Mavs 'Relentless Monta' Beats Raptors

Thanksgiving Week. It's been about enduring Squash Casserole so you can get to the pumpkin pie, about putting up with a Mavs loss to the Pacers so you can get to Friday's marquee matchup in Toronto, and about tolerating 'Erratic Monta' because you always still get 'Relentless Monta.' And it was 'Relentless Monta' who keyed this 106-102 'signature win' over the Raptors.

The Big Lead

"Erratic'' Monta Ellis -- even well after having put a governor on those zany moped-ridin' days at Golden State -- remains a living, breathing thing, a character born, I think, not of low BBIQ but rather of high "want-to.''

Monta wants to prove that the Dallas Mavericks are right to trust him, wants to prove that his waterbug electricity is properly channeled, wants to prove that he can and will be the Perfect Sidekick to Dirk Nowitzki.

So he speeds faster than that infamous moped ever could, and as a result, every time you get "Erratic Monta'' you also get "Relentless Monta.''

And in his year-and-change in Dallas, you also get wins like this one, a 106-102 thriller in which Ellis scored 15 of his 30 points in the final third-of-a-quarter.

Bryan Gutierrez ?notes that since he arrived last season, Dallas is 7-1 in games in which Monta scores at least 30 points. "Relentless Monta'' is "Winning Monta.''

Monta's helpers

I call this a "signature win'' with only a hint of sarcasm directed a Mavs critics who are waiting for these boys to DO SOMETHING BIG. In our 15 years of running (I know, I don't look nearly old enough to have been at this racket that long, eh?) one of the valued lessons I've absorbed is that they are ALL "signature wins,'' especially if you can get yourself about 55 of those bad boys. And every time you lose a home game to some crumb-bum (as happened earlier this Thanksgiving Week when the stripped-down Pacers stole one at the AAC), you end up entering springtime with haunting regrets.

"Shoot. We'd be in fourth place instead of fifth place and have home-court advantage in Round 1 had some guy named 'Sloan' not killed us back in November.''

So they are all "signature wins'' to me, all "quality wins'' to me, and it usually takes all hands on deck to get these things accomplished -- especially against a really good Raptors team that under the crisp coaching of old pal Dwane Casey entered the game at 13-2, with a 9-1 home record and a chance for the Canadians to win a seventh straight for the first time in 14 years.

The helpers: Tyson Chandler had 11 points and 10 rebounds to follow up TY's monster night in a win over the Knicks on Wednesday. Chandler Parsons scored 16 points, Nowitzki had 15 and the subtle transaction-wire steal Al-Farouq Aminu had 14.

It damn sure helped that All-Star DeMar DeRozan left in the third with a strained left groin ... but he'd played 21 minutes and was scoreless on eight shots. That's a neat trick by the Dallas defense against a legit star.

So anyway, when we start talking "Who's Who,'' we're talking "The Dirkie.'' Who deserves the Player-of-the-Game vote? That's on you, Mavs fans!

"We're a balance-oriented team, and we've got to have a lot of guys pitch in to win,'' said coach Rick Carlisle. And we did.''


As frustrating as the last week as been, Dallas won for the eighth time in 10 games ... Carlisle won his 300th game with Dallas. He's the third coach in team history to reach the mark, joining Nellie (339) and Dick Motta (329).Jameer Nelson (back spasms) missed his second straight game. Meanwhile, Raymond Felton (right ankle) was inactive but swears he's healthy. Maybe he makes his Dallas debut in Saturday's game at tanktastic Philadelphia. We'll have that telecast on FOX Sports Southwest and yessir, I'll be a part of the Emmy-award-winning pregame show "Mavs Live'' at 5:30 ... Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak against the Raptors. ... Toronto wore its old-style purple uniforms, so the Mavs had the oddity of wearing white on the road. ... Carlisle on 2011 Mavs assistant Dwane Casey, now the Raptors boss: "Dwane has earned the right to have a team this good.”


The Final Word

“We’ll take this one and run. Guys hung in there and kept their resolve and the thing I loved was this is as hard a place as there is to play and they didn’t lose their poise late. It was a hard win, but we earned it.” - Rick Carlisle said.

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