Rapid Reaction: Mavericks 127, Hawks 113
Playing their fourth game in five nights, the Mavs set a new season high for points, scorching the Hawks for 57.3 percent shooting from the floor. Dallas hit 13 of their 22 3-point attempts (59.1 percent).
Six Mavs scored at least a dozen points, led by second-team point guard Darren Collison’s 24 on 10-of-14 shooting. In his first 20-plus-point performance in more than two months, Collison exploded for 15 points in the second quarter, a key to the Mavs building a double-digit lead that they maintained the rest of the game.
Power forward Dirk Nowitzki added 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting and matched Collison with a team-high five assists. Shooting guard O.J. Mayo (17 points, 7-11 FG), center Chris Kaman (14 points, 7-11 FG), sixth man Vince Carter (13 points, 5-9 FG) and reserve center/forward Brandan Wright (12 points, 5-9 FG) also scored in double figures.
The Mavs had 33 assists on 50 field goals, evidence of how well the ball was moving.
The Hawks had eight players score in double figures and shot 56.0 percent from the floor, but it wasn’t enough to keep up with the Mavs.
What it means: The Mavs managed to keep their playoff hopes legitimately alive, slim as they may be, by mustering a magnificent performance in a must-win game. After splitting four games in five nights, the Mavs are 32-35, putting them 3 ½ games out of eighth place in the West standings pending the Los Angeles Lakers’ late game against the Phoenix Suns. The Mavs are 5-2 on the road this month, including a couple of wins over plus-.500 teams, something they did just once in the first four months of the season.
Play of the game: After pump-faking and drawing contact from Harris, Darren Collison showed a little savvy and got a lot of luck. He blindly fired a 16-footer that swished while he fell on his backside. The three-point play stretched the Mavs’ lead to 10 points early in the second quarter.
Stat of the night: The Mavs’ 68 points in the first half wasn’t just their most by halftime this season. It was the most in the first half by any team this season that was playing the second game of a back-to-back, according to the Mavs TV broadcast’s research.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
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Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.