The Dallas Mavericks and Monta Ellis endured the turmoil of recent days to record a 101-94 comeback win, Ellis scoring a season-high-matching 38 points -- and in doing so becoming the first guy to score at least that many in consecutive games against the Spurs since Kobe did so in 2000-01.
Monta hits the dagger, then gets some love from Parsons. pic.twitter.com/StnYibvX4K— Or Moyal (@OrMoyal) March 25, 2015
Ellis busted out of a funk as he hit 16-of-27 field-goal attempts, a rebound from his 4-for-22 performance Sunday in a loss at Phoenix that brought to the fore some of the Mavs' internal issues.
“He stayed aggressive,'' said coach Rick Carlisle. "I liked his game a lot. I thought his defense was good and the fact that we got in to transition got him some easy buckets early and got him rolling. ... Too much Monta tonight, don’t you think? I love the way he played.''
Ellis' take? “I’ve been battling with a lot of injuries all season,'' he said. "The last few days, my body has been feeling good and tonight I’ll sleep real good. I went and worked out last night at least two-and-a-half hours. I wanted to come in tonight and give my team a lift that they have been looking for. Now that my body is feeling good, we’ll try to make a run of it until the playoffs start.”
Chandler Parsons added 15 for the Mavericks, who are now just percentage points behind the sixth-place Spurs. His effort was important to Dallas' comeback from an early 14-point deficit as Dallas eventually scored the first seven points of the final period to build a 17-point advantage, all part of a festive evening in front of a sellout crowd at the AAC ...
... That surely enjoyed the ball-handling antics of former Wisconsin all-district guard Tony Romo.
But mostly, they enjoyed watching the Mavs play at a level at which they are capable of.
“This was a big win,'' CP said. "We know we're capable of playing this way. That’s what is so frustrating."
*Too much Monta - The biggest storyline of the game was the reemergence of Monta Ellis. He looked like he was on a mission to shut up all of the doubters who were (rightfully) chirping louder than ever two nights ago after his dismal performance in Phoenix in which he hit rock-bottom. His stat line was bad enough but the fact his coach kept feeding him late and he was unable to produce stung just as badly.
The narrative was flipped tonight. Monta had 15 points in the first half and then 23 in the second half, reminding us all that the guy we all called the best closer in the NBA some mere months ago still did exist. He also added five rebounds, a couple of assists, and a couple of steals. The fact this performance came at home against the reigning champs and in-state rival San Antonio Spurs just made it even sweeter.
*Reality check - Not to be the Grinch to all of the Mavs fans' Christmas in March, but to say that this 45-27 team is "back" or that they are "elite" is to be strictly a prisoner of the moment. Let's not forget, we've seen performances like this recently, see the win against the Clippers a couple of weeks ago. This team remains, for now, an inconsistent bunch. They looked as great tonight as they looked awful 48 hours ago. Could this be the turning point in which they hit stride to end the season? Possibly. Maybe Max Nowitzki is the good luck charm they have been missing. But for now, enjoy this win and keep it in perspective.
*Injury front - Another night, another player with health concerns. This time it was Richard Jefferson, who left with back spasms and did not return. Add him to J.J. Barea, out with an ankle, and Devin Harris who finished the game today but has been bothered with an illness recently. And of course the uncertainty revolving around Tyson's hips.
*The Mavs' shooting percentages from the field, both total and from beyond the arc were better than the Spurs. The Mavs shot 48.3 percent, including 31.8 percent from downtown to the Spurs shooting 42.4 percent and 28.6 percent from down downtown.
*The Mavericks have had trouble all season with rebounds but tonight against Tiago Splitter and Tim Duncan, they got the rebounding edge 49-43.
*Another stat to show domination in the paint, the Mavs had 52 points in the paint to the Spurs scoring 38 points in the paint.
Dirk Nowitzki collected 15 points and that was nice. But his 13 rebounds is historic, as he becomes just the seventh NBA player ever to total 27,000 points and 10,000 rebounds.
27K points and 10K rebounds pic.twitter.com/6tsKDQFcU8— Jason Gallagher (@jga41agher) March 25, 2015
"That's pretty unbelievable,'' said Dirk, who is also celebrating the birth of his second child, a son, Max. "I came in as probably the worst 7-foot rebounder in the league at the time."
Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons led the team in minutes played with both playing 40 minutes a piece. Dirk, despite the demands of fatherhood, played 31 minutes and Tyson played 30 minutes. Rondo and Harris split ballhandling duties with 26 minutes each and Raymond Felton pitched in eight minutes as well.
You know the drill: The Mavs win the game, and Mavs fans like you choose the Player of the Game. Who deserves "The Dirkie''? Talk it out and vote here inside DB.com Boards!
“It wasn’t good at the beginning. We got off to a quick start, got a little bit of a lead, and then they hit us with a bit of a mini-barrage and got the lead. We got into a hole, but everybody kept playing. Everybody kept digging in. Everybody kept believing in what we’re doing, believing in each other, encouraging each other. We got through it. It’s a really important win for us right now.'' -- Rick Carlisle.