Rapid Fire: Pacers Dominate Mavs 107-81
1. The Mavs were feeling good heading up to Indianapolis, coming off a much-needed home win over the Phoenix Suns on Monday. Dallas was looking to steal a win on this one-game road trip, and get a new streak going before heading back home to face the Grizzlies on Friday.
2. The Mavs faced Monta Ellis for the first time since Ellis left Dallas for The Hoosier State. It’s no secret that Dallas would have been in big trouble over the last couple of years without Monta on the roster, and Dirk and Carlisle had nothing but high praise for him coming into this game.
"We're really grateful for what he did for us,'' said Dallas coach Rick Carlisle, scooting past the fact that the Mavs didn't offer him a deal to stay. "And as always you’ve got to game-plan your butt off to get ready to play him.’’
Monta (along with the rest of the Pacers team) got off to a rough start here, as he may have been more than a little jazzed up for a rematch with his former team. Monta would finish things up with 19 points in 33 minutes.
3. Zaza Pachulia on the other got off to a monster start in this one, scoring five points and bringing down a whopping nine rebounds in the quarter. Zaza didn’t do much for the rest of the contest, however, and finished the game with five and 14.
4. The first quarter was a bit of a rough one for both teams, with the Pacers holding a 20-19 lead at the end of the frame. Both the Mavs and the Pacers shot around 30 percent from the field, with Dallas holding the edge in rebounding and free-throw shooting. ... Jordan Hill, though, made an impactful play ...
5. Devin Harris left the game in the first quarter with a hamstring injury and wouldn’t return the game. The Mavs would have to turn to an increased role from J.J. Barea and Ray Felton, but certainly missed Harris, who had been playing very good basketball recently.
6. After missing Monday’s game against Phoenix, Javale McGee came into the game to relieve Dwight Powell, who had accrued three early fouls. The Mavs need JaVale to get some more minutes and give them some more depth in the frontcourt moving forward. Zaza can’t continue to do it all on his own.
7. Powell’s foul trouble also sent Charlie V into an increased role in the first half. Villanueva’s play this year has been inconsistent, but he’s a guy that opposing defenses always need to keep an eye on. His presence on the floor can help spread things out for the Mavs, but he needs to start hitting his shots more consistently to take advantage of that.
8. Raymond Felton led the Mavs in scoring in the first half of the game with 14 points (including a buzzer-beating three to end the second quarter), and finished with 16 for the game.
In under a year, Felton has gone from a benchwarmer to a starter and a key offensive contributor.
9. The first half ended with the Mavs on top 47-45, behind 14 points from Felton. After a rough opening frame, the Mavs would heat up from the floor, and finish the half shooting just over 40 percent from the field. Felton was particularly hot, shooting five of eight from the field, including three of four from downtown in the first half.
10. The Pacers are enjoying a nice season, sitting with a 14-9 record and fifth in the Eastern Conference and just two games back of first place. They are led by Paul George, who is averaging 26.5 points and 7.8 rebounds per game, Monta Ellis (12.3 points per game) and CJ Miles (15.5 points per game) so far this season. Old friend Ian Mahinmi is also enjoying the best season of his career at around 8 points and 7 boards per game. The Pacers are an athletic bunch that can score in bunches, and play solid defense as well.
Dallas, by the way, is not shocked at Miles' success.
11. The biggest reason for the Pacers' success this season is with a doubt the play of Paul George. Coming into the game, George was fourth in the NBA in scoring, and looks to have made more than a full recovery for the gruesome leg injury he suffered while playing for Team USA back in 2014. George is an athletic freak who can score from anywhere on the floor, and he just seems to get better and better with each passing season. If the Pacers could add another star to add along side George, the Pacers could be an extremely dangerous bunch to deal with in the East. George ended the game with 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and three dimes.
12. Somebody please tell George Hill to go look in a mirror.
13. In a scary moment for Mavs fans, Wes Matthews left the game early in the second half with an apparent right shoulder injury. Matthews would return to the game, however, but ended with just four points on 20-percent shooting.
14. Dirk came to life in the third quarter, scoring five points, after just five total in the first half. The Big German loves usually loves to face off against the East, but ended this game with 13 points on 37-percent shooting.
Dirk now needs 50 points to pass Shaq for sixth place on the all-time scoring list. ... a celebration for another night, because there certainly is no celebration here.
15. After an 0-for-8 start to the game, Monta Ellis finally started to heat up in the third quarter as well, scoring 12 points in the quarter and helping Indiana to extend their lead. As many Mavs fans are fully aware, Monta can heat up in a hurry, and that happened here in the third.
16. At the end of the third, the Mavs would find themselves behind by 11 points, after allowing the Pacers to explode for 30 points in the quarter. The Pacers score a lot of points in transition, and did that very well in the third period.
17. The Mavs' shooting took a dip in the second half, as they dropped to just 38 percent by the end of the game. Dallas had been shooting pretty well over the last few games, but just couldn’t find a way to keep that going in Indianapolis.
18. In the end, the Mavs just got their doors blown off in the second half, especially in the transition game. The Mavs looked out of sorts defensively in the second half, and the athletic Pacers took full advantage, dropping Dallas to 14-12.
Stat(s) of the night: Fast-break points. The Pacers outscored Dallas 20 to 3 in transition, and it proved to be the Mavs downfall.
This game was over when... The Pacers took command in the third quarter. Indiana stole the momentum thanks to Monta, Miles and Stuckey, and buried the Mavs in an insurmountable hole.
Should have seen coming... Paul George. He’s a damn good basketball player, and the Mavs struggle to contain athletes of his caliber on the wing.
Couldn't see coming... C.J. Miles and Rodney Stuckey. Miles, a DFW native, has had a great year, and has managed to fly under the radar for the most part. Miles was huge for Indiana in this one, scoring 20 points. Stuckey, meanwhile, helped the Pacers pull ahead in the fourth, scoring 12 of his own. When C.J. Miles and Rodney Stuckey combine for 32 points in a game against you, you’re going to have problems.