Gasol, Grizzlies Stop Streaking Mavericks
Memphis 112, Dallas 92
DALLAS, Nov. 26 (Ticker) -- Pau Gasol rebounded pretty nicely from his worst game of the season.
Gasol scored a season-high 36 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies posted a 112-92 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, who suffered their first home loss of the season and had a seven-game winning streak snapped.
"I was very upset about last night," Gasol said. "Even though we got the win because of playing good defense last night, my performance, my energy, I felt like every time I don't play at a high level, I let the team down."
The Spaniard more than atoned for that performance, making 13-of-23 shots and 10-of-13 free throws to lead Memphis to its first win at the American Airlines Center.
"I just wanted to win here," Gasol said. "I've never won here as a Grizzly, as an NBA player. It was important for me to get this one. ... Every time that we came here they made a big run and almost blew us out every game. It was important for us to stay in the game, stay aggressive and once we got the lead, build on it and don't let them take it from us."
"He's a good player, but he shouldn't have that many points," Dallas All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "He drove on our big guys."
Gasol scored 17 points in the first quarter, when the Grizzlies withstood an early surge by the Mavericks and took the lead for good.
"I felt like I had to be aggressive from the get-go," Gasol said. "That's what I tried to do. I've got to try to be aggressive all game long. Tag them, punish them."
"Pau had a monster game for us," Grizzlies swingman Shane Battier said. "He was really upset at the way he played last night against Houston. He wanted to come out and be aggressive tonight. He had 17 in the first quarter and was phenomenal for us tonight."
The Mavericks opened the game by making their first six shots and held an 18-8 lead. The Grizzlies responded with a 21-7 spurt to take the lead for good. Gasol scored 12 points during the burst, which was capped at 29-25 by Bobby Jackson's jumper with 41 seconds on the clock.
"That's what they do," Battier said. "I don't care who you are. Get down early in the first quarter, weather that storm and not go crazy trying to come back from that, you can play with these guys."
"I was concerned when we got down 18-8," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said. "They were hitting their shots; they made their first six."
Rookie Hakim Warrick helped Memphis break open the game by scoring eight of his season-high 11 points in a 15-4 run that started the second period and pushed the lead to 46-31.
"After we worked our way back into it, the critical point was when we went to that next group - Bobby, (Antonio) Burks, Hakim, Jake (Tsakalidis) and whoever the other guy was on the floor at that time (Battier)," Fratello said. "Warrick did a heck of a job for us."
Dallas nearly cut the deficit to single digits at halftime, but replays showed that Keith Van Horn's follow shot came just after the buzzer, keeping the score at 60-49.
Damon Stoudamire scored 22 points and Jackson contributed 15 for Memphis, which led by at least seven points the entire second half.
Nowitzki had 27 points and nine rebounds and Josh Howard added 17 and nine for the Mavericks, who lost at home for the first time in the regular season under coach Avery Johnson. The Los Angeles Clippers are the lone remaining unbeaten home team.
"This was probably one of the worst games that we've played since I've been the head coach," Johnson said. "They deserved to win. They were the aggressor, they looked energized, rested, enthusiastic. We got discouraged and couldn't get a grip on it."
Howard had to be helped off the court after landing on teammate Devin Harris' foot and spraining his right ankle with 2:35 left. X-rays were negative and he is day-to-day.
However, the Mavericks already are without wing players Jerry Stackhouse (sore knee) and Doug Christie (ankle), who was waived Friday. Rookie Rawle Marshall is the only other small forward on the roster.
"Nobody will feel sorry for us," Johnson said. "We will just have to make some adjustments."