Bench helps Mavs sink Cavs to new low

It wasn’t Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd or Tyson Chandler who handed the Cleveland Cavaliers their NBA record-setting 25th straight defeat, but instead the likes of Ian Mahinmi who sent the opposition down an ignominious road.

The Dallas Mavericks were outscored by 16 with Chandler on the floor, outscored by 10 with Nowitzki on the court, and outscored by nine with Jason Kidd a part of the action. But somehow, when Mahinmi was on the court, they outscored the Cavaliers by 22.

Different Way to Win
Mavericks Monday vs Cavaliers

Mahinmi scored 11 points, fewer than fellow bench mates Jason Terry (23) and Shawn Marion (17), but his presence was beneficial to a 60-point bench effort.

Coincidence or not, it was an unusual game for Mahinmi, whose 20 minutes were one shy of his season high. He typically sees only a few minutes of action and had more games with a negative plus-minus rating (15) than a positive one (12) this season prior to Monday.

It was part of an odd statistical night in the NBA, one in which Carmelo Anthony scored 50 points, the first 50-point no-assist game in the NBA since Michael Redd for the 2006-07 Milwaukee Bucks.

Anthony didn’t have any assists, but helped his teammates with 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. A check of Basketball-Reference.com shows that he’s the seventh player in the last 25 seasons with a 50-point/10-rebound/3-block game, and he’s in extraordinary company. The others to do that are Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, Tim Duncan and Nowitzki.

Longest Double-Double Streaks
Since 1980-81 Season

The evening was also unusual in that the Minnesota Timberwolves beat the New Orleans Hornets for the second time in two meetings this season. Minnesota is unbeaten against New Orleans, but 10-39 against everybody else.

Kevin Love, helped by going 14-for-14 at the free throw line, scored 27 points and had 17 rebounds, his 37th straight double-double, tying Kevin Garnett’s team record.

A double-double in his next game would give Love the longest double-double streak since Moses Malone ran off 44 for the 1980-81 Houston Rockets.