The Dallas Mavericks were called "soft" on Thursday night by their head coach. They responded by setting a new season-high in points with a 127-109 victory over the New York Knicks. Dallas trailed, 14-12, but used a 35-14 run from the 5:13 mark of the first quarter until the 6:47 mark of the second period to take a 47-28 advantage. Once they had the lead, they never looked back. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks with 23 points and Jason Terry had 21 points off the bench. Shawn Marion, who was a game-time decision, contributed 22 points in the Mavs victory. The Knicks were without Chauncey Billups for the sixth straight game as he is recovering from a bruised left quad.
Dallas has won 17 of the last 19 meetings with New York. New York's record dropped to 34-30. Dallas moved to 23-11 against plus-.500 teams this season. The Mavericks were 28-19 against teams with a winning record in 2009-10. Dallas has now taken 12 of the last 14 match-ups at home against New York. With the win, Dallas swept the season series with New York. They are now done playing against the Eastern Conference in the regular season. The remaining 17 games the Mavericks play will be against teams within their conference.
Much was made of Rick Carlisle's "soft" comment after the game against New Orleans. Carlisle mentioned after the Knicks game that the media made it a bigger deal than it actually was. Either way, the Mavericks showed a lot of aggression on both sides of the floor. The Knicks made a run in the second half to cut Dallas' 26-point lead down to 11, but the Mavericks showed mental toughness in holding on to the lead and making sure nothing was left to chance.
Did THAT Just Happen?!
- The "Free Roddy B" crowd had to sleep easy on Thursday night as Beaubois finished the game with 14 points and logged just under 21 minutes of action. Prior to the game, Rick Carlisle and Mark Cuban were quick to give praise to Beaubois and say that they are pleased with what the guard is bringing to the team. Thursday was a solid night and it cannot be stressed enough that Carlisle is working him into the rotation at an incremental pace. The team is loaded with talent, which means that minutes Beaubois gets will be earned. It is all part of the process with the development of the French guard.
- Prior to the game, Rick Carlisle said that Shawn Marion was "giving it a shot" as he was dealing with sore ribs. Marion was incredibly lively on both sides of the floor. He was a solid contributor on the glass as he grabbed eight rebounds. He finished the game with 22 points. The Mavericks are now 6-1 when Marion scores at least 20 points in a game.
- Corey Brewer had his best game as a Maverick. The 16 minutes he logged were the most minutes he has seen as a member of the Mavericks. He was all over the floor and made things happen with his aggression. Brewer showed incredible speed running the floor on the break. His effort and energy was a major spark of the Mavericks. Combined with Marion's game, the two forwards held Carmelo Anthony in check as Anthony scored 18 points on 5-15 shooting from the field.
- Brendan Haywood was major factor in the game. Tyson Chandler was handcuffed by foul trouble and Haywood responded well off the bench. Amar'e Stoudemire got his points, but Haywood made things difficult in the process. Haywood finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Dallas improved to 6-0 when he scores in double figures.
- The Knicks simply do not play defense. Dallas outscored New York 41-30 in the second period. The 41 second-quarter points were the most Dallas has totaled in any period this season. The previous high was 39 on two occasions. The Mavericks out-shot the Knicks 53.8% (28-of-52) to 34.2% (13-of-38) in the first half and led, 72-51, at the break. The 72 first-half points marked the most Dallas has scored in any half this season (previous 68 points in the first half vs. Indiana on March 4, 2011). Dallas led, 99-85, through three quarters of play. It marked the most points the Mavericks have tallied through three periods this season (previous 96 vs. Sacramento on February 16, 2011). Dallas recorded a season-high 127 points in the 127-109 victory over New York on Thursday. The previous high was 120 at Denver on February 10, 2011). The Mavericks improved to 36-3 when they reach the century mark.
- Dirk Nowitzki turned his right ankle late in the fourth quarter. He limped as he left the locker room and limped to the back after speaking with the media, but he indicated that there would be no doubt about his availability for the showdown on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers. Remember, Nowitzki essentially has rubber ankles.
- New York Jets Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson was in attendance. He is a short guy.
Box Score Revelations
- For the second straight game, the Mavericks did a good job in holding the opposition to a poor shooting percentage. The Knicks shot 4-18 (22.2%) from the field in the first quarter and scored 21 points. 13 of the 21 points came from the free throw line.
- The battle of the benches definitely went in the favor of the Mavericks. Dallas' bench outscored New York's bench, 53-16. They responded to the lack of production in New Orleans. The Mavs' bench was outscored 36-31 by the Hornets’ bench on March 9. It was the first time since January 20 that the Dallas bench was outscored by the opposing team’s reserves (Chicago outscored Dallas 30-23 off the bench). It also represented the fewest number of points recorded by the Mavericks’ bench since February 4 (Dallas outscored Boston’s bench 30-24).
- Nine Mavericks scored at least five points apiece in the first half and eight had six-plus points before the break. All 10 players that saw the floor in the first half scored for the Mavericks. Five Mavericks scored in double figures in the game, and three finished with over 20 (Marion, Nowitzki and Terry). Dallas improved to 4-0 when at least three players score 20-plus points.
- Tyson Chandler was plagued with foul trouble as he only played 16 minutes of action. Despite the lack of minutes, Chandler nearly completed a double-double as he finished the game with nine points and eight rebounds. The Mavericks will need their anchor in the middle on Saturday against the tall front line that the Lakers throw at the opposition
- The Mavericks extended their streak of consecutive games with six-plus 3-pointers made to 35 before intermission. It’s the longest active streak in the league and the third-longest in NBA history. They finished the game shooting 11-24 from beyond the arc. The 2007-08 Golden State Warriors went 43 straight games with six-plus treys and hold the record for the longest such streak. The Knicks fell one game short of tying the Warriors’ mark in 2008-09, when they went 42 consecutive games with six-plus 3-pointers made. The 2008-09 Orlando Magic and the 2006-07 Phoenix Suns both went 28 straight games with at least six 3-point baskets, which is tied for the fourth-longest run.
Tweetings From the Mavs Universe
- "Who is that wearing No. 33 for the Mavs. My eyes deceive me."
- "'I just did that' Cardinal strikes again..."
- "Rick Carlisle pulled a great Phil Jackson move. Call 'em soft and you get a hungry team."
- "Remember when Toni Braxton kind of broke the Mavs?"
- "So remember when I wrote that post about how the Knicks' defense was actually playing solid? Forget about it..."
- "We need to start the Brew Crew at the AAC"
If You Don't Like What I Said, Read What They Said
- Rick Carlisle on the win, "I thought we really attacked. Overall, I thought it was a really good effort, and it was a good win for us."
- Dirk Nowitzki on the win, "You can't win them all so you have to come back the next day and compete and that's what we did (Thursday). We didn't run away with it, but at least we didn't let them right back in it. We were still able to close it out, so it was definitely a good win."
- Shawn Marion on his game, "I'm just trying to do what I can to help this team the best way I can. It's in a variety of ways. That's all I can do."
- Jason Terry on Shawn Marion playing through the pain, "That just shows you some of his toughness. He wasn't able to finish the game (Wednesday), but for him to be able to heal up as quick as he did and come out there and have the performance he did on both ends of the floor, it was tremendous. But, he's that type of player. When you can't play, you don't think you can go and then still go out there and tough it out, it means a lot."
- Tyson Chandler on Rick Carlisle's "soft" comment, "I think we all understood what he meant. We understand that we’ve got to close out tough games. The last games that we’ve lost we’ve competed and the last three (losses) have been by one point. Those are all tough losses and when you have losses like that you’re gonna have frustration."
- Jason Terry on if the team is soft, "I don't think there is anything soft about this team...You look at our record, you've gotta be a tough team to accomplish what we have to this point and to go where we're going."
- Brendan Haywood on the "soft" comment, "I don't think anyone in this locker room questions our toughness...It's not about being tougher than anybody else, no one is fighting out there. This is the NBA, none of us are really fighters."
BG's Baller of the Game:
Baller status has been granted to Shawn Marion. I have a hard time dealing with paper cuts so I can only imagine how much of a struggle it is to play with sore ribs. Marion sucked it up, took some medicine and wore some extra padding under his jersey. At halftime, Marion had more offensive rebounds than the Knicks (5-4). The day after the team's toughness was questioned, Marion made sure to respond and do whatever he could to help his team finish the final stretch of the regular season strong.
The Mavericks were able to go 2-2 during their four games in five nights stretch. The big games do not stop as the Mavericks will go up against the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night. The Lakers have won eight of the last 11 meetings with the Mavericks, but the Mavericks have taken the two most recent match-ups in Dallas. The Mavericks have defeated the Lakers six out of the last nine times at home. The Mavericks scored in waves as Shawn Marion (22), Jason Terry (22) and Jason Kidd (21) all topped 20 points in the win over Los Angeles on January 19. They went a combined 27-of-40 (67.5%) from the field and helped Dallas outshoot Los Angeles 55% (44-of-80) to 54.3% (44-of-81) for the game. The game will feature a battle for the second seed in the Western Conference as the Mavs currently hold a one-and-a-half game lead over the two-time defending champions. A win for the Mavericks would give them a considerably strong lead over the Lakers as both teams finish out the regular season. The game between the Mavericks and the Lakers on Saturday will tip off at 8:00 pm CST.
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