physical tone, and they took us out of our stuff a little bit,” Nowitzki explained after being held to just 13 points on 4-of-12 shooting. “Every time that we had somebody driving it felt like they had two or three guys in the paint, trying to take our lob plays away. They wanted us to beat them over the top. And on Monta they went under that screen-and-roll basically all night, but definitely there in the first half. He kept stepping into those shots, and it was the Wizards against Monta there in the first half. He definitely got us in it.”

“I was making shots, the ball was going down and my team stayed with it,” Ellis modestly added after the game. “How much I did in the first half, they came and did in the second half. It was a total team effort to come out and get this win. J.J. [Barea] hit some big shots, Dirk came back in and hit some shots and Brandan [Wright] played an excellent game on both ends, so it was a total team effort.”

But, despite taking the attention off of his own play, Ellis is no stranger to carrying the Mavs when needed.

During Dallas’ epic seven-game first-round playoff series against the Spurs last season, Ellis led the team in scoring while posting 20.4 points an outing. He also operated as the Mavericks’ closer in Game 6 of that series, scoring 12 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to force a decisive seventh showdown following a 113-111 win.

Averaging a team-best 19.7 points per game this season, the Mavericks will undoubtedly continue looking in Ellis’ direction to take charge as defenses line up to contain Nowitzki. And if Ellis can continue to will the Mavs to victories, he could receive All-Star consideration for the first time in his stellar career.

“I didn’t realize how explosive he is and what a great scorer he is,” center Tyson Chandler said of Ellis after rejoining the franchise in a trade from New York this summer. “You know, watching him from afar, I didn’t get to see him that much, so it always seemed like he scores in spurts. But he’s a guy who can carry a team. He can carry an offensive load. He has it all. He can knock down a jump shot, he can finish at the rim and he can also make plays. So, he’s definitely a guy that you can run the offense through, especially when we need to give Dirk a little bit of a break.”

Note: Following their two-game road trip, the Mavericks will return to American Airlines Center on Friday, hosting Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. That 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.com.


Injury updates presented by Baylor Emergency Medical Centers:
Devin Harris, soreness in his lower right leg, questionable

Game 12: Mavs at Wizards

Highlights: Mavs vs. Wizards – 11/19/14

The Mavs increased their win streak to five games after pulling out a hard-fought 105-102 win over Washington.