Final: Pacers 107, Mavs 81
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs rebounded after shooting 27.3 percent for 19 points in the first quarter to shoot 55.0 percent in the second for 28. That’s despite shooting just a pair of free throws in the second after taking seven in the first, and getting just one offensive rebound after collecting five in the opening stanza. When the shots are falling, however, nothing else really matters. It’s a make-or-miss league.
Raymond Felton got off to a ridiculously hot start in the first half, shooting 5 of 8 from the field en route to 14 points, which led all scorers. He was responsible for the Mavs’ final 8 points of the second quarter, a run which included two three-pointers, one of which he sank with less than a second left in the half. Felton’s bounce-back season has been a terrific story this season, and every time we think we’ve seen him peak, he puts on yet another strong performance.
Most people might consider random possessions in the first half of games to be throwaway, forgettable plays. But at one point in the second quarter, JaVale McGee caught a hard pass on the inside, stepped across the lane into and then out of traffic, and threw down a dunk. It wasn’t an easy maneuver to pull off in such a tight space, but McGee has the athleticism and explosiveness to do it. That’s a play most guys in this league can’t make, regardless of size, so let’s hope it was a little taste of what McGee can bring to the table for the rest of the season.
The opening quarter was one of the wildest you’ll see all season. In the first 10 minutes alone, the teams combined to take 40 shots, 14 of which were three-pointers. The game was extremely up-and-down, or back-and-forth, depending on how you look at it. Dallas surged out to a 7-0 start before Indiana answered with a 15-2 run, then the Mavs scored the next 10 points to reclaim the lead before the quarter finally ended with Indiana in front 20-19. There were turnovers, bodies on the floor, and countless transition chances. It was played at a breakneck pace, yet somehow the scores were low despite the teams combining to attempt 47 field goals and 11 free throws.
Monta Ellis got off to an 0-of-9 start from the field in his first game against his former team. But he was 5 of 7 from the field in the third quarter alone, accounting for 13 of the Pacers’ 30 points as Indiana opened up an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Those who watched Ellis play in Dallas the last two seasons know how capable he is of taking over a game, especially once he gets rolling in the open floor, attacking in transition with his combination of speed and skill. He certainly found that groove in the third period.
The Mavs (14-12) play the Memphis Grizzlies (14-12) Friday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Central.