Mavericks Clinch Playoff Berth With Win Over Warriors

Dirk Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks with 20 points and Peja Stojakovic returned after dealing with a stiff neck by scoring 17 points in the 101-73 victory over the Golden State Warriors. The win clinched a playoff berth for the Mavericks. It marks the 11th straight trip to the playoffs and they are one win away from collecting their 11th straight season with at least 50 wins.

Golden State and Dallas met for the second time in five days as they play at American Airlines Center on Sunday. Dallas has now won six straight against the Warriors, including 11 of the last 14 matchups. Dallas has gone 7-1 in the last eight matchups with Golden State at home. With the win, the Mavericks are now 38-4 when they reach the century mark this season (compared to 11-17 when they score under 100 points).

Dallas used Saturday as a day to reassess things and look at themselves in the mirror. Tyson Chandler said it was a day to decide if they were going to call it a summer or buckle down and get things back in order. Sunday night's performance against the Warriors was a good start. They will use this week a practice week similar to what the San Antonio Spurs had last week as they had three days off before their game against Dallas on Mar. 18. The Mavericks are hopeful it can lead to similar results as they have 12 games left to get things in order before the real season begins.

Did THAT Just Happen?!

- The Mavericks had one forward in and one forward out. Shawn Marion was inactive due to a sprained right wrist. It was his second game missed of the season. He did not participate in the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Jan. 1, 2011 due to a thigh contusion. He spoke with the media prior to the game and said he felt a lot better on Sunday and feels like he could probably play on Thursday against the Timberwolves. He confirmed that he was going for a block against Tony Parker and his wrist bumped into Rodrigue Beauboius' hand. Peja Stojakovic was declared active for the game against the Warriors after missing the previous six games due to a stiff neck.

- It was more than a symbolic move into active status for Peja Stojakovic as the Peja-sighting in full effect. Stojakovic got a running hook-shot within the first two minutes on the floor. Within a span of 67 seconds early in the second quarter, Stojakovic hit three consecutive three-point baskets. He had 11 points in the first half in just six minutes of action in the first half. I don't care who you are, 11 points in 6 minutes of action after not seeing the court in 2 weeks is awfully impressive.

- Rodrigue Beaubois was subbed out of the game at the 7:36 mark of the opening quarter and Rick Carlisle had some words of wisdom for the French guard in regards to the overall effort that was being displayed. Carlisle went ahead and put Beaubois back in the game at the 7:11 mark of the quarter as he subbed in for JJ Barea. During the game, Beaubois showed a knack for the drive-and-dish and he finished the game with four assists. He was bringing the Warriors' defense in as he attacked the lane and found open shooters. If Beaubois can continue to develop that part of his game, he will become even more dangerous as an offensive weapon.

- The defense came back on Sunday night as the Mavericks held the Warriors to 73 points and 10-fourth quarter points, both are season lows for the Mavericks' defense. The 28-point victory marked the largest margin of victory for the Mavericks this season.

- After the game, Peja Stojakovic was commenting more about concerns with his knees and his back more than his stiff neck. At this point, it is safe to say that he has a stiff body.

- There was a ring ceremony for Tyson Chandler and Head Athletic Trainer Casey Smith at halftime. The ceremony was for their roles on the gold-medal winning Team USA squad in this past summer’s FIBA World Championship in Istanbul, Turkey. Stephen Curry of the Warriors was a member of that squad and made sure to congratulate Chandler and Smith at the end of the ceremony.

 

Box Score Revelations

- Peja Stojakovic made his first four shots (including his first three 3-point field goal attempts) and finished with 17 points (6-11 from the field, 5-8 from the three-point line) on the night. It marked his first double-digit scoring effort since 2/23/11 (18 vs. Utah). He connected on a season-high five 3-pointers vs. Golden State on Sunday (previous high was four on three occasions). His 17 points left him just short of matching the entire Warriors' bench as they scored 20 points.

- The Mavericks had out-rebounded their opponents by an average margin of 5.8 over the last five games. Dallas was +12 in the rebounding department over Golden State. 30 of the 51 rebounds came from the combo of Tyson Chandler and Ian Mahinmi. The 13 rebounds for Mahinmi marked a new career-high in the rebounding department. The previous high was 10 rebounds against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 10, 2010. The 17 rebounds for Chandler was one rebound shot of his season-high.

- The Golden State Warriors came into the game averaging 9.2 steals/game, second best in the NBA. Turnovers have clearly been an issue for the Mavericks as of late. On Sunday night, the Mavericks had 15 turnovers and seven of them came off of steals from the Warriors. That might seem kind of high, but it is a relatively good number considering on the uptempo style of game a team will play against the Warriors.

- Tyson Chandler had been battling foul trouble as of late. Sunday was a sign of improvement as he only had two fouls against the Warriors. MMB will have more on the foul situation for Tyson Chandler and what has been causing the overall issue. Be sure to check back on Tuesday morning to hear what is going on.

- After two DNP-CDs in the last three games, Corey Brewer got some floor time as he played 11 minutes. He still had some issues with fouls and his first shot was a wide open three-point shot from the corner and he totally missed it. For Brewer, it is safe to say that he is a work in progress.

 

Tweetings From the Mavs Universe

- "Damn. Peja with 3 straight 3s - the last one from Kobe range. Guess the neck is feeling better"

@JacquesTaylor

- "Corey Brewer will check in...Just wiped my eyes and it's true."

@espn_caplan

- "Some Serbian beard love going down"

@tcuryankwilson

- "I think Peja's OK now, made 3 straight 3's as Dallas got up 17."

@MFollowill

- The Ring!

@tysonchandler

 

If You Don't Like What I Said, Read What They Said

- Shawn Marion on his injured wrist, ""I'll be alright. I think Tuesday we're gonna practice and I'm gonna suit up and get through it this week and I'll be fine."

- Rick Carlisle on beating the 30-win Warriors, "Nobody is going to get too excited about this score."

- Rick Carlisle on Peja Stojakovic, "Some guys that have this experience have the capability to get it going like this. If you think about it, he’s been shooting the ball at that level for 20 years. If you look at 20 years, 10 days is not that much. You can tell that he’s been working to keep his conditioning. It was big for us tonight. We needed it."

- Peja Stojakovic on his night, "As always, when you come off the bench you have to be aggressive. I knew that I would be coming off the bench early on and I was lucky that I was put in position to make the shots that I did."

- Rodrigue Beaubois on the reason he got the early benching, "I tried to be more aggressive, more focused, because at the beginning of the game I wasn’t focused enough. I have to be aggressive, that’s my game. I have to be aggressive all the time."

- Dirk Nowitzki on Beaubois' unpredictability, "That’s (Beaubois') game, I don’t think he even knows what he’s going to do next."

- Jason Terry on having guys healthy, "You've gotta have that on the court. You can't have that in the locker room in a suit or on the training table."

 

BG's Baller of the Game:

Baller status has been granted to Peja (Treyja) Stojakovic. Dirk Nowitzki coined "Peja sighting, baby!" after Stojakovic's coming out party against the Houston Rockets on Feb. 12 and it could definitely be used on Sunday night against the Warriors. The second that Stojakovic steps out on the floor, he has to be respected as a gifted shooter. His ability to spread the floor can create good things for the Mavericks. Dallas needs to do whatever they can to make sure Stojakovic can stay healthy when it comes to mid-April.

 

The Mavericks will take Monday off and then have two days of practice sessions in preparation for Thursday. Dallas looks to sweep the season series with the Minnesota Timberwolves with a victory on Mar. 24. The Mavericks have won 17 of the last 18 match-ups with the Timberwolves, including 20 of the last 22. Their one loss in the last 18 meetings with Minnesota came at home last season on Feb. 10, 2010 (lost 117-108). Dallas has won nine of the last 10 match-ups at home. The two clubs met earlier in the month on Mar. 7 and Dallas edged out Minnesota, 108-105. The Mavericks defeated the Timberwolves, 100-86, in the previous meeting on Dec. 1, 2010. The game between the Mavericks and the Timberwolves on Thursday will tip off at 7:30 pm CST.

 

Twitter?  I don't even know her!  Oh......

You can stay connected with all things Dallas Mavericks by following Bryan Gutierrez on twitter @BallinWithBryan

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