Final: Mavs 114, Grizzlies 110
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs pushed the pace to the extreme in the first half. Despite playing only 44 possessions, which isn’t a particularly high amount, Dallas pushed the ball up the floor very quickly, especially once Memphis started missing more and more shots. Dallas got the ball across halfcourt in three seconds or less on 32 of those 44 possessions and scored 1.41 points per possession in those opportunities. That’s a hugely efficient number and it’s a big reason why the Mavs were able to score 29 points in the second quarter.
Dallas didn’t force many turnovers, but the Mavericks made them count, scoring 12 points off Memphis’ 11 giveaways. Dallas went defense-to-offense better in this game than it has in most others recently, and against a team like Memphis which wants to slow it down and play a halfcourt game, getting into the open floor is one of the most effective ways to win the game.
The Grizzlies are a good free throw shooting team, but shot only eight of their 14 attempts from the charity stripe in the first half. Memphis left a few easy points on the floor, heading into halftime trailing the Mavericks 54-52. Dallas, for what it’s worth, shot 10 of 14 from the line in the first half.
The Mavericks are now 6-1 in overtime this season.
After how this thing started, and considering the three-game losing streak, and especially with what happened last night, this was one of the biggest wins of the season for the Mavericks. Dallas hit big shot after big shot to maintain a slim lead in crunch time, including a couple of huge three-pointers by Raymond Felton, even after Memphis launched a 7-0 run in the final few minutes to reduce the lead to just one point. The Grizzlies even forced overtime with a late Mike Conley three and then an empty offensive possession at the other end. It should also be noted that Zaza Pachulia was in foul trouble for virtually the entire game, but still came up with countless defensive stops late in the contest, playing with five fouls. It’s a significant, uplifting win for the club, away from home and against a team higher in the standings. But Dallas got the win, and that matters more than anything. The Mavs can look to continue righting the ship Tuesday night against Utah and then head to the All-Star break with a chance to rest and get healthy and ready to go for a home-packed schedule later this month and beyond.
After falling behind 12-4 early in the first quarter, Deron Williams led a quick Mavericks comeback to tie it up at 21. He finished with eight points and two assists in the opening frame alone, letting the game come to home and taking shots as they came. You can tell when a player feels comfortable, and that was definitely the case with Williams in the first. He looked exceptionally smooth and got to his spots easily, especially on one post-up against Mario Chalmers which led to a foul and two free throws. Then it was Chandler Parsons’ turn to have a huge quarter, as he scored 10 points and grabbed five boards in the second alone, keying a Mavs’ offensive surge which saw the club take a halftime lead. Both guys played complete games, making plays on both ends.
An odd sequence developed early in the second quarter. With 8:40 left, Raymond Felton drove the lane and put up a floater and was fouled. Memphis center Ryan Hollins went to block the shot but was called for goaltending, so the basket counted. Hollins was also assessed with a technical foul because he grabbed the rim when contesting the shot, so Dallas was then given another free throw. Unfortunately Felton missed his charity stripe attempt, otherwise Dallas could have had a chance at a four-point possession. Regardless, that’s not a play you see very often in the NBA, or really at any level of basketball. Even some of the players were confused as it happened. Another weird moment happened with 22.4 seconds left in overtime. Dallas was milking the clock with a 110-109 lead, waiting to take a shot. Rick Carlisle was communicating with the players and pointing to a spot on the floor, but an official thought he was calling for timeout. Once the whistle is blown, there’s not much you can do. The Mavs wanted to go from defense to offense and play out the possession, but instead play stopped and Dallas drew up a play. It ended up working out for the Mavericks though, as Dirk Nowitzki sank an open jumper out of the timeout to put Dallas up 112-109 with 16.6 ticks remaining.
It’s not really something you can fully understand unless you see him do it, but there aren’t many things in the league more ferocious or surprising than the way Justin Anderson chases a defensive rebound. He’s got one of the biggest vertical leaps in the NBA, and he puts it on display for all to see when an opponent misses. He’ll jump into the air with his left arm fully extended, grab the ball at its peak, then bring it down to his body all with one hand, as he usually uses his right usually to ward off an opponent. We all know how important defensive rebounding is to winning games, so if Anderson can continue to be a positive on the defensive glass, he’ll find it easy to keep receiving minutes.
The Mavs (29-25) play the Utah Jazz (24-25) Tuesday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Central.