- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Ellis’ all-around game: Monta Ellis’ scoring flurry in the fourth quarter, when he had 10 of his 19 points, will get most of the attention.
But Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wanted to make sure to shine a spotlight on Ellis’ defensive effort against Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, who was coming off a career-high 34-point performance. Ellis helped hold Beal to nine points on 2-of-10 shooting.
“Defense on Beal was a big part of our game plan, and Monta provided it,” Carlisle said.
Sam’s scoring spree: At one point, center Samuel Dalembert was on pace to have a 50-point night. He fell only 35 shy of that, finishing with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting. But his 11-point first quarter showed that opposing defenses must at least account for him.
Dalembert knows he’ll never be a featured piece in the Mavs’ offense, but he’s figuring out how to play off of his new teammates and put himself in position to be a finisher. His four buckets in the first quarter came off a couple of feeds from Ellis for dunks, a putback dunk and a short jump hook after a dish from Vince Carter.
“It’s knowing what they like to do and then try to feed off of that,” said Dalembert, who is averaging 8.1 points on 58.7 percent shooting. “What I’m trying to do is contribute with easy baskets so I can be a factor offensively for the team. That’s going to make things easier for the other guys.
Harris’ hope: Guard Devin Harris, whose rehab from offseason toe surgery hit a significant juncture when he was cleared to run last week, has a goal of being ready for game action in mid-December.
“We’ll see if they agree with that,” Harris said, referring to the Mavs’ medical staff.
Harris, who said he isn’t experiencing any pain in the toe, said envisioning his role “is the only thing that keeps me sane while watching these games.”
He’s eager to be a valuable reserve who can play either guard position, push the pace and defend the better backcourt scorers the Mavs face.