LOS ANGELES -- From the smart folks at ESPN Stats & Information comes statistical evidence of Shawn Marion's dominant defensive performance Monday night against Kobe Bryant, the league's leading scorer, who was stifled to the tune of 7-of-22 shooting for 14 points, 18 below his season average.
Coming into Monday’s game, Kobe had averaged 43 points in his previous four games. The Mavericks used seven different defenders against him on Monday, none more than Marion, who held Kobe scoreless.
Just like in the playoff sweep, Marion and friends prevented Kobe from attacking the rim. Only three of his 22 field-goal attempts came inside 10 feet, resulting in four points and one free throw attempt. During his four-game streak of at least 40 points, Kobe scored 77 of his 172 points inside 10 feet, including 43 made free throws.
"Shawn Marion is a top defender in this league and has been for a decade," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "It's nothing that we’re not aware of. It’d be great if more people were aware of it. He’s been deserving of all-defense consideration a lot more years than he hasn’t. The teams that he plays on appreciate him."
A look at Kobe vs. Mavs defenders in Monday's game, via ESPN Stats & Info:
Shawn Marion - 0-10 FGs, 0 points
Jason Kidd - 1-3 FGs, 2 points
Unguarded - 2-2, 4 points
Others< - 4-7 FGs, 8 points