Dallas Mavericks: OJ Mayo
The Dallas Mavericks completed their season sweep with another spectacular offensive outing against the Sacramento Kings.
Shawn Marion (25 points, 12 rebounds) led five Mavs who scored in double figures against the Kings, who allowed four of Dallas’ top five scoring totals this season. Brandan Wright added 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting off the bench.
The Mavs shot 51.1 percent from the floor and had 30 assists with only nine turnovers. Dallas seized the lead for good while putting up 41 points in the second quarter, the Mavs’ second highest-scoring quarter of the season.
The Kings, who got big nights from guards Tyreke Evans (26 points, nine rebounds, six assists) and Isaiah Thomas (29 points), trimmed Dallas’ lead to four with a run early in the fourth quarter. The Mavs responded with a 9-0 run in which guards Darren Collison (18 points, eight assists) and O.J. Mayo (13 points, six assists) accounted for every point.
Sacramento’s DeMarcus Cousins, a talented but troubled young center whom the Mavs have interest in acquiring, played only nine minutes due to a recent dispute with Kings coach Keith Smart.
What it means: The Mavs made sure this wouldn’t be a winless road trip, snapping a two-game losing streak. Dallas improved to 37-39, keeping them three games behind the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers, pending the outcome of L.A.’s late game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Play of the game: Collison penetrated, drew three defenders and kicked the ball out to Dirk Nowitzki near the top of the 3-point arc with the clocking ticking down at the end of the first half. Nowitzki drilled the buzzer-beating 3 to stretch the Mavs’ lead to six at the break.
Stat of the game: His second assist of the game gave Vince Carter 4,000 for his career. That made him the 15th player in NBA history with at least 22,000 points, 5,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. The other members of that exclusive club: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, John Havlicek, Alex English, Kevin Garnett, Jerry West, Paul Pierce, Charles Barkley, Ray Allen and Clyde Drexler.
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.
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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.
On the injury front: Roddy Beaubois is out of his walking boot, but his sprained left ankle sustained Saturday night will keep him out of tomorrow's game. Beaubois did some light work on the side, and doesn’t expect it to be a long-term issue. Of course, anything that happens around Beaubois' left foot is always going to be a source of concern.
“I felt it twist” Beaubois said. “But I knew it wasn’t so bad.”
Chris Kaman went through just his second full practice after spraining his back nine days ago.
“It felt good to be back out there and working up a sweat.” Kaman said. "I need to get into better condition. I’m doing some extra running and stretching.”
Kaman was one of three Mavs to score 14 points -- 12 coming in the second half. His three turnaround baskets early in the third quarter allowed the Mavericks to build an 11-point lead that they never relinquished.
“I know if I make those shots, it opens it up for our whole offense,” said Kaman, who shot 7-9 from the floor.
The team was still buzzing over experiencing El Clasico on Sunday night, and the hoard of Spanish reporters were more than willing to ask them their thoughts on what they witnessed.
“I made sure I sat with Roddy the whole time,” OJ Mayo said.
Beaubois and Dirk Nowitzki are the Mavs' biggest soccer fans. Roddy grew up playing the game, and a bunch of his teammates then went back to the hotel and broke out the FIFA 13 video game, so they could play what they had just seen.
Still, this game is a little bit different. The game will be played primarily under NBA rules. As we saw in the Olympics, the rules differences between the NBA and FIBA -- the governing body of basketball everywhere outside the NBA -- aren’t that great. There will be three notable differences.
* There is no charge circle underneath the basket. Yet with NBA commissioner David Stern in the building for the game, will anyone really want to test the depth of the league’s commitment to their new no-flopping rules?
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* On free throws, there is no early entry into the lane on the shot. The ball has to hit the rim first.
There will be two NBA officials (Zach Zarba and Sean Wright) and one official assigned by FIBA. Both Zarba and Wright will work the game in Barcelona on Tuesday night as well.
Mavericks expected starting lineup:
SF Shawn Marion
PF Dirk Nowitzki
C Chris Kaman
SG OJ Mayo
PG Darren Collison
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