Dallas Mavericks: American Airlines Center

Bully NBA made Heath's tweets big deal

April, 11, 2014
4/11/14
9:58
AM CT

DALLAS -- The NBA magnified the size of Sean Heath’s microphone by about a millionfold by taking it away from the previously rather anonymous Dallas Mavericks public address announcer for two games.

UPDATE: The suspension has been rescinded, according to a source, with the league opting to fine the Mavs $25,000.

Before ESPNDallas.com broke the news of Heath’s two-game suspension for ref-ripping tweets, his Twitter account had a grand total of 253 followers. Heath’s whining after the Mavs’ April 1 overtime loss was merely a drip in the social media ocean.

It’s a thunderstorm now. The story of Heath’s suspension has been tweeted thousands of times, including by the ESPN NBA account that has more than a million followers. It’s an offbeat story that will be discussed on countless TV and radio shows across the country.

If the NBA office intended to silence talk about the league’s “reputation that the games are rigged,” to use Heath’s most inflammatory words, this was one of the worst ways to do it.

That’s not to let Heath totally off the hook. His marching orders from Mark Cuban are to be as passionate a homer as possible while he’s riling up the American Airlines Center crowds, but that passion got the best of him after his official duties ended following the Mavs’ April Fools' Day heartbreaker.

(Read full post)

Arena workers feeling pinch of NBA lockout

November, 8, 2011
11/08/11
10:14
AM CT
DALLAS -- NBA owners have claimed losses totaling in the hundreds of millions. Players are set to lose their first paycheck next week and then at least one more at the end of the month -- and more if this four-month-old lockout continues.

Well, there's another group out there that's not exactly thrilled with the state of the game. Arena workers around the league are feeling the paycheck pinch, too. And they're not trying to pay off that third Bentley or seldom-used South Beach condo. The electricity bill is of greater concern.

"It's making it hard to pay the bills," said one American Airlines Center employee, an hourly worker who has worked at the arena for more than seven years and is now working far less because of the NBA lockout.

At the American Airlines Center, about 320 arena workers -- from ushers to security guards -- work Dallas Mavericks home games, Dallas Stars home games, concerts, the circus and other events throughout the year. But without the NBA in the rotation, those employees have seen their nightly assignments and weekly hours slashed. Many are logging eight fewer hours per week.

The total number of workers affected by the lockout increases significantly when including several hundred concession workers per game that are employed outside of the AAC through Levy Restaurants.

"I've gone from working four days a week to three days a week," said the AAC employee, who asked to remain anonymous. "I was working 32 hours a week. Now I'm working 24 hours. It's tough."

The lockout is the second whammy to hit many arena workers. When the economy tanked in 2008, many workers were reduced from full-time, 40-hour-a-week positions to part-time, 32-hour jobs. Now, many are down to just 24 hours. And for many like this particular arena worker, the AAC is their only source of income.

Finding additional work, this employee said, has not been easy: "There's no jobs out there."

Four Mavs home preseason games were eliminated in October and so far in November two games have been scratched. In all, The Mavs were supposed to play nine home games this month, including three just after Thanksgiving. The league has already cancelled the entire month of games. Seven home games in December, including the huge Christmas Day Finals rematch against the Miami Heat, are next on the chopping block.

NBA commissioner David Stern has given the players a Wednesday deadline to accept the deal on the table. The players association has deemed the current offer "unacceptable."

Eventually, a deal will be brokered and the games will go on. Arena workers can only hope it's sooner than later. They've seen their hours reduced. If the lockout drags on, they don't want to see their jobs disappear.

Mavs fans enjoy moment in, around AAC

June, 12, 2011
6/12/11
11:13
PM CT
DALLAS -- You wonder how sports can bring people together and then you see what happened Sunday night at American Airlines Center.

They wore Dirk Nowitzki jerseys and Jason Kidd jerseys and J.J. Barea jerseys. They painted their faces. They carried homemade signs, mostly poking fun at Dwyane Wade (Drama Wade) and LeBron James (LeFraud James). They carried flags from Germany, Puerto Rico and Mexico. A few had vuvuzelas.

And they came from all over for the same reason: to see the Dallas Mavericks win an NBA championship.

Except for the few bravely wearing James jerseys, no one left the arena disappointed.

With a 105-95 win against Miami in Game 6, the Mavericks won the franchise’s first championship.

As it became more and more obvious with each Dallas make and Miami miss deeper into the fourth quarter, the AAC vibrated like it had never vibrated before. One security guard said the 18,000 or so fans that packed the place were louder than at any game she could remember.

Finally, when the buzzer sounded, confetti fell from the AAC roof, music blared and strangers hugged and high-fived.

Kent Peterson, a Desert Storm veteran, stood proudly not 10 rows from the court with tears in his eyes.

“You just don’t know,” Peterson said. “It’s been a long time. A long time. Everybody doubted us. They doubted us through all the ups and downs, but not this year. This year we did it. We actually did it. I can’t believe it.”

Peterson was wearing a slightly faded T-shirt that featured the 2006 Mavericks that lost to the Heat in six games. He wore it so much he had to treat it differently in the wash, “so I could preserve it.”

He no longer has to wear that jersey. He was stopping off at a store Sunday night to by a new T-shirt. One that reads: 2011 World Champions.

Before the game, Dallas Myers and Drew DeArmond were inside the Fan Shop, buying their own souvenirs. Myers took home a Tyson Chandler jersey.

“He brings so much energy to the team,” Myers said.

They made the 5 1/2-hour drive from Joplin, Mo., to Dallas on Friday. Myers was named after the Cowboys. DeArmond was named after the original No. 88, Drew Pearson. On Saturday they took in a Free Reign concert to see Cowboys linemen Marc Colombo and Leonard Davis perform. Myers even got Davis’ autograph on his Mavericks hat. On Sunday afternoon, they took a tour of Cowboys Stadium.

But the trip was about the Mavs, ultimately. And to get their mind off of the tornado that ripped through their city last month.

DeArmond was working at an Academy Sports store when the tornado hit town. The pictures on his cellphone show the devastation. The building was in ruins. Cars were overturned. But nobody was hurt.

“I figured I wanted to remember all of it one day,” said DeArmond, who huddled with fans in the store’s hallway as the tornado came through.

And now he has new pictures and new memories that will last just as long and leave him just as happy. And a 5 1/2-hour drive that will not seem that long now.

Up in the last row of Section 307, Mayra Correa sat with her boyfriend, Robert Perez. She estimated they went to about 20 regular-season games, but the cost of a playoff ticket made the postseason impossible.

Correa and Perez are the exact reason why Mark Cuban opened the doors Sunday to the public.

“I know we’re going to win this game, so I had to be here,” she said at halftime.

Afterward she was among the crowd celebrating in Victory Park. So was Dallas mayor Dwaine Caraway.

“This is big,” Caraway said. “We’ve waited for this for a long time. This is just so great. I’m happy for Mark Cuban. He’s been great since he’s come on. Same with Dirk and [Jason] Terry and [Jason] Kidd and all the guys. I can’t name them all right now. It has transformed our city with enthusiasm and hope.”

It took fans some time to file out of the arena since no one wanted the feeling to end. Outside, news helicopters hovered above Victory Park, capturing the moment. Dallas Police were ready but the mood was festive.

“These are tears of joy,” Peterson said. “I can’t believe we did it.”

Fans juiced at AAC after first quarter

June, 12, 2011
6/12/11
7:46
PM CT
DALLAS -- After one quarter, American Airlines Center is buzzing with the Mavs ahead, 32-27, even with Dirk Nowitzki on the bench with two fouls in seven minutes.

Aaron Stewart, an Arlington native who now calls Houston home, was sitting in the lower bowl seats on the baseline with eight friends. He was in charge of buying the tickets, “because I was on vacation and I didn’t have anything else to do.”

Despite Nowitzki’s slow start, Stewart -- and the more than 18,000 inside the downtown Dallas arena -- cannot be happier.

“Dude, it’s amazing,” Stewart said. “Started a little slow and I got a little nervous when Dirk went out but then Cardinal hit a 3 and Jet, too. I think the AAC is louder than AmericanAirlines Arena right now.”

Fans showed up early at AAC watch party

June, 12, 2011
6/12/11
7:03
PM CT
DALLAS -- Although the Dallas Mavericks are in Miami to play Game 6 of the NBA Finals, their fans have gathered at a sold-out American Airlines Center to watch the Mavericks attempt to clinch their first world championship in franchise history.

Fans waited nearly two hours before the doors opened at 5:30 p.m. in the blistering Texas heat anxious to witness Game 6 on the scoreboards inside the arena, and fans who wanted to be a part of the atmosphere but missed out on tickets could watch the game outdoors at AT&T Plaza.

“We wanted to be the first ones in and show that we can stick out here and beat the heat,” said Casey Watkins, a 16-year-old fan who was the first lined up along Southwest entrance at 3:40 p.m.

Watkins and eight other friends bought the $5 tickets at 10:02 a.m. Friday, two minutes after they went on sale. The tickets were first come, first served with no assigned seating. They would eventually sell out of tickets in 45 minutes.

“We’ve been to every one of the watch parties they’ve had here and when we found out they were on sale, we knew we had to get them right then,” Watkins said.

The majority of the spectators dressed in whatever Mavericks gear they could find in their closet, including 26-year-old Max Schwartzstein, who wore a rare Dallas Mavericks 2006 NBA champions T-shirt. Schwartzstein bought the shirt when a store accidentally put them out on the shelves during the Mavericks-Heat series in 2006.

“I wasn’t suppose to have this shirt but I still truly believe they should’ve won that championship, so I wear this shirt on almost any game,” said Schwartzstein, who has been a Mavericks fan since he held season tickets for two years at Reunion Arena in the 1990s.

Nobody knows how frantic the arena, or even Downtown Dallas for that matter, will be if the Mavericks happen to close out the series tonight. If footage from previous NBA championship cities is any indication of what the respond will be, chaos will be expected.

“My husband said that he was trying to decide this morning when we were leaving the house whether he should bring a baseball bat or a can of gas with him because that’s how you riot after a win,” 27-year-old Mollie Betancourt said. “But I’d just be super excited.”

AAC fills up for Game 6 watching party

June, 12, 2011
6/12/11
6:48
PM CT
DALLAS -- With Game 6 of the NBA Finals set to start shortly, American Airlines Center is ready.

Just about every seat is filled as the Mavericks look to win their first NBA championship with a win over Miami. Fans paid $5 to enter the arena and another $5 for parking, in most cases. The court and baskets remain in place as the fans are set to watch the game on the scoreboard.

“This is as close as we’ll get to see an NBA Finals game,” said Dallas Myers, who made the drive from Joplin, Mo., with his friend, Drew DeArmond.

The only seats not taken are the suites and some of the club areas. Fans are decked out in Mavericks’ gear from head to toe and the Fan Shop has done steady business since the doors opened at approximately 5:30 p.m.

There are even a few brave souls in LeBron James’ Heat jerseys.

Need tickets to the Finals?: It'll cost a grand

June, 5, 2011
6/05/11
12:16
PM CT
If you don't have tickets for Games 3, 4 or 5 at American Airlines Center and you desperately want to be in the building for Dallas Mavericks vs. Miami Heat, here's hoping you have a high-paying job, just received a healthy inheritance or recently won the lottery.

According to Chris Matcovich of TiqIQ, a secondary ticket market aggregator, the average ticket price for all three games has ballooned to $999.07, a 7.1 percent increase from the average cost after Game 1. The Mavs' miracle comeback in Game 2, which assured all three games in Dallas, is likely the reason for the hike.

Ticktets for tonights Game 3, Matcovich reports, is currently going for, on average, $1,316.20, the highest in the series except for a potential Game 7 in Miami, which currently has an average price of $1,378.20.

The average ticket price for the three games in Dallas is nearly 1,000 percent higher than the Mavs' regular-season average for tickets sold on the secondary market. The $999.07 average for the three games is 25 percent lower, Matcovich said, than Texas Rangers World Series ticket prices last October, which averaged about $1,244.

To determine the average ticket price, TiqIQ aggregates tickets from Stubhub, TicketNetwork, Ebay, and TiqIQ Direct. On average, Matcovich said, about 1,489 tickets are available for each of Dallas' three home games. To find the average price, they take the list price for all those tickets and average them together.

Record crowd provides Mavs noisy push

May, 7, 2011
5/07/11
2:43
AM CT


DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle first started calling for the home crowd to show up rowdy, proud and loud after the Game 4 debacle in Portland when the Rose Garden faithful blew the roof off the place.

After taking two in Los Angeles, Carlisle and Mavs players continued to encourage high-decibel cheering. Owner Mark Cuban provided "blue-out" T-shirts for the first time this postseason and a blue maraca on every seat. ThunderStix were dropped from the rafters before the game.

And an American Airlines Center record crowd of 21,156 reveled in the Mavs' 98-92 victory Friday night that moved Dallas to the brink of an improbable sweep of the two-time defending Los Angeles Lakers.

"You've got to give our crowd a lot of credit," Carlisle said. "It was as every bit as loud as it was in Portland in here tonight, and that was a difference-maker for us."

Before tip-off, the crowd initiated a "Let's Go Mavs" chant. Throughout the game, the crowd was involved, leading up to the fourth quarter and crunch time. As the Mavs bolted to a 20-7 run in the final 5:08, the crowd cheered wildly and chants of "De-fense" filled the cavernous arena to a fever pitch.

"The 'blue-out' was great, it was great to see," Dirk Nowitzki said. "The building was as loud as I've ever heard it. That was great. They pushed us forward there in the fourth. And when we made shots there and tied the game and took the lead it was a madhouse."

A win can help Mavs push L.A. fadeaway

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
11:38
AM CT
DALLAS -- Rick Carlisle is one of the great downplayers in this league.

Take Thursday night after the Dallas Mavericks throttled the New York Knicks and the coach was asked if calling his team "soft" the night before at New Orleans got his troops a little riled up. I'm confident Carlisle understood what how the "soft" label is taken in that locker room.

"You guys," Carlisle said, "are making it a much bigger deal out of it then our players are," Carlisle said.

Ah yes, the media's always stirring it up. Well, thanks to Carlisle for dropping the S-bomb, unprompted, to the media to give his team a kick in the rear through the media.

But, when the media hypes Saturday night's showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers at the American Airlines Center, Carlisle is buying it. It is actually somewhat humorous that most of the players blew off the matchup as just another game that counts in the standings and that despite just 17 games remaining it is still too early to look ahead to that semifinal series shaping up.

Carlisle, however, was right on point.

"It's the defending champs coming into your building, so it's a big deal," Carlisle said. "To try to downplay it wouldn't be being honest. It's an important game."

Most important to the Mavs' postseason cause is maintaining their grip on the No. 2 seed. Dallas and L.A. are too far behind the San Antonio Spurs -- barring an injury or some strange collapse -- to make a run at the No. 1 seed. Fourth-place Oklahoma City Thunder is too far behind to make a move second and third and, frankly, better keep looking behind them at the Portland Trail Blazers.

So, one way or another the Mavs (47-18) and Lakers (46-20) are on a collision course for a semifinal series. The No. 2 seed will hold homecourt advantage, and in a seven-game series against Kobe Bryant the two-time champs, that would seem an imperative for the Mavs. With a win Saturday, Dallas can go up by three in the loss column with one more head-to-head in L.A. on March 31. That would make for a tough climb for the Lakers considering the frequency with which both teams are winning.

Not that the players are thinking that far ahead.

"We've got o finish these [17] games out and go from there," You can't worry about if you're 2 or 3. We were 2 last year and we were out early. Seeding goes out the window once the next season starts. You've got to win on the road at some point anyway to win a championship. We've just got to focus and not look ahead."

At least Carlisle, who led his first two teams -- Detroit Pistons and Indiana Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals -- has an eye on the big picture if he expects to take his first Western Conference team to the finals.

And, in this case, seeding matters.

Running with the Bulls at just the right time?

January, 20, 2011
1/20/11
2:01
PM CT
CHICAGO -- The Dallas Mavericks are still smarting from that 59-34 board whipping the Chicago Bulls put on them on Jan. 19 at the American Airlines Center.

The scene moves to the United Center tonight where the Mavs, 88-83 losers in the first meeting, might be getting the Bulls at just the right time. Bulls center Joakim Noah is sidelined after surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb. Noah had 17 boards in the first game to go with 10 points and five assists. Carlos Boozer will likely miss his third consecutive game with a sprained ankle. He also missed the first meeting in Dallas.

Between Boozer and Noah, that's 21.8 front-line rebounds sitting on the bench.

However, Taj Gibson will be in the lineup. The 6-foot-9 forward is good rebounder, not tremendous, averaging 5.7 in 23.3 minutes a game. But, he played as though he was Moses Malone in the last game. He pulled down a career-high 18 rebounds and bounced all over the floor to nab eight of the Bulls' 20 offensive boards as Chicago benefitted from a 25-8 edge in second-chance points.

"They kicked our tails on the boards," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said, "so that will be an emphasis."

Tight-lipped over Dirk Nowitzki's status

January, 12, 2011
1/12/11
11:59
AM CT
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle wasn't talking about Dirk Nowitzki and his chances of playing tonight as the Mavs try to snap a two-game skid at the Indiana Pacers.

It is expected that Nowitzki will miss his eighth consecutive game tonight since spraining his right knee on Dec. 27.

If that's the case, the Mavs will hope their leading scorer can return Friday night for a crucial third meeting with the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs have opened a five-game cushion in the Western Conference as the Mavs have gone 2-5 without their leading scorer, plus the additional loss of Caron Butler.

If the Spurs win at Milwaukee tonight and the Mavs lose to the Pacers, Dallas will head to San Antonio six games back, a sizable deficit even with more than half the season to play.

While Nowitzki's status for tonight is uncertain, one thing is for sure: The Mavs won't let their franchise player on the court if there's any risk of re-aggravating the knee.

After playing the Spurs, the Mavs continue their four-game road trip with the second half of a back-to-back at Memphis on Saturday night followed by Monday's Martin Luther King Jr. Day matinee at Detroit.

The Los Angeles Lakers then make their first appearance at the American Airlines Center on Jan. 19. The Lakers (28-11) are one loss behind the Mavs (26-10) in the standings.

Nowitzki, averaging 24.1 points and 7.4 rebounds, has already missed a career-high number of games due to the injury.

How high can winning streak go?

December, 4, 2010
12/04/10
12:44
PM CT


The Dallas Mavericks (15-4) play at the Sacramento Kings (4-13) at 9 tonight and despite it being the second game of a back-to-back, it would figure to be a game the Mavs can win to extend their winning streak to nine games. The Kings, coached by former Mavs assistant Paul Westphal, are 2-8 at the once deafening Arco Arena.

So how high can the Mavs' streak go?

The schedule remains favorable heading into next week as Dallas begins a season-long six-game homestand. The Mavs have won four in a row at the American Airlines Center. It starts Monday night against the Golden State Warriors (8-11, 3-7 road) and then against Devin Harris, Avery Johnson and the New Jersey Nets (6-14, 2-9 road) on Wednesday.

That sets up a Saturday rematch against the Utah Jazz (15-6, 7-2 road), who saw the Mavs snap their seven-game win streak in Salt Lake City with a dominant fourth quarter Friday night.

The homestand closes the following week against the Milwaukee Bucks (6-12, 2-8 road), the Portland Trail Blazers (8-11, 4-8 road) and the Phoenix Suns (10-9, 5-6 road).

The Mavs' longest winning streak last season was 13 games, coming after the big February trade. The San Antonio Spurs own the longest streak in the NBA this season at 12. The Mavs snapped that one on Nov. 26.

For the entire Mavs schedule, click here.

D holds tight until offense turns corner

November, 24, 2010
11/24/10
12:05
AM CT

DALLAS -- The beauty of Dirk Nowitzki is he can score 42 points, grab 12 rebounds, practically single-handedly rip his team a victory and then dial it down and tell it like he saw it.

And the Dallas Mavericks' 88-84 escape from the Detroit Pistons Tuesday night at American Airlines Center was, well ...

"Definitely not the way we wanted to start this tough week with four games in five nights," Nowitzki said. "To grind it out all the way to the last minute against Detroit, it's definitely not the way we wanted to start this week."

But ...

"At this point we’ll take the win however we can get it," Nowitzki said. "We just lost that one to Chicago last week. At this point we’ll take the win and move on. Especially in this tough week, you don’t want to start off with a loss. We can’t really be happy with this win, but it’s definitely a win."

The Mavs continue to make life tough on themselves with an alleged free-flow offense that grinds and grinds, especially on their home floor where a fourth-quarter flurry was needed to keep the home record above .500 after eight games. They bolted to an 11-0 lead and then 16-2 before half of the first quarter had expired and it seemed as the though coach Rick Carlisle could keep his veterans' minutes down and cruise well-rested into Oklahoma City for Wednesday night's anticipated showdown.

[+] EnlargeDirk Nowitzki
Glenn James/NBAE/Getty ImagesTuesday's 42-point effort marked the 16th time Dirk Nowitzki scored 40-or-more in his career.
But, that didn't happen. The Mavs fell behind by 12 in the third quarter, outscored 58-32 between the 6:09 mark of the first quarter and 3:43 of the third. Nowitzki had to go 40 minutes for his 16th career 40-point game, which also included the dozen rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Jason Kidd (seven points on 2-of-9 shooting, 10 assists) logged a season-high 39 minutes. Likely the only one happy about seeing heavy court time was Caron Butler (11 points on 4-of-11 shooting), who finally turned aggressive to give the Mavs some needed juice to start the fourth quarter. He finished with a season-high 38 minutes after recently seeing his playing time dwindle.

To understand just how standstill Dallas' offense became -- with Nowitzki feeling the burden to do it all -- the Pistons outscored the Mavs in fastbreak points, 19-9 through three quarters.

Still, the Mavs found a way to win when they were outrebounded -- including 16-5 in a 14-point second quarter) and shot just 38.5 percent overall and 30 percent from beyond the arc. The defense continues to play strong in man-to-man and in zone. Tuesday's game was the seventh in a row in which Dallas didn't allow 100 points and the third in that span to keep the score in the 80s. Detroit was just the lastest opponent to wallow in the 42-percent range from the field (42.5 percent).

"I haven’t been on a team that’s really consistently defensively that good," Nowitzki said. "So that’s a positive."

But, will defense alone be good enough against the league's hierarchy such as Oklahoma City and the San Antonio Spurs, who at 12-1 and averaging an un-Spurs-like 107.6 points a game, welcome Dallas to town for the first time on Friday night?

"There’s somewhat of a concern," Jason Terry (16 points on 7-of-17 shooting) said of the offense. "But, it’s still November. It’s still early and guys are still getting comfortable with their roles, knowing when they’re coming in the game and what not. It’s all about flow and rhythm. Do you want to have that flow right now in the first month? You’d like it, but does it mean anything? Not necessarily. So, it’s a work in progress."

Dallas hasn't scored 100 points in six consecutive games and twice in that stretch haven't reached 90. Three times in 13 games they've finished in the 80s, albeit twice in victory, another testament to the surprising strength of the defense. At home, the Mavs are averaging 88.8 points and they're 96.2 scoring average overall entering Tuesday's game will drop another notch, just as half the league is averaging triple digits.

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what ails the Mavs' offense.

"We definitely need somebody who can consistently get in the paint and make stuff easier and I think that’s where we’re waiting on Roddy Beaubois to make some stuff happen because he’s that explosive guy that can get in the paint," Nowitzki said. "I think J-Kidd can’t do it anymore on a consistent basis. Jet’s a shooter. I’m a shooter. Caron’s more of a shooter, so we don’t really have a guy that consistently gets in the paint and makes stuff easy.

"Hopefully Roddy will come back and open our offense up a little bit."

Until then, the Mavs are looking as though they will have to grind out wins with -- of all things -- their defense.

No overlooking Pistons to start big week

November, 23, 2010
11/23/10
10:45
AM CT
DALLAS -- It's easy to get caught up in the schedule ahead -- Wednesday at Oklahoma City, Friday at San Antonio and Saturday at home against the Super Friends (Miami Heat) -- but the Dallas Mavericks can't afford to look past the Detroit Pistons tonight.

Any team that comes through the AAC these days deserves their undivided attention. At 4-3 on their home floor, the Mavs' desire to improve their home record after last season has fallen on more than one flat performance this season.

"Yeah, Detroit, exactly," Mavs forward Shawn Marion said. "Even the teams that are considered the worst teams in the NBA, they can go out and beat you any night. You got to come out and play every night. They got weapons on every team. You got to be ready."

Memphis, Denver and Chicago have all come to town and left with victories in different ways. The Mavs coughed up 10 turnovers agains the Grizzlies in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets held Dallas to 13 fourth-quarter points and the Bulls scored 25 second-chance points to erase a double-digit deficit. Meanwhile, the Mavs improved to 4-1 on the road after Saturday's win at Atlanta.

The Pistons started the season 0-5, but have since gone 5-3. A win over Golden State is their lone victory against a team with at least a .500 record.

"Four [games] in five nights is always tough, I don’t care who you play," Dirk Nowitzki said. "We definitely haven’t played well at home lately so we have to get one [tonight] before we head out on the road."

Mavs still not happy with home cooking

November, 5, 2010
11/05/10
3:50
PM CT
DALLAS -- The Mavericks are 2-0 on the road and looking to avoid a sub-.500 record at home when the Denver Nuggets pay a visit Saturday night.

A bland home team last season, the Dallas Mavericks slipped into an old trap last week when the Memphis Grizzlies stole a win at the American Airlines Center to drop the Mavs to 1-1 on their home floor. Last year, the Mavs' 28-13 home record was third-worst among Western Conference playoff teams.

"We've got to win games in here," coach Rick Carlisle said Friday. "Home court is the other priority this year. First two games we played well. The second game against Memphis, we had a few untimely lapses which cost us. That can’t be the case tomorrow. Denver’s a team that’s going to be opportunistic, just like Memphis was. It’s got to be 48 solid minutes. We’ve got to use our depth and we’ve got to play our game."

Much of the same was said throughout last season, yet time after time, the Mavs played low-intensity, uninspired basketball on their home floor and allowed teams with lesser records to hang around and sometimes prevail as the Grizzlies did the other night.

The Nuggets present the stiffest home challenge of the early season, and they'll be ready after losing at home to the Mavs on Wednesday.

"We definitely want to get this one and the reason is because we’re trying to be a better team at home," Jason Terry said. "The only way to do that is to win games."

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Monta Ellis
PTS AST STL MIN
19.5 4.4 1.9 33.7
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsT. Chandler 11.7
AssistsR. Rondo 6.2
StealsM. Ellis 1.9
BlocksB. James 2.0