The Dallas Mavericks winning streak extended to 11 games with a 102-89 victory over the New Jersey Nets at the American Airlines Center on Thursday night, they now move to 2-0 on their 6-game home-stand. The last 11-game winning streak for the Mavericks before this current streak was from Feb. 14, 1988 to March 4, 1988.
Coming in to tonight's match-up with the Nets, Dallas had won the last three meetings with New Jersey, including six of the last eight games against the Nets. Dallas has now won its last 11 games at home against New Jersey.
The Mavericks handed out a season-high 31 assists on the night, the previous high 30 at Memphis on 11/10/10 and improved to 2-0 on the year when dishing out 30-plus assists in a game. The Mavs were 12-0 when
they recorded at least 30 assists in a game in 2009-10. JJ Barea led the charge with career-high 13 assists, his previous high assist total was 12, which he recorded vs. Toronto on 11/7/09.
Barea's performance allowed another night for Jason Kidd to have the fourth quarter off, a good trend as of late. "If we could, I wanted to try to get Jason Kidd a light night on minutes and JJ allowed us to do that and that was a plus," said coach Rick Carlisle. Barea's energy and penetration really opened things up for Dallas in the fourth quarter.
"We have so many great shooters, Jet [Terry], Dirk, Caron Butler, anybody," said Barea. "Shawn Marion was running today. So I was just trying to push the ball, attack, and then find my open teammates and it was working out tonight."
The Mavericks built up an 11-point lead after the first quarter and had the game in control going into halftime. The Nets made adjustments, such as implementing a full-court press and getting the ball out of Jason Kidd's hands. That got the Mavericks out of their rhythm, foul trouble also plagued Dallas in that quarter. The Mavericks allowed the Nets to shoot 18 free throws in the quarter, 11 during the penalty situation, and that got New Jersey within 5 points before the Mavericks pulled away.
Shawn Marion had an incredibly efficient night, going 8-10 from the field and scoring 18 points, 6 rebounds and a season-high 4 steals on the night. He had a lot of help with his fellow forward, Caron Butler. Butler recorded 15 points (7-11 FGs), 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks in 27 minutes. "We've got a good thing going with our forwards," said Carlisle on Butler and Marion. "Recently, it's been a diferent guy finishing every night. In a way, that's a good thing. It's a little unpredictable for them, but they're rolling with it and we're winning so that's what's important."
Tyson Chandler returned into the starting lineup after missing the Golden State game due to a stomach illness. He played 22 minutes and showed some signs of rust and conditioning issues which should be corrected as he gets back into the flow with the team. Brendan Haywood did a great job, scoring 9 points and collecting 8 rebounds. Ian Mahinmi got significant action for the second-consecutive game and collected 4 points and 3 rebounds in just under 9 minutes of action.
Dirk Nowitzki continued his torrid shooting as he made his first 8-of-9 shots and finished 8-for-10 from the floor on the night en-route to a team-high 21 points. Dirk also chipped in with 10 rebounds leading towards his 7th double-double of the season. The Mavericks are now 7-0 when Dirk records a double-double. He came in to tonight's game shooting a career-best 55.3 percent from the field, 80% will definitely help pad that number. Shooters usually rely on shooter's amnesia, Dirk is probably relying on an elephant-like memory to keep the hot shooting alive.
Nowitzki attributes the overall shooting performance this season to, "just not forcing much." Coming in to tonight, Dirk ranked 13th in the NBA in terms of overall shooting. "Sometimes, in the past, we were force-feeding it to me and I had to make stuff happen," said Nowitzki. "(I'm) just letting the other guys do their thing and when it's open, I'm going to shoot it. I understand there will be some nights where I've got to do a little more, create a little more for myself, but this streak so far has been great."
The game also marked the return of former Mavericks Avery Johnson and Devin Harris. Devin played just 9 minutes as he suffered a sprained shoulder trying to deflect an alley-oop pass to Tyson Chandler in the first quarter. Mark Cuban prior to the game mentioned that it was, "Great to have (Avery) back, hopefully we kick his ass." It looks like the mission was accomplished.
Quick Notes/Stat Nuggets:
- Dallas improved to 10-0 when scoring 100-plus points in a game.They have now scored 100 or more points in 8 out of their last 9 games.
- Marion led bench scorers 18 points and Jason Terry added 15 points. The Mavericks bench outscored the Nets bench 52-24. Dallas is 12-0 on the year when at least two of its reserves score 10-plus points. Also, the Mavs are 13-2 when their bench outscores the opposing team’s bench this season.
- Dallas shot 84.2% from the free throw line. The Mavericks are 10-1 when they shoot at least 80 percent from the stripe this season.
- Jason Kidd started to get out of his 3-point shooting funk by hitting two 3-balls in the game, he also nabbed 3 steals. The Mavericks are 10-2 when Kidd has 2 or more steals in a game.