Preview: Balanced Mavs try to continue dominance over Warriors to begin homestand
Earl K. Sneed previews the Dallas Mavericks' Monday night home matchup against the Golden State Warriors, as the Mavs begin a three-game homestand after a big road victory in Cleveland.
Preview: Warriors (5-5) at Mavericks (6-5)
Balanced Mavs try to continue dominance over Warriors to begin homestand
DALLAS – After perhaps their most galvanizing win of the young season, the Dallas Mavericks return to the American Airlines Center hoping to continue to jell without 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki to start a three-game homestand.
Rebounding from their most lopsided loss of the year, a 103-83 thrashing at the hands of the Indiana Pacers on Friday night, the Mavericks (6-5) returned to the hardwood just 24 hours later and completed their weekend back-to-back with a 103-95 victory in Cleveland to end a four-game road losing streak.
“We got a little bit of confidence,” point guard Darren Collison said of the win. “This was a good team win. These are the wins that make you feel good, because we know we all did it together. And hopefully we can take that same vibe on our homestand and get a little home cooking.”
Now, as the Mavs return home for three straight games, the team will try to keep the good vibes going against a Golden State Warriors squad that won two straight contests before a 119-109 defeat in Oklahoma City Sunday night.
The last time the Mavericks stepped onto their home hardwood on Wednesday night, they were bidding to end a three-game losing streak against the winless Washington Wizards. And despite jumping out to a 22-point lead in front of their home crowd, the Mavs would have to scratch and claw their way to a 107-101 victory to get off the schneid after a second-half collapse.
“We’ve gotta take it for what it is. It was a game that we certainly wanted to win, and we’ve gotta be honest with ourselves about how we’re playing. We’re playing a brand of basketball that isn’t where it needs to be. We’ve gotta get better. ... We’ve gotta be patient but persistent with the team,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after the much-needed win.
That persistence showed itself as the Mavs used a late 9-0 run to separate themselves from the Cavaliers on Saturday night en route to the victory, overcoming 22 turnovers for 30 Cleveland points.
“Well, we quit doing certifiably insane things with the ball,” Carlisle joked of the late-game surge. “But that’s a juncture of our season where we had a seven-point lead, they came back and tied it and it can go either way. We can man up and stick together and do it the hard way and help each other, or the thing can go south. And the guys got it done together. Right now, we’re trying to figure out exactly who we are. We’ve just got a lot things going on, and it’s important to pull together and make something good happen.”
“The last five minutes we just picked it up and we played the game that we were supposed to play,” center Chris Kaman added. “We need to play like that the whole game and get those stops and make those plays. ... We did that and we were victorious.”
Returning from the tough back-to-back, the Mavs hope to remain persistent as they patiently await the return of Nowitzki (right knee surgery), attempting to build off their latest victory on the road with another W at home as the Warriors (5-5) come to Big D Monday night hoping for an upset behind point guard Stephen Curry and his supporting cast.
Now, the Mavericks will try to correct those mistakes while also replicating the success of balanced scoring, looking to improve upon a 10-1 mark in the last 11 matchups at home – preseason included – in the all-time series against the Warriors.
Led by 2-guard O.J. Mayo’s 19 points on 5-of-9 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range, the Mavs finished with six scorers in double figures against Cleveland. They also utilized a 45-24 advantage in bench scoring, led by eight-time All-Star Vince Carter and unsung hero Dominique Jones.
“First and foremost, our bench was important (Saturday night) coming off a back-to-back to really give us some energy and we did it,” Carter simply said of the effort of the reserves.
“We had a lot of guys step up from the bench. We needed everybody and this is a really big win for us,” Carlisle added.
Those trends could continue as the Mavs try to improve upon a 4-1 record at home coming into Monday night, scoring 107.6 points per game in their own friendly confines which is second only to Miami's 116.5 average on its home floor.
Note: The Mavs return to the court for the start of a three-game homestand Monday night, welcoming in the Golden State Warriors. The game will air locally at 7:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.