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Rapid Reaction: Mavs 105, Grizzlies 91

12/19/2013

DALLAS -- The Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 105-91 win over a Memphis Grizzlies team missing three starters.

How it happened: There was really never much doubt. The Mavs led by double digits most of the game and responded when Memphis made a run to slice the lead to four in the third quarter.

Dirk Nowitzki had a quietly dominant performance in his return after missing Saturday's win over the Milwaukee Bucks because of illness. He scored 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting, grabbed 6 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and had a plus-minus of plus-23. He also had the luxury of watching from the bench down the stretch after having played only 27 minutes.

Nowitzki was one of five Mavs to score in double figures as Dallas shot 54.8 percent from the field.

Monta Ellis scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Vince Carter had his second consecutive impressive all-around performance off the bench with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, 6 assists and 4 rebounds.

Without center Marc Gasol, point guard Mike Conley and small forward Tayshaun Prince, the Grizzlies had a miserable shooting night, hitting only 39.8 percent of their shots from the field.

What it means: The Mavs improved to 15-10 and have won the first two games of this three-game homestand against sub-.500 teams. The Mavs are 11-2 at home, including a couple of wins against the Grizzlies (10-15), giving Dallas a good chance to get the tiebreaker against a team that could fight its way into the playoff mix if it can get healthy.

Play of the game: Ellis threw a beautiful, on-the-run, one-handed, 60-foot pass that hit Shawn Marion in stride for a dunk in the first quarter. Ellis was pushing the ball up the left side of the floor when he found Marion streaking down the center of the court with a defender trailing him by a step. Marion caught the ball and went up to finish with two hands in one motion.

Stat of the night: Grizzlies shooting guard Tony Allen grabbed 10 offensive rebounds, the most by any player in a game this season. The Grizzlies' 22 offensive rebounds were one shy of the most by a team this season.