Mavs Set Franchise Record, Rally Past Grizz
Dallas 97, Memphis 87
DALLAS, Feb. 23 (Ticker) -- It looked like the Dallas Mavericks' home winning streak was going to come to a crashing halt. Instead, it was the Memphis Grizzlies' ability to shoot that stopped.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, Jason Terry added 23 and the Mavericks limited the Grizzlies to 27 percent shooting in the second half as they rallied for a 97-87 triumph that extended their home winning streak to a club-record 13 games.
"Was it 19 (points)?" Nowitzki asked. "They really came out firing from all angles. I thought they really set the tone physically and they really came out ready to play. Obviously, we beat them twice at their place and they came out very aggressive and really took it to us."
However, Terry sparked a 23-4 run over the next seven minutes with a jumper, steal and 3-pointer before Nowitzki added a layup as the Mavericks got within 56-47 at the break, earning a standing ovation from the sellout crowd.
"Late in the first half, the fans got into it," Terry said. "We got a couple of steals. We got a basket. Dirk hit some shots. We started feeding off of the energy of the crowd. That's what we needed tonight."
"The reason we won the game tonight is because of the fans," Mavericks coach Avery Johnson said. "They are the reason we won the game tonight. They stayed with us the whole game. Nobody was booing or questioning the players. I can go on and over and over about the game, but thank you fans."
The onslaught continued after intermission as Nowitzki scored seven points and Terry added five in an early surge. The burst was capped by a jumper from Jerry Stackhouse that gave Dallas a 63-60 advantage.
"Right before the half, we got our confidence up and made a great push," Nowitzki said. "We got some steals, got some layups and made some shots. That really carried through the second half. In the second half, I thought we were the aggressors. We drove to the basket."
"They put together a big third quarter because we did not defend the way we had," Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello said.
Johnson has emphasized defense since taking over late last season. Holding an 83-82 lead with seven minutes to go, the Mavericks clamped down, holding the Grizzlies to just five points thereafter.
"Defensively, we were much better in the second half," Nowitzki said. "We made it a lot tougher, the catches, the drives. We contested shots. We rebounded. We feel like when we play defense, we give ourselves a great chance to win."
"We won it again with our defense," Terry said. "In the fourth quarter, we needed stops. We continued to get stops, we rebounded and came back down on the other end and executed."
Meanwhile, Nowitzki scored six points over the final four minutes as Dallas eclipsed its previous record for home wins set in the first 12 contests of the 2002-03 season, when it reached the Western Conference finals.
"We have to protect our home court," Nowitzki said. "We've been doing a great job lately of fighting back when we've been down. It's good to get wins at home and obviously that's big in the playoffs. You've got to be a force at home."
Bobby Jackson scored 18 points for the Grizzlies, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
"They just wanted it more," Jackson said. "They forced turnovers in the last four minutes of the second half. We didn't execute well."