Monta Ellis missed a game for the first time in his two seasons as a Maverick. Without Ellis, the Mavs lost to a piping hot Indiana Pacers team 104-99. Chandler Parsons led the way with 27 points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams put on a shooting clinic in the first half. During a stretch in the second quarter, the Mavs made ten consecutive baskets. Conversely, Dallas native, CJ Miles, hit his first three shots from beyond the arc en route to a 28 point evening; he was a human torch tonight. Raymond Felton—RAYMOND FELTON—played a major role in the offensive free-for-all in the first half with nine points.
With Monta out, Rondo was allowed to roam free and dominate the ball like he is accustomed to. Rondo looked to score early in the game, which opened up more passing lanes for him as the game progressed. He finished with 17 points and 10 assists with only two turnovers. Rondo ran the offense really well while avoiding those Monta's absence may answer some questions on the Rondo-Monta dynamic. It's obviously a short sample, but this stretch of games could affect which backcourt members the Mavs bring back next year.
Chandler Parsons commandeered the Maverick offense in the third quarter; the results varied. In the first half, Hibbert's presence in the paint deterred Parsons from getting good looks at the rim. However, Parsons adjusted in the second half by using some clever ball fakes to freeze Hibbert on his way to the rim. Parsons got good looks, but he missed a couple easy ones that he needs to make.
Dirk had another one of his uber-efficient stealth games. He had 19 points on 7-13 shooting. Without Monta, Dirk needs to get more than 13 shots, especially when he had it going.
This game really boiled down to shot making. The Mavs couldn't quite recreate the magic they had in the first outside of Rondo, Parsons and Dirk. They started the second half 7-25 from the field. When Rondo and Parsons sat in the second half, the offense really struggled to get anything going and turned the ball over quite a bit. Without Monta, Devin Harris can't go 1-5 with only 4 points. The Mavs need his playmaking and shot making to elevate the bench unit.
Indiana's shot making in the fourth quarter won them the game. With about five minutes left, George Hill hit two straight threes off the dribble after being relatively quiet for the night. Then with a minute remaining, CJ Miles hit a three to put Indiana up for good. The Pacers shot 50 percent from the field and hit 10-17 three-pointers.
Down the stretch, Rondo and Parsons played really well on both ends of the floor. Rondo had a beautiful bounce pass to Parsons that was part of an 8-0 run by the duo. Parsons hit tough shots down the stretch and showed he had the ability to be a crunch time scorer.
Carlisle made a peculiar sub with 1:20 left in the game. He subbed Charlie Villanueva for Tyson Chandler to get Charlie a corner three. Charlie missed the three and then Miles came down and hit a three on the other end. It was a six-point swing that was a pivotal point down the stretch.
This was the Mavs first loss of the season in which they led after three quarters; they were previously 33-0. Their next game will be on Wednesday against Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder.