Notebook: Mavericks 127, Hawks 113

Posted Mar 18, 2013 11:11 PM

Matt Winkeljohn, for

THE FACTS: You wouldn't know from watching the Mavs' 127-113 win over the host Hawks Monday night which team has nearly fallen out of playoff contention and which had recently made a run toward a home-court edge in the first round.

Darren Collison came off the Mavs' bench to score 18 of his game-high 24 points in the first half, and the Hawks' three-game winning streak was shattered as if defense -- by either team -- was forbidden.

One night after closing within one game of the Nets for fourth place in the East with a win in Brooklyn, the Hawks (37-30) were fine on offense -- the Mavs (32-35) weren't playing much defense, either.

The Hawks' D, though, was invisible They surrendered season highs in total points (127), points allowed in a half (68 in the first), opponent field goals made (51-for-89, 57.3 percent) and opponent assists allowed (33).

Collison shot 10-for-14 and nine Dallas players shot 50 percent or better. Mavs starters Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Kaman and O.J. Mayo were each 7-for-11. Nowitzki had 22 points, six rebounds and tied Collison with five assists.

A day earlier, Dallas failed at home in its fourth and final chance to beat rival Oklahoma City,and the Mavs are now 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the West pending the Lakers' game in Phoenix.

The Mavs did not appear deflated, however, nor did they look like they were playing for the fourth time in five nights -- until they were feigning defensive stances themselves.

Atlanta, in fact, shot 56 percent (42-for-75) and also had nine players shoot 50 percent or better with point guard Jeff Teague scoring 19 points in a return to the starting lineup, and Al Horford scoring 16 and grabbing 11 rebounds.

Yet the Hawks couldn't make up for a 39-31 rebounding deficit, nor the Mavs' 13-for-22 shooting (59.1 percent) from beyond the arc.

QUOTABLE: "It was a defensive pillow fight. Neither team got much traction defensively. Sometimes, games are like that. When they are, you have to ring the bell and put points on the board."
-- Mavs coach Rick Carlisle.

THE STAT: +14 -- The Mavs took 14 more shots than the Hawks, courtesy of turning the ball over three fewer times (12-15), a 39-31 rebounding edge, and a 10-5 edge in offensive rebounds.

TURNING POINT: The first six minutes went back and forth before the Mavs closed the period with a 23-12 run as four Dallas players hit five 3-pointers in the final five minutes of the period. Mayo's long ball beat the shot clock for a 14-13 Dallas lead with 5:20 left, and Mike James, Vince Carter, Collison and Carter added treys before the quarter ended with Dallas up 34-25.

QUOTABLE II: "The success we had against them in our first meeting [a 105-101 Hawks win in Dallas on Feb. 11] . . . they had their mind made up that they were bringing it to us, and we didn't respond very well. That's not acceptable at this stage of the season."
-- Hawks coach Larry Drew.

HOT: Collison made all seven of his shots in the second quarter and his only free throw for 15 points in the period.

NOT: In making his seventh straight start (with Shawn Marion out with a strained calf), Dallas rookie Jae Crowder was just about the only Mav who wasn't hot. He shot 2-for-9.

GOOD MOVE: After pulling Kaman from the starting lineup, Carlisle re-installed him in favor of Elton Brand and Kaman was good for 14 points and seven rebounds with two assists and a steal in just 21:13.

QUOTABLE III: "We still believe. We still believe that we can make it [to the playoffs]. There's no quit in us. We believe that in every game from here on out we can get a win."
-- Collison.

NOTABLE: Dallas shooting guard/small forward Anthony Morrow, who had scored two points for the Mavs while playing just six total minutes in four of 13 games since being traded from Atlanta for Dahntay Jones on Feb. 21, had eight points and three assists in 13:29. . . . Zaza Pachulia missed his ninth straight game for the Hawks with a sore Achilles' tendon, and is not likely to return this season. He will be an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.

UP NEXT: For the Mavericks, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn, Friday vs. Boston, Sunday vs. Utah. For the Hawks, Wednesday vs. Milwaukee, Friday vs. Portland, Sunday @ Milwaukee.