The Dallas Mavericks took full advantage of a Kobe Bryant-less team on Tuesday night as they dismantled the Lakers 123-104. It was the first of four games in five nights for the Mavericks. A blowout win was just what they needed as they were able to rest guys. Monta Ellis is the only Maverick to play more than 30 minutes in the game.
How it went down: Dallas jumped on L.A early in the game as they scored 35 in the first quarter and 32 in the second. The 67 points were the most in one half since scoring 68 against Atlanta in March of this year. Dallas moved the ball efficiently as they 34 assists on 49 made field goals. The Mavs shot 52.1% from the field. Perhaps more impressive, though was the fact that they shot 48.1% from beyond the 3-point line.
Dallas also out-rebounded the Lakers by 15 and they pulled down 10 offensive boards. Dallas had seven players finish with double-digit scoring and they had two others (Gal Mekel and Vince Carter) finish with nine and eight points respectively.
The Dallas bench, led by Jae Crowder’s 18 points provided a huge lift as the starters were able to rest. Perhaps the biggest surprise of the night is that Dirk Nowtizki only scored 11 points on the night. Dirk made up for it in other areas, though, as he pulled down eight rebounds, had four assists and two steals.
Add it all up and it equals one dominating performance over a team they may be competing with for a playoff spot at the end of the season. Dallas is 3-1 on the season as they are about to embark on a three game road trip.
Impact Play of the Game: The play of the game is actually a series of plays that started with 4:47 left in the first quarter. This is when Gal Mekel and DeJuan Blair entered the game for Dallas for the first time. At this point Dallas had a 20-14 lead. These two provided a spark off the bench that would ignite a 15-8 run to close out the quarter. Both players are becoming more and more comfortable in their roles as bench players for the Mavericks.
Step-Up Mav of the Night: Monta Ellis
Ellis finished with another 30 point performance for the Mavericks. Ellis finished with 11 of 14 from the field and had nine assists. Ellis was driving to the rim, pulling up for jumpers, and getting other people involved as well. If he plays like this on a consistent basis and Dirk gets back to being Dirk, this team is going to be hard to beat.
“Monta Ellis was fantastic tonight,” Carlisle said with high praise for the newcomer. “I mean, all aspects of the game. He defended, he made plays at the rim, he was under control, he hit mid-range shots and he hit guys cutting to the basket. You know, it was a great all-around performance.”
“We’ve got all of our veteran guys starting out the game. We’re asking them to give us four to six hard minutes at the start of the game, and we’ve got to come in and pick up the same slack.