Final: Mavs 91, Nets 79
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs played very well defensively in this game, forcing the Nets into tough long shots and preventing Brooklyn ball-handlers from getting into the paint. All told, Dallas allowed the Nets to move the ball into the paint via drive or pass on just 43 possessions, as opposed to 43 when they didn’t. That’s the type of split you want to see in every game, and it’s reflected in the efficiency: Brooklyn scored 0.53 points per possession on non-paint trips down the floor.
Dallas scored more than 1.1 points per possession in both quarters in the first half. The Mavs are now 7-0 this season when taking a double-digit lead into the intermission, with their most recent win coming against these same Nets on Dec. 23.
The Dallas lineup of Deron Williams, Raymond Felton, Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons, and Zaza Pachulia was +16 in this game. That group made runs in both halves and played all-around good ball on both ends. Expect to see that unit get more time moving forward.
The benefits of playing Chandler Parsons at the 4 were very evident as soon as the Mavericks made the move in the first quarter. Within minutes of assuming the position, Parsons hit a layup out of the pick-and-roll, knocked down a three-pointer in transition, and delivered an assist to a rolling Zaza Pachulia. He added a pair of rebounds in the opening frame as well. Rick Carlisle said earlier today that defensive rebounding is one of his primary concerns when Parsons plays the 4 spot, but the Mavs have performed well on the glass when he’s manned the position in the month of January. It’s something you should get used to seeing, because it’ll probably continue happening. He finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds, his first double-double of the season and first points/rebounds double-double since March 29, 2015.
This was Deron Williams’ first crack at his old team, after missing the Mavs’ December visit to Brooklyn due to injury, and he came out aggressive. Williams attacked early and often, looking to get into the paint and take shots when he had good looks. He finished the game with eight points, six assists, and two rebounds. The ball was moving crisply all night for the Mavericks, as Dallas finished with 22 dimes, and the starting point guard has the biggest influence of all.
With Zaza Pachulia returning to action tonight, all eyes were on the center rotation to see how Carlisle would divvy up the minutes. Pachulia was obviously the starter, and Salah Mejri was the primary backup. Dallas even played Dirk Nowitzki at center for a brief period in the first half. Much of Carlisle’s rotation is matchup-based, so against some of the smaller teams in the league Dallas has countered with much smaller lineups. The Nets, meanwhile, revolve around big center Brook Lopez, meaning there were more opportunities for the more sizable Mejri. The odd man out in this game was JaVale McGee, but based on the way the season has unfolded, it won’t be long until McGee gets another crack heavy minutes.
After playing 11 minutes against both the Lakers and Warriors, Justin Anderson played 11 more minutes tonight. The rookie has seen an expanded role in the rotation since Parsons made what essentially amounts to a full-time move to power forward. Anderson hit a few shots against Golden State on Wednesday night and was productive tonight as well, scoring a bucket, grabbing three boards, and recording both a block and steal. He’s looking more comfortable in general every chance he gets.
The Mavs (27-22) play the Phoenix Suns (14-33) Sunday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. Central.
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