In what was was dubbed a mini-playoff, the Mavericks held serve in the opening game and gave the Hornets their first defeat of the season with a 98-95 victory on Monday Night. Dallas has officially gone streaking, winning their fourth game in a row.
The match-up on Monday night had the battle of the two best teams in regards to opponents' field goal percentage, Dallas entered at 42% and New Orleans at 42.3%. The Hornets shot 44.2% on the evening while the Mavericks shot 49.3% from the field.
The Mavericks punched their ticket to attend the Chris Paul Show in the first half as he scored 20 points and gave the Hornets a five point lead going into halftime. The second half was a different story with the foul troubles derailing Paul and had him finishing the evening with 22 points. Coach Rick Carlisle knew that despite the evaporation of points for Paul, he still was a factor. "He (Paul) may not have scored, but he was making everything else happen. The thing with him is that he can really create just about anything almost on his own and so, we had to really pick up our level of attention to detail on him in the second half," said Carlisle. "He was still making plays to guys who were hitting shots and it was really difficult. The fact that he didn’t score was big."
The Hornets got ahead by 11 late in the third quarter, but the Mavericks went to their zone defense and began working the Jason Kidd and Jason Terry on the offensive end, both players knocked down back-to-back three pointers in the final frame. It should be noted with the 11 point deficit in the 4th, Dallas, for the second consecutive game, brought the three-guard lineup (Kidd, Terry and J.J. Barea) into the mix. Rick Carlisle mentioned they were, "searching for a group that could get something going." Clearly, they found something that worked and confused the Hornets. New Orleans' offense wasn't really able to capitalize on the advantage in the size department and the zone defense basically left them relegated to shooting three point shots.
Jason Terry had a rough stretch early, starting out 2-11 from the field, but battled back to finish 9-19 from the field and leading the Mavericks with 26 points, clearly a case of shooter's amnesia. He had a 3 point play at the 7:04 mark of the last quarter that lead the team to closing the game with a 21-8 run. Terry's effort helped lead the bench to outscoring the Hornets bench 39-35.
The Mavericks now hope to learn from their mistakes from their last home-and-home series with Denver and look to sweep the mini-playoff series with the Hornets Wednesday night in New Orleans.
- Dirk Nowitzki recorded his 4th double-double of the season, the record for the Mavericks when he records a double-double: 4-0.
- Jason Kidd shot 6-8 from the field with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. The Mavericks have a 4-0 record when Jason Kidd scores in double figures.
- Dallas likes to start the game off hot and put the clamps down to finish games.. Entering tonight, the Mavericks averaged 53.2% from the field and 26.1 points. They continued that stretch tonight by shooting 55% from the field and scored 27 points in the opening frame. In 4th quarters, the Mavericks came in allowing 19.8 points and they held New Orleans to 19 points on Monday night.
- Roddy Beaubois had the boot removed from his ailing left foot on Monday and the signs of progress can officially be seen. There is no official timetable on his return but he will be evaluated every 10 days. If things check out, his workload will be bumped up.
- The tastiest nugget of the night: The Mavericks handed the Hornets their first loss of the season on Monday, as New Orleans moved to 8-1 on the year. The only other time in team history the Mavericks faced an undefeated team this late in the year was in 2005-06, when the 8-0 Detroit Pistons visited American Airlines Center on 11/19/2005. Dallas, who entered Monday’s meeting with the Hornets owning a 6-2 record, also had a 6-2 record going into the game against the undefeated Pistons in 2005. Dallas defeated Detroit, 119-82, at American Airlines Center, handing them their first loss of the season. We all know what happened in 2005-06.