Mavericks Show Up Big Against Memphis Grizzlies


The Dallas Mavericks turned in a rock-solid performance against the Memphis Grizzlies at American Airlines Center in 97-88 win.

The Dallas Mavericks washed away the bitter taste of Wednesday night’s blowout loss to the Indiana Pacers by almost blowing out the Memphis Grizzlies in a 97-88 victory that wasn’t as close as the final score makes it seem.

Everything was clicking for the Mavs following another slow start offensively. Dallas fell behind early by a score of 12-2 and it wasn’t until power forward Dirk Nowitzki hit a couple of free throws to make the score 12-6 at the 6:14 mark of the first quarter that someone other than center Zaza Pachulia put points on the board – more on Zaza in a minute.

Small forward Chandler Parsons jumped right off the bench in scoring 10 points in the opening period which helped Dallas trim the Memphis lead to just one at 26-25 at the end of a quarter.

Making perhaps the biggest impact for the Mavericks was the combined play of Pachulia and backup center JaVale McGee, a true 7-footer that easily played his best game in a Mavericks uniform.

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Pachulia was a rebounding machine once again while also turning in another double-double, which has him on a pace to shatter his career high for this particular stat in a single season. Pachulia had 10 points, but also a vicious 18 rebounds on the night.

McGee added five more rebounds, three blocked shots – had another wiped away on a goal-tending foul that probably wasn’t – and also scored 10 points.

The total center output for the Mavericks was 20 points, 23 rebounds and three blocks. If Dallas can maintain numbers like this, this season could change dramatically. All of McGee’s points came on dunks and three buckets were of the alley-oop variety.

Nowitzki was the game’s leading scorer with 20 points, all of which came following a dismal 0-for-3 start.

The Mavericks totaled 27 assists in this game and the bench completely outclassed Memphis 43-31, with most of the Grizzlies points from reserves coming during the last couple of minutes of the game with the outcome already decided.

Eddie Sefko of Dallas Morning News quoted Nowitzki after the Pacers game with the following regarding how the Mavericks needed to start playing to their strengths more, and against the Grizzlies they definitely did.

"We got to use our smarts and share the ball and try to play as much as we can mistake-free and give ourselves a chance. We didn’t have it offensively, and that’s going to happen to a jump-shooting team, obviously. We got to get into the paint a little when the outside shot’s not going. But we still got to get back and build walls and help our wings in transition when we’re getting attacked and keep teams from easy baskets."

They did all of those things against the Grizzlies. There weren’t many easy baskets for Memphis, a team that the Mavericks really needed to beat in order to stay relevant in the Western Conference, as opposed to falling out of contention well before the NBA All-Star Game.

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The Mavericks get some needed rest before heading back on the road next week for a back-to-back against the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets. Dallas next plays at American Airlines Center on December 26 against the Chicago Bulls.

Point guard Devin Harris missed the win over the Grizzlies and is listed as day-to-day with a hamstring injury.