- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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How it happened: The Mavericks played by far their best game of the season.
The fact that the Grizzlies won a grueling overtime game against the San Antonio Spurs the previous night surely helped the Mavs’ cause, but it was still impressive to see Dallas dominate a Memphis squad that has the West’s fourth-best record.
The Mavs had six players score in double figures against the Grizzlies, who rank second in the NBA in scoring defense. Shawn Marion led the Mavs with a season-high 20 points, hitting nine of 13 shots from the floor.
Coach Rick Carlisle, however, was surely even more pleased by the Mavs’ stifling defense.
Dallas held the Grizzlies to 39 points in the first half, the lowest-scoring first half by a Mavs foe this season. Memphis ended the game shooting only 38.1 percent from the floor. Rudy Gay (12 points) was the only Grizzlies starter to score in double figures.
This was the Mavs’ fourth 20-plus-point win of the season and the first since Dec. 10.
What it means: The Mavs (15-23) have back-to-back wins for the first time in more than a month. This performance could be a major morale boost for the Mavs, who had lost 10 of 11 games before Thursday’s overtime win in Sacramento. Dallas improved to 4-16 against teams that are currently .500 or better.
Play of the game: Marion’s 3 from the left corner off a dish from Vince Carter stretched the Mavs’ lead to 16 midway through the second quarter. It was Marion’s second 3-point bucket of the night, the first time this season he’s knocked down more than one trey in a game.
Stat of the night: The Mavs’ 34-point lead in the fourth quarter was the largest of the season.