How it happened: O.J. Mayo busted out of his slump and the Mavs blew by the Pistons.
Mayo’s struggles during the Mavs’ three-game losing streak, when he averaged only 9.3 points on 32 percent shooting, continued throughout the first half. Mayo didn’t score until 1:33 remained in the second quarter and finished the first half with only three points.
But the Mavs’ leading scorer made up for missed time in the second half, when he singlehandedly outscored the Pistons by a 16-11 margin.
Mayo scored the Mavs’ first 11 points of the second half. He had 16 points during Dallas’ 17-4 run that gave the Mavs the lead for good. Mayo was 6-of-7 from the floor during that run, knocking down all four of his 3-point attempts.
Mayo finished with a team-high 27 points to lead four Mavs in double figures.
Forward/center Elton Brand had his best performance in a Mavs uniform, blocking three shots to go along with his second double-double of the season (17 points, 12 rebounds).
The Pistons' 77 points was by far the lowest by a Mavs foe this season.
What it means: The Mavs are undefeated during the Derek Fisher era, winning in their new 38-year-old starting point guard’s Dallas debut. (Fisher had a poised two-point, three-assist performance.) This was a win the 8-9 Mavs desperately needed after losing their last three games and eight of their previous 11.
Play of the game: Mayo did most of his damage during the Mavs’ big run from behind the 3-point arc, but his prettiest basket was a reverse layup off a fast break. After Mayo leaked out, Jae Crowder threw a perfect three-quarters-court pass that hit Mayo in stride a couple of steps from the hoop. Mayo used the rim to protect the ball from a pursuing Piston, going underneath the hoop and flipping the ball off the glass with his right hand to give the Mavs a 59-55 lead.
Stat of the night: The Pistons have lost 28 of their last 29 road games against Western Conference teams.