<
>

Monta Ellis flipped switch in fourth quarter

1/8/2014

DALLAS -- The Mavericks hope Monta Ellis got his groove back.

Ellis' shooting percentage had dipped into the low 40s over the previous dozen games. It looked as if some of the temperatures across the country after three quarters Tuesday night, when he had missed nine of 11 shots from the field, including his first six attempts.

Then, suddenly Ellis got scorching hot and took over for the key stretch of the Mavs' 110-97 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I just stayed with it," said Ellis, who finished with 16 points and nine assists. "I kept attacking the basket and kept taking my shots and eventually they started going down."

Ellis scored on five consecutive possessions midway through the fourth quarter. The Mavs' lead swelled from six to 13 points during his offensive outburst.

"At that point, we needed a spark and he made plays," coach Rick Carlisle said. "It was great to see a guy just staying the course, keep playing and then it just pops. That spurt got us a win."

Ellis' scoring flurry started with an off-the-dribble floater over Pau Gasol. It featured two transition layups and a pair of pull-up jumpers, the second of which was a high-degree-of-difficulty 20-footer after a crossover dribble to get some space.

The old saying is that shooters have to shoot their way out of slumps. But Ellis isn't a shooter. He's a scorer who is at his best when he's attacking the basket. He got going with a drive and a couple of easy buckets off the break.

"I think he got his confidence back by getting a couple of layups in transition," Dirk Nowitzki said. "He played good defense, got a couple of steals and then he got on the break and got his confidence up by getting to the basket a couple of times. That always helps if you're a scorer or shooter to see the ball go through the hoop.

"It gets your confidence up, then he looked like he was unstoppable again."