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Mavericks Weren't Perfect, But Still Get a 10, Defeat Warriors 105-101

Dallas trailed 79-78 at the 9:19 mark of the fourth period, but used a 14-5 run to take a 92-84 advantage and squeak out a 105-101 victory over the Golden State Warriors for the Mavericks' 10th straight win.   This marks the 9th time in team history for the Mavericks to record a 10-game winning streak.  Tyson Chandler missed the game due to a stomach illness but the Mavericks had their backups ready to go. 

Brendan Haywood started and had 4 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in just under 18 minutes worth of action.  Alexis Ajinca got some minutes as well and had 3 points and a career-high six rebounds, previous high was four.  But the center of the night was Ian Mahinmi, scoring a season-high 12 points and career-high 10 rebounds, previous high was 9.  This marked the first double-double in Mahinmi's career.

"It was definitely a great feeling to be out there," said Ian Mahinmi on his special night.  "It's great for me,
I get more experience and that's what I'm looking for, so it was a great feeling."  Mahinmi was incredibly active on both sides of the floor.  He was getting dunks, boxing players out, keeping balls alive and blocking shots.  I'm looking for those kinds of opportunities.  "For me to be able to come out, not knowing when I'm going to get my playing time or not, it's good," said Mahinmi.  "That means all the work I'm doing on an everyday basis works, so I'm going to keep doing what I do and hopefully get more playing time."

"I thought Haywood played well too, but Mahinmi was a real difference maker in the game," said coach Rick Carlisle.   "Just activity wise, he did a little bit of everything. The scoring was big...Defensively he set the town down the stretch of the game."  This was a game that was a game that really fit what Mahinmi's style of play in the sense that he's quick and agile and that works with how Golden State likes to play.  This also marks the second game where Carlisle had to go to Mahinmi for critical minutes and Ian was ready, Carlisle had to use Mahinmi as the backup center in the San Antonio game due to Haywood's one-game suspension.

The question then becomes, can Mahinmi  play himself into more minutes for the team?  "I like a competitive situation for more minutes," said Carlisle.  "(Ian) competes hard in practice. In games like tonight, he makes a strong case. I am not by any stretch saying Haywood didn’t play well, I thought he did a good job too. I just thought Ian’s energy level was a real difference maker in the game."  We'll just have to see how things go to see if Mahinmi will be able to steal any of Haywood's minutes.  Chandler's illness is not believed to be anything major, so he shouldn't miss a large chunk of time.

The game marked the first of six for the Mavericks where they can try to get some good home cooking.  It was an exciting game in the sense it was up and down and had numerous lead changes, 24 to be exact.  The Mavericks bench outscored the Warriors bench 47-16.  Carlisle attributed the energy off of the bench as a major catalyst for the win.  "Our starting team is a more physical defensive minded team. We have to execute and get stops," said Carlisle.  "It wasn’t that those guys (the starters) played bad, those guys (the bench players) just really gave us a lift that we needed."

The Mavericks had strong performances from their big three of Dirk Nowitzki, Caron Butler and Jason Terry.  They combined for 64 of the Mavericks' 105 points.  Butler was effective early and hit timely three point shots and Jason Terry was very aggressive and shot 8-12 from the field.  Nowitzki continues shooting at an incredible rate and hit two big three point shots.

Warriors guard Monta Ellis entered Tuesday’s meeting with the Mavericks ranked fourth in the league
in scoring with 25.2 points per game. He managed just 18 points on 7-17 shooting from the field.

The streak is the main story of the night but the surprise of the night was the performance from the french duo of Mahinmi and Ajinca. With the activity from Ajinca and Mahinmi, Carlisle pretty much summed it up, "You can see why we're very excited about the future of the team with those guys."  The future looks bright, especially if the Mavericks can keep the number in the loss column from rising.

Quick Notes/Statistical Nuggets:

- It was a one-point deficit, but the Mavericks were losing after three quarters 72-71.  The Mavs are now 5-1 when trailing going into the fourth period. Dallas was just 10-24 when trailing going into the final period last season.

- The Mavericks are now 7-3 on the year in games decided by five points or less. 

- With the huge advantage from the bench, the Mavericks are now 12-2 this season when their bench outscores the opposing team’s reserves.

- Dallas moved to 6-1 on the year when committing fewer turnovers than its opponent.


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