How it happened: No Dirk Nowitzki, no problem. Jose Calderon set the tone for the Mavericks as he scored 12 points, all from 3-point range, within the first eight minutes of the game. Milwaukee paid the price for not closing out on Calderon on 3-point attempts quick enough. The Mavericks were clearly feeling it from long range as they went 6-of-10 from 3-point range in the opening quarter. Dallas made a total of 15 field goals in the opening quarter.
Dallas continued to lay it on Milwaukee, who came into town on the second night of a back-to-back, in the second quarter. The Bucks tried to run a zone defense in an attempt to slow down the Mavericks, but they didn’t have a lot of success as Dallas coasted to a 59-41 lead at the half.
Dallas kept the foot on the gas, using a 15-0 run from the three-minute mark of the second quarter to the 9:07 mark of the third quarter. The Mavs extended their lead to 32 (88-56) with 1:29 left in the quarter. It marked the first time this season that Dallas had a 32-point lead. It had a 30-point lead on Nov. 5 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The lead extended to as many as 34 points in the game.
Milwaukee tried to make a surge in the fourth quarter and got the deficit as low as 15 with four minutes to go, but there wasn’t enough time for them to make a comeback.
Brandan Wright made his season debut, entering the game at the 6:02 mark of the opening quarter. He made an impact early, scoring seven points and pulling down three rebounds in the first quarter. In 19 minutes of action, Wright finished with 19 points and six rebounds.
Meanwhile, in his return to Dallas, Milwaukee guard O.J. Mayo underwhelmed, scoring only four points on 1-of-6 shooting. It was later revealed that Mayo’s grandmother died on Friday night.
Dallas moved to 8-1 in “Seats for Soldiers” games with the win over Milwaukee. More than 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and other troops on reserve in the Metroplex traveled to Dallas to see the Mavericks take on the Bucks.
What it means: Dallas has peace of mind knowing that Wright made it through his first night without any setbacks. They also have peace of mind knowing that his efficient end to last season might not be a fluke.
Play of the game: Wright’s first bucket of the game came in typical Wright fashion. With just more than a minute to go in the first quarter, Wright caught the ball in the lane and spun around to finish with a banked jump shot seven feet away from the rim. He was fouled by Ekpe Udoh on the play.
Stat of the night: Dallas scored its most points in an opening quarter this season with 38. The previous high was 35 against the Lakers on Nov. 5. The 38 points ties the most points scored by the Mavericks in any quarter this season (38 in the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies on Nov. 2).