DALLAS -- On the final day of his 10-day contract, Sasha Pavlovic, broken nose and all, earned a second abbreviated contract with a chance to stick the rest of the way.
The former Cleveland Cavalier got the starting nod Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers and thanked coach Rick Carlisle by scoring 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including one huge 3-pointer with 31 seconds left in the decisive third quarter that gave Dallas its first double-digit lead in a game they went on to win 109-100.
"It was big," Pavlovic said of the timely 3-pointer. "Jason Terry was handling the ball and [Luke] Walton helped off of me, and he [Terry] saw me and passed it to me and I just stepped up and made that shot. It's good that teammates believe in you and I can feel like they believe in me, and it's going to make it easier for me. They accepted me well and I'm pretty happy here."
Afterward, the Mavs thanked him with a second 10-day contract that begins Thursday night at Chicago.
Wednesday was Pavlovic's fifth game with the Mavs and the first one that resulted in a win. He played a season-high 24 minutes and did so wearing a mask to protect a broken nose he suffered Monday at Detroit. Early on he got knocked in the face and took a pretty good shot but didn't flinch with his NBA career possibly hanging on this effort.
"It moved back," Pavlovic said of his crooked nose.
The seven points he scored in the third quarter were just two fewer than he scored in his first four games with the club.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle's decision to start Pavlovic and bring Shawn Marion off the bench worked to perfection as Marion poured in 22 points. Dont' be surprised to see Pavlovic get his second start against the Bulls.
"I just had a feeling Pavlovic could give us something as a starter, and he showed some things that he hadn't showed so far. In fairness, this is probably the first big-time opporunity he's gotten since he's been here. He's coming off a broken nose -- he probably got it re-broken on that first play -- and he hung in there and played a hell of a game. He played an all-around game. He helped us get shots, he made shots and he defended well."
Teams can sign a player to two 10-day contracts and then must either commit to the rest of the season or waive him.