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Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: Mavs-Lakers

By Tim MacMahon

DALLAS -- Some quick hits from the Mavericks’ 123-104 win over the Los Angeles Lakers:

Monta mania: Mavericks fans might fall in love with "Monta basketball." For the second time in three home games, Monta Ellis put up at least 30 points and eight assists. He had 30 and nine against the Lakers, going 11-of-14 from the floor and 8-of-8 from the line.

"I just think being aggressive opens everything up for myself and the team," said Ellis, one of seven Mavs to score in double figures. "Me getting to the basket, they play me kind of different and it opens up for everyone else, so I’ve just got to continue to attack and make plays."

Awesome offense: The Mavs shot 52.1 percent from the floor and had 34 assists on 49 baskets, numbers that aren’t too far above their norm so far this season.

The Mavs rank second in the league in points per game (114.3), fourth in assists (25.3) and ninth in field goal percentage (46.4) after four games. That efficiency is especially impressive considering the Mavs are mixing in three new starters, including the backcourt of Jose Calderon and Ellis.

"We've got a bunch of veteran players, smart players," Dirk Nowitzki said, explaining why the offense has clicked so well right away. "There’s not really a selfish guy on this team. We all share the ball."

Kaman vs. Carlisle: Lakers center Chris Kaman, whose lone season in Dallas disappointed everyone involved, sounded off Tuesday morning about how "uptight" coach Rick Carlisle "played games" with him, particularly about the center’s inconsistent playing time.

Carlisle’s pregame response was politically correct: "It didn’t work out here with Chris, and I take my share of the responsibility for it."

But Carlisle couldn’t resist taking a little postgame jab at Kaman, who had 10 points and seven rebounds off the Lakers bench, interrupting Nowitzki’s dance-around-the-subject take on the issue in the locker room.

"I thought Kaman played great tonight," Carlisle said, butting in as Dirk delicately mentioned that the coach-center relationship went sour last season because Kaman wanted more playing time. "And I was shocked he didn’t play more minutes. It should be noted for the record that he played 17 minutes tonight and he averaged 20 here."