DALLAS (AP) -- Last week's trade that brought Raef LaFrentz and Nick Van Exel to Dallas made the Mavericks better. Equally vital to the team's playoff chances, however, is getting Michael Finley back on track.
Finley had 30 points and LaFrentz added 17 to lead the Mavericks to a 104-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.
Finley is rounding back into form after missing 13 games in January due to a strained left hamstring. Finley had been averaging 16.6 points and shooting 42.5 percent in his first 12 games back, but he went 12-for-18 from the field against the Grizzlies and contributed eight rebounds and eight assists.
"I haven't been as aggressive as I need to be," Finley said. "I've needed to put the injury behind me, to be more consistent overall shooting my jumper and getting to the basket. Tonight I was able to do that early."
Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points and nine rebounds and Van Exel added 12 points off the bench as the Mavericks won for the fourth time in their last five games.
The Mavs outscored the Grizzlies 33-0 on fast-break points.
"That's a tough team and a very good ball club," said Grizzlies coach Sidney Lowe. "They really ran the floor and we couldn't run with them. They're just too good for us."
Newcomers LaFrentz, Van Exel, Avery Johnson and Tariq Abdul-Wahad all continued to become more accustomed to their new teammates in their second game since coming over from Denver.
LaFrentz started and played 31 minutes, while Van Exel logged 28
minutes. Johnson played 16 minutes and Abdul-Wahad played eight.
"Tonight it felt like a much more relaxed atmosphere," LaFrentz said. "It was one of those games where you just jump on them early and take them out."
Shane Battier's 18 points, Lorenzen Wright's 17 and Pau Gasol's 15 paced the Grizzlies, who lost their fourth straight and their 17th in 20 games. Rodney Buford and Will Solomon had 14 points each for Memphis.
The Grizzlies were dragging after losing at home to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. Memphis was without Jason Williams (sore toe), Grant Long (strained right groin) and Brevin Knight (thigh cramps).
"We've got guys out and if we don't play hard, we can really embarrass ourselves," Battier said. "We don't want to make excuses. We don't want to be anybody's sacrificial lamb. We're shorthanded, but we're going to fight."
The Mavericks shot 70 percent in the first quarter (14-for-20) to build a 34-21 lead. Dallas held a 58-43 halftime advantage behind Finley's 16 points and 11 from LaFrentz.
The Mavericks went on to lead by as many as 22 points in the
third quarter and carried an 84-68 edge into the final quarter.
Memphis had a late 12-0 run to cut the deficit to 101-91, but
couldn't get any closer.
The Mavericks have won nine of their last 10 meetings with the Grizzlies. ...Memphis is 6-23 on the road. ...Dallas is 32-6 when scoring 100 or more points.