Rapid reaction: Mavs 101, Bobcats 92
"We're fine," Carlisle said with a hint of a chuckle.
He was right. Dallas, which has never lost to the Bobcats in 14 games now, bolted out another fast start. The Mavs followed up Friday's 34-point first quarter with 31 against the Bobcats for a nine-point lead. From there Dallas led by double digits almost the rest of the way and sealed a 101-92 victory.
Charlotte cut it to eight a couple of times midway through the fourth quarter as perhaps fatigue started to be a factor. The Mavs had just five points in the first six minutes of the fourth.
But the Mavs continually had answers. With 5:43 to go and the Bobcats down 87-79, Jason Terry found an opening, drove the basket and got fouled. He completed the three-point play and the Mavs were back up by 11. Terry's jumper with under a minute to go put an end to Charlotte's last gasp as it got to within, 98-92.
Terry had a big night that got started early. He finished with 21 points without the benefit of a 3-pointer. Dirk Nowitzki led everyone again with 25 points on 10-of-19 shooting. Jason Kidd had a big night with 13 points on four 3-pointers as he's clearly rediscover his range.
And give J.J. Barea another bow. Getting his second consecutive start, he was again a factor early, setting a fast pace and darting through the lane for 15 points. Shawn Marion was the fifth Mavs player to reach double figures with 10 points. He had some key buckets and also had four assists and seven rebounds.
Tyson Chandler's run of three consecutive double-doubles narrowly came to an end. It wasn't for lack of energy and enthusiasm. He finished with nine points and 15 rebounds -- eight on the offensive glass.
Dallas has had five or more players score in double figures in seven consecutive games and have scored more than100 points in each.
What it means: The Mavs were on the cusp of moving 20 games over .500 at 24-5 and then Dirk Nowitzki and Caron Butler injured their knees. Dallas finally got there for the first time this season with Saturday's win and a sweep of the three-game road trip that also went through New York and Boston. The Mavs extended the NBA's longest current winning streak to eight games, improving their record to 35-15. It was also their fourth consecutive road win. The Mavs head home for one game Monday night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, who have lost 24 games in a row. The Mavs are optimistic that Peja Stojakovic will make his Dallas debut in the game.
Play of the game: With about 4:15 left in the third quarter, Jason Terry bounced a pass over to Shawn Marion at the top of the circle. Marion didn't immediately make a move, but when he saw Eduardo Najera spring backward and crash to the floor after bumping into the side of Tyson Chandler as though he were a Mack truck, Marion attacked the open path through the paint and finished with one of his trademark tomahawk jams to end a 6-0 Charlotte run and put the Mavs up 73-59 lead.
Stat of the night: Dirk Nowitzki had four blocked shots and Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion each had three as the Mavs swatted away 14 Charlotte shots. Tyson Chandler had two, Brendan Haywood had one as did the smallest man on the court, J.J. Barea.
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