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Wrap Up: Mavs Fall In Overtime; Will Face Spurs In Round 1

by Greg Higgins on April 17, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up Mavs Drop Rough One

For the Dallas Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies, the playoffs started a game earlier than the rest of the NBA. Both teams came into the final regular season tied at 49-32.  The winner gets the seventh seed in the playoffs; which means avoiding the San Antonio Spurs in round one of the playoffs. Unfortunately for the Mavericks, the seventh seed wasn’t meant to be for them as they fell 106-105 in overtime.

How It Went Down: 

It was a close game the entire way. For a brief period in the first quarter, the Grizzlies had a 10-point lead over Dallas. Other then that, though, the Mavs and Grizzlies battled back and forth for the seventh seed.

The same thing that has bothered Dallas all year, though, reared its ugly head. The Mavs had a hard time with interior defense and help in the weak side defense down low. Memphis had 58 points in the paint.  Memphis also had 20 offensive rebounds for 19-second chance points.

Dallas, trailing by two after three quarter would rely on Monta Ellis to do what he’s done all season long. Monta, who only had four points in the first three quarters, scored 14 points between the fourth quarter and overtime. His biggest shot came with 13 seconds left in the game and the Mavs trailing by three points. Monta hit a three-pointer to tie the game and eventually send it to overtime.

MavsGrizzIn overtime, the Mavs had a chance to put the game away. Dirk Nowitzki hit a three-pointer to put Dallas up 105-102 with 46 seconds left, Mike Conley missed a three-pointer that would tie the game. However, three Dallas players couldn’t secure the rebound as Tony Allen got the offensive board and put back to cut the deficit to one. Monta dribbled the clock down as much as he could but missed on a jump shot with just under seven seconds left in the game. Mike Conley took the rebound and drove the length of the floor in and drew a foul by Vince Carter as he was trying to shoot. He calmly sank both free throws to put Memphis up by one with 1.1 seconds left. Monta’s jumper from 20’ out clanked off the back iron and Memphis celebrated the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference.



Inside the Numbers:

Dallas made the eighth seed in the playoffs but how high could they have gone? Dallas lost five games in which they held at least a 17-point lead in the game..

There were 15 lead changes and 16 ties in the game.

Impact Play of the Game: 

With 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Monta Ellis calmly knocked down a three pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Monta Ellis

Monta scored seven points in the fourth and another seven in the overtime period. Despite losing the game, Monta keeps proving himself as a player that can be relied upon during the stretch run of games.





On Deck:

Dallas will play the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs.

Game 1: Sunday April 20 @ 12:00 in San Antonio

Game 2: Wednesday April 23 @ 7:00 in San Antonio

Game 3: Saturday April 26 @ 3:30 in Dallas

Game 4: Monday April 28 @ 8:30 in Dallas

Photo Credit: Lance Murphey, AP


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MGN: Dallas Visits Memphis with Implications on the Line

by Marc Cashion on April 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


The battle for seventh place and not having to play the San Antonio Spurs will be decided tonight. The Dallas Mavericks take on the Memphis Grizzlies, each at 49-32. Neither team wants to face the Spurs and a matchup with either the Oklahoma City Thunder or the Los Angeles Clippers are both more favorable. The Mavs have swept the Grizzlies so far this season winning three straight so going into the matchup the Mavs have the upper hand.

The Game at Hand:

The Grizzlies come into the game winning four straight and probably playing their best basketball of the year. They’ve won four must win games in a row beating Miami, Philadelphia, the Lakers and Monday’s exciting game against the Phoenix Suns to clinch a playoff berth.

Each team plays a different style with the Grizzlies force feeding their bigs Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph on seemingly every possession. The Mavs move the ball around using plenty pick and roll to create an open looks.

The Mavs have answered the bell lately only losing to the Spurs in the past six games. Their defense has been better and with the Grizzlies as their last opponent, they will need to play some of the best inside defense they have all year. The Mavs will also be going for their 50th win of the season, a huge accomplishment when you look at the 41 wins from just a year ago.

Keys to the Game:

1. Guarding Zach Randolph: 

Zach Randolph has been an absolute beast of late, bullying opposing power forwards and getting to the paint with ease. In the must win against the Suns, Randolph posted 32 points and 9 rebounds. He destroyed the likes of Channing Frye and any Morris twin they put on him. When Randolph is hot it makes the entire Grizzlies team better opening room up for Mike Conley and giving even more freedom for Marc Gasol.

Dejuan Blair may have to step up tonight as he seems like a pretty good body to body matchup against Randolph, and as the story is seemingly every night the beast version of Samuel Dalembert will need to show up and do his best to neutralize Marc Gasol.

2. Rebounding: 

With Randolph and Gasol being the Grizzlies’ emphasis on offense we have to keep the second chance points to a minimum. In the Mavs last meeting against the Grizzlies the Mavs out-rebounded the Grizzlies 35-32 and ended up winning the game pretty easily. In Memphis’s huge win against the Suns they out-rebounded them 42-30. Not only do we have to watch Gasol and Randolph but Tayshaun Prince and Tony Allen like to get in on it too.

There were many honorable mentions in this games key’s to the game. Mike Conley hit some huge shots at the end of the game in Pheonix and Tony Allen has the ability to really give Monta Ellis some trouble on offense. The take home point here is everyone needs to be on his absolute A game to be able to keep the 7th seed.

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Zach Randolph

Both Randolph and Dirk will have the upper hand on offense. Randolph is a bully down low and will take Dirk to the paint, potentially making him uncomfortable. On the other end of the floor Dirk is quicker and taller, if his mid range shot is on, like it normally is in big games, this could also frustrate Randolph. In my opinion, the winner of this matchup will likely be on the winning team.





“That’s the goal we set at the beginning of the season, that if we get 50 wins we’ll be in the playoffs.”

– Monta Ellis


When and Where:

Tip-off is in Memphis, Tennessee at FedEx Forum and will start at 7:00 PM CST. It will be nationally televised on ESPN.



Winner – Locks in 7th Seed and will play OKC if the Thunder win vs Detroit tonight. If OKC loses to Detroit and the Clippers win in Portland, winner will face LAC in first round

Loser – Will be the 8th seed and face the San Antonio Spurs



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Mavs Need Win To Avoid Nightmare Matchup With Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


The term “fighting for your playoff lives” takes on a new perspective tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. The Dallas Mavericks will face the Memphis Grizzlies in what seems like a must-win game. The teams each sit at 49-32 and have secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference thanks to both teams defeating the Phoenix Suns in each of their last games.

With both teams already in the playoffs, who would have thought game 82 would have such an impact, though? The winner of this game will have the seventh seed in the playoffs while the loser will have the eighth seed.

“What’s the difference?” you might be asking yourself.

There’s a big difference. The no. 8 seed has the daunting task of having to deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. The seventh seed will have to face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Oklahoma City Thunder.


San Antonio Spurs v Dallas MavericksThe Spurs have locked down the top seed but the No. 2 seed is yet to be determined. If the Clippers win and the Thunder lose on Wednesday night, LA will have that second seed. Otherwise OKC will have the advantage.

What does this mean for the Mavs? Dallas has lost nine straight to the Spurs. This year, the Mavs took the season series with the Thunder 2-1 and lost the series with the Clippers 3-1. However, the games against the Clippers were some of the most exciting games this season. The total points’ separating the teams in the four games was 21 total points. In the three games Dallas lost to LA, the Mavs held a double-digit lead at some point during the game.

I don’t know if they can beat the Clippers or Thunder in a seven-game series, but I like that matchup way better than I do the Spurs. So I repeat, “The Mavs are fighting for their playoff lives in Memphis tonight.”


Photo Credit: CBS-DFW

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A Waiting Game For the Mavericks

by Damian Jackson on April 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


The Dallas Mavericks were the only NBA team to have played 81 games when Saturday night concluded.

A playoff berth was clinched, but the seeding remains undetermined.

What we do know is that after the loss by Golden State in Portland and a Memphis win in Los Angeles, the Mavericks can land anywhere from 6th to 8th.

6th Seed – To steal the 6-spot, Dallas would need the Warriors to loss their last two games and win its last in Memphis. Likely opponent in first round – Los Angeles Clippers.

7th Seed – Either Memphis loss in its last two (@PHX & vs DAL) or Dallas win at Memphis. Likely opponent – Oklahoma City Thunder.

8th Seed – In order to land here the Mavericks would have to lose to Memphis and the Grizzlies win its final two. First round – San Antonio Spurs.

Since the Mavs don’t play until the last day of the regular season, it becomes a wait and see approach.


The Phoenix Suns host the Grizzlies tonight. A Memphis victory would eliminate the Suns from playoff contention. If the Suns win, it would come down to the last night with Memphis holding the tiebreaker. Dallas would be guaranteed 7th with a Phoenix win.

Golden State returns home and welcome in the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday evening. Stephen Curry scored his season-high 47 points in the overtime loss last night. A Warriors win against the Wolves would end Dallas’ chances for 6th.

Dallas controls its own destiny. They may get help before Wednesday night, but for now Monday and Tuesday will be a waiting game.


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Mavs’ Final Four – A Year’s Difference

by Damian Jackson on April 8, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


Last year on April 10th, a Los Angeles Lakers‘ 113-106 victory in Portland eliminated the Dallas Mavericks from playoff contention for the first time in 12 seasons.

The Mavericks ended the 2012-2013 season 41-41.

It’s actually quite remarkable they even did that well. Dirk Nowitzki missed 29 games for a team built around an overload of one-year contracts.

And remember those long, scruffy beards that some players pulled off much better than others? Of course you do! O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter looked rather normal, Chris Kaman just increased his caveman appearance and Dirk looked like he’d gone crazed with all the chaos surrounding him.

The worst part about the fiasco was the fact they were ‘Get to .500′ beards, not ‘Make the playoffs’ beards. A team recently celebrating its first NBA championship, was reduced to reaching for mediocrity.

We’ve almost come full circle to that April 10th night, but this time around the Mavericks find themselves in a full-fledged battle with three teams for two playoff spots.

It only happens that Dallas is likely to end up 6th through 8th in the extremely talented Western Conference while they along with the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns would all be a 3rd seed in the East.

Making the playoffs is what counts. Dirk and his much-improved cast have four games left to stake their claim for a postseason return.

With four games left last year, the Mavericks were solely playing to finish .500. This time they’re final four mean everything. They win, they’re in. It’s a great feeling.


Photos courtesy of Star-Telegram/Ron Jenkins and TheSportsFan Journal

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Mavs Jump From 9th To 7th On Off Night…Again

by Greg Higgins on April 3, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


Here’s a quick recap of the events Wednesday that helped the Dallas Mavericks. After losing to the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, the Mavericks started Wednesday morning in ninth place in the Western Conference. Dallas would once again rely heavily on scoreboard watching to see how things would unfold for them.

Just as it did Sunday, things fell perfectly for Dallas. The Minnesota Timberwolves easily took care of the Memphis Grizzlies 102-88. The San Antonio Spurs won their 19th straight as they beat the Warriors easily 111-90 while Phoenix blew a 17-point lead to lose to the LA Clippers 112-108.


After all of that, the Mavericks – who didn’t play on Wednesday – found themselves back in the No. 7 spot in the playoff chase. Dallas will start a four-game road trip on Thursday against the Clippers. They will, then, play the LA Lakers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz. This is a four-game trip in which Dallas could possibly win all four games, and probably should as they move towards the playoffs

One other note from Wednesday, the NBA came out and said the referees should have called goaltending on Jermaine O’Neal at the end of overtime during the game between the Mavs and Warriors. Not sure if that’s good news or just adds salt to the wound. Either way, it doesn’t matter because it’s over and the games must continue.

This is where Dallas has to show they deserve to be in the playoffs. After suffering a loss in which you were basically robbed by a terrible non-call, can you bounce back against a very good Clippers team in which you haven’t beaten all season long? This is where the rubber meets the road for the Mavericks.

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Center Focus: Dalembert’s Minutes

by Damian Jackson on April 3, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


The Dallas Mavericks play yet another “BIG” game tonight. It’ll be on the road in Los Angeles after concluding the franchise’s record 8-game home stand with a meager 4-4 record.

Before we delve into the fourth and final meeting with the Los Angeles Clippers, let’s focus on Dallas’ starting center Samuel Dalembert.

Mavs’ owner Mark Cuban had this to say to 103.3 FM ESPN about Dalembert in December:

“Actually, I think Sam is the key to our game more than anybody else. One of the things about Tyson [Chandler] when he was here is that he only averaged 28 minutes a game because of foul trouble. Sometimes he’d get into early foul trouble and we had [Brendan] Haywood to back him up.” 

“Our backup center isn’t as strong this year as it was last year. [Brandan] Wright is more of a forward playing center than a true center, and so Sam staying on the court and staying healthy and being aggressive and not being afraid of fouls but not getting fouls will be one of the main indicators of how we go.”

Sammy D labeled as your team’s most important player? At times this season, any fan could be worried at that notion, but over time it’s evident Dalembert’s impact is as great as any Mavericks player.

Dalembert logged just seven minutes in Tuesday night’s gut-wrenching, yet controversial 122-120 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Prior to the Warriors game, the 13-year veteran center averaged 8.5 points, 10 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in 23.3 minutes in the previous seven home games.

The Mavericks own a 14-15 record when Dalembert plays less than 20 minutes; their record when he eclipses the 20-minuete plateau – 29-15.

Rick Carlisle expected the Warriors to possibly go small Tuesday with Andrew Bogut and David Lee inactive. Golden State’s backup center, 37-year-old Jermaine O’Neal put in 33 minutes and finished with 20 points and eight rebounds.

Check out this Inside the NBA clip where Shaquille O’Neal talks Dallas’ playoff chances and who he feels will be the key:

The Mavericks leap-frogged the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns last night and rest in the Western Conference 7th seed once again.

Perhaps when it’s said and done, Dalembert is the Mavericks key to success this season. His minutes simply need to stay north of the 20 to make it happen.


Video courtesy Sports; Photo via Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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The Wild West Playoff Race

by Greg Higgins on April 1, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

Playoff Race

As this is being written, the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns all have identical records in the standings. All three teams are sitting at 44-30 in the Western Conference. Due to tie-breakers, the Mavericks are the seventh seed in the conference while Memphis is the eighth. Phoenix finds themselves currently out of the playoffs.

You can expect this to change multiple times over the next two weeks, though. Take this past Sunday for example. Dallas started the day in ninth place. When the day was over, the Mavs had moved up to the No. 7 spot and they didn’t even play a game that day. That’s how close this race is in the Western Conference. If you add the Golden State Warriors to the mix, it gets really dicey. All four teams are separated by 1.5 games and all four are fighting for three playoff spots with eight games to play.

In the final eight games, Dallas has games with each of the three teams they are fighting with in the standings. It starts tonight as the Mavs host the Warriors. A win and the Mavs could draw within a half game from Golden State. It gets even crazier when you realize the last two games of the season are between the Phoenix Suns and the Memphis Grizzlies. The playoff fate of the Mavericks could literally come down to the final game of the regular season.

Dallas has five road games in their final eight. Besides the three games against the Suns, Grizzlies and Warriors, the Mavs have to play the San Antonio Spurs and the LA Clippers as well during this stretch. The Mavs haven’t beaten either team this season, although they should have won all three against the Clippers.

The Warriors still have nine games to play, including tonight’s matchup with the Mavericks. Five of those games will be played on the road including the San Antonio Spurs and Portland Trailblazers. The rest of their schedule seems fairly easy.

Memphis, like the Mavericks, doesn’t have an easy road down the stretch. Five of their final eight games are at home, which is good for them. However, they have to play San Antonio, Miami, Phoenix, and Dallas down the stretch.  The other four games are against Minnesota, Denver, the Lakers, and the 76ers.

Phoenix has perhaps the toughest road to make it to the post season. Five of their eight games remaining are on the road. The Suns will have to play at Portland, San Antonio and Dallas. They also play at the New Orleans Pelicans and Sacramento Kings. If that wasn’t a tough enough stretch of road games, the Suns will be welcoming the Clippers, Grizzlies and Thunder to town.

Obviously, these games have to be played and anything can happen when the ball is put into play. However you analyze it though, this is going to be a great two weeks of basketball. As far as the Mavericks getting into the playoffs, there are a lot of optimistic fans out there.

“I think the Mavs will make the playoffs. You might think I’m nuts but I think they are going to get the sixth seed if the can beat Golden State. They do need to get big stops at the end of games and not allow big shots like the Clippers had.” - Azmi Alzandani  

If you’re a fan of playoff basketball, the next eight games are going to be as close to playoff basketball as you can get without actually making it. I would suggest holding on tight because, just like a roller coaster ride, this stretch of games is going to be up and down and bring every emotion you have to light. In the end, though, hopefully we will look back and say, “That was fun. Let’s do it again.”
Photo courtesy Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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Game Night: Mavs Take Recent Success On The Road To Memphis

by Albert Luna on February 5, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments


Mavs, Grizzlies, tango for 3rd time this season with possible playoffs on the line.

The Game at Hand:

The Mavericks were finally able to pull out consecutive wins for the first time in over half a month, beating a very talented, but slumping Cleveland Cavaliers team on Monday. The team finished their 4 game home stand at a respectable 3-1 mark. The win was a team-oriented effort as Dirk Nowitzki (23 points), Samuel Dalembert (18 points) and Monta Ellis (22 points) all had great offensive showings.

The Mavs now must turn around and travel to Memphis, where they face a red hot Grizzlies group who has won 11 of their last 13 games with notable wins over Portland, Houston and Atlanta in that span. They are however coming off of a Monday night loss to the top seeded Thunder 86-77 that took place in Oklahoma City. This game will carry heavy weight because with a Mavs win, they clinch the season series with Memphis (who currently sits at 9th place, 1 game behind Dallas for the last playoff spot in the West), so in the event of any tie for any playoff position at the end of the season, the tie-breaker will go to the Mavs. The Mavs are currently up 2-0 on the season series with wins over the Grizzlies squad in early November and mid-December with both games being played in Dallas.

Keys to the Game: 


1. Have an advantage on the boards: The Memphis Grizzlies have long been known for their relentless hustle and grit and grind play; that is true in some aspects of the game, but not statistically. Since Marc Gasol has come back on January 14th, the Grizzlies rank 19th in the league in rebounds per game, getting outrebounded by the Bucks, Kings and Thunder in that span. This should be music to the ears of fans; however, the Mavs happen to be 28th on that list. On the season, the Mavs have the third worst rebounding rate of the NBA. Shawn Marion (hopes to play despite shoulder injury) , Samuel Dalembert and DeJuan Blair will be leaned on to box out and not allow any offensive rebounds and win the rebounding battle down low.

2. Put the ball in the basket: January 12th. That was the last day the Grizzlies have allowed an opponent to score over 100 points. They might not be getting rebounds, but with Marc Gasol back, Memphis has surged to the top of points allowed per game, with an average of 94.0 in the month of January.  Dallas is currently averaging 104.6 points per game on the season, good for 7th in the league.  So basically, this is a matchup of one of the best offensive teams going up against one of the best defensive teams. Look for playmakers Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis, and Jose Calderon to try to break the balance of this matchup.

0228_MASP_griz_sat14_t607Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Zach Randolph

With leading scorer Mike Conley sitting this one out with an ankle sprain, expect a lot of the offense to be run through Z-Bo. The double-double machine will certainly have his hands full on the defensive end as he will have to extend his defense beyond the 3 point line to try and guard Dirk Nowitzki. Like-wise, the big German will also have a tough time as he will go up against Randolph on the block who has about 20 pounds of an advantage on the All-Star. Nowitzki goes into the game averaging 21.9 PPG, 12th best in the league. Zach Randolph is averaging 17.4 PPG and 21 over his last 5 games.


“They are a handful; they attack the offensive glass almost every time. They’re persistent at doing that. We’ve just got to make sure we make it hard for them, keep a body on them and run them. They want to play a half-court game. We’ve got to push the tempo of the game and play our tempo. We can’t let them dictate the game. We’ve got to hit them first.” – Shawn Marion on the Grizzlies


“It’s like a gift, it really is. Obviously, the longer you sit over there, the more stiff I get. That was awesome. Every time that happens, I get very excited. The guys did a good job closing it out. That was fantastic.” – A rested Dirk Nowitzki said of not having to check into Monday’s game for crunch time.

When and Where:

The game will tip off at 7:00 CST and will air on Fox Sports Southwest

Go Mavs!

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Wrap Up: Nowitzki Returns And Leads Mavericks To Victory

by Greg Higgins on December 19, 2013 in Mavs 09 comments

Wrap Up

The Dallas Mavericks (15-10) continued their dominance at the American Airlines Center Wednesday night as they took care of the Memphis Grizzlies (10-15) 105-91. With the win, the Mavs are now 11-2 on home court this season.

How it went down: Memphis came into the AAC depleted with injuries.  Marc Gasol was out with a sprained knee, Mike Conley had a thigh bruise and Tayshaun Prince was out with knee soreness. The Mavericks, still missing Devin Harris, had its full complement of players and they took advantage of the Grizzlies injuries. Without the reigning defensive player of the year (Gasol), the Mavericks shot 54.8% from the field.

Dallas pretty much led the entire game as they jumped on Memphis early. The first quarter saw Memphis with their only lead of the entire game.  Memphis led 3-2 and 5-4. Dallas pretty much controlled the game the rest of the way. Memphis did manage to make a few runs here and there but Dallas always got it under control and took the game back over.

Dallas finished with five players in double-digit scoring, led by Dirk Nowitzki and his 20 points. More importantly for the Mavs, they were able to keep the minutes down once again for most of the players. Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon both played 32 minutes and Shawn Marion had just over 30 minutes. Those were the only three guys with 30+ minutes in the game. For a team with some veteran players, that’s a huge accomplishment for Rick Carlisle and his coaching staff.

Inside the Numbers: The Mavs finished the game with 10 blocked shots. Brandan Wright had three and Samuel Dalembert finished with two.

Memphis outscored Dallas in the paint 54-36 and out rebounded Dallas 43-42. Of the 43 rebounds for Memphis, 22 were offensive, leading to 21 points (8/21).

Impact Play of the Game:  In the third quarter Memphis cut the Mavs 16-point lead down to four at 66-62. Dallas then finished the quarter on a 12-4 run to recapture a 12-point advantage going into the fourth quarter. Memphis never got the lead back to single digits again.

Step-Up Mav of the Night: Monta Ellis

Ellis finished the game with 18 points, but 16 of them came in the second half. Ellis also finished with three steals for Dallas.


“We’re in a situation where we’re one of six or seven teams fighting for two or three playoff spots. That’s what it’s going to come down to. Concentration and focus and attention to detail are going to carry the day as to who gets in and who has a chance to advance.” – Rick Carlisle


“Well, it was a good win against an obviously undermanned team. They’re scrappy and they’ve got a bunch of guys that play hard, so it was a good win.”  - Dirk Nowitzki

On Deck: The Mavericks will be at home once again on Friday night as they face the Toronto Raptors. The game can be seen locally on FSSW at 7:30.

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