A flurry of 3-pointers by Mike James and Vince Carter stretched Dallas’ lead to 15 early in the fourth quarter, but Detroit roared off a 24-8 run to take a 97-96 lead -- their first since the first quarter.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Galloway & Company to discuss who he wants to keep for next season, O.J. Mayo's impressive night and much more.
Dirk Nowitzki, who was quiet for most of the night, came up with a couple of big buckets during crunch time. After Pistons rookie Khris Middleton's go-ahead corner 3 with 2:29 remaining, Nowitzki knocked down contested midrange jumpers on Dallas’ next two possessions, giving the Mavs the lead for good.
But Nowitzki, who finished with 12 points on 6-of-14 shooting, missed midrange jumpers on the Mavs’ last two possessions, leaving the door open for Detroit to send the game into overtime.
The 23-41 Pistons failed to take advantage of the opportunity. Charlie Villanueva’s tip-in with six seconds remaining, which trimmed the deficit to one, was Detroit’s only points in the final two minutes. Villanueva missed an open 3 with seconds remaining after Darren Collison's clutch free throws bumped the Mavs' lead back to three.
O.J. Mayo scored a game-high 22 points, shooting 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Seven Mavs scored in double figures.
What it means: The Mavs have gotten out of their four-loss-in-five-games rut with two straight wins. Dallas improved to 28-33, including 20-7 against teams that are under .500. The 11th-place Mavs are 3 1/2 games out of the eighth seed in the West after Utah’s loss to Chicago.
Play of the game: The most memorable plays weren’t quite highlights. Pick your favorite Pistons blooper: Jason Maxiell getting stuffed by the rim on an uncontested dunk, or Brandon Knight missing a breakaway layup.
Stat of the night: James is 11-of-20 from 3-point range over the past four games, including 4-of-6 against the Pistons. The hot streak represents a remarkable turnaround for the 37-year-old guard, who knocked down only seven of 32 3-point attempts this season before suddenly finding his range.