Preview: Mavs look to continue dominance in Detroit
Preview: Mavericks (27-33) at Pistons (23-40)
Mavs look to continue dominance in Detroit
AUBURN HILLS, MI — After claiming a much-needed 112-108 victory over the Houston Rockets to keep their playoff hopes alive, the Dallas Mavericks look to continue fighting their way into postseason contention to start their four-game road trip with a win over the Detroit Pistons.
Rallying back from a 33-point loss in Houston on Sunday to edge the same Rockets team three nights later as the home-and-home series concluded at the American Airlines Center Wednesday night, the Mavericks (27-33) provided themselves plenty of motivation as they begin their road trip in the Palace of Auburn Hills, a building the visiting Dallas team has won in three of its last four trips. They also claimed a 3-1 season series win over the rival Rockets, a team they’re trying to track down in the Western Conference playoff race while entering Friday night five games back of Houston for the seventh spot and 4 1/2 behind Utah for the eighth and final position.
“We got a good win and we won the series,” four-time All-Star Marion said after he and Dirk Nowitzki led five Mavs in double figures with 22 points apiece. “Hey, that’s all we needed, and it’s a good step in the right direction. Now, we’ve got a four-game road trip, so we’ve got to bundle up and get ready to play some ball on the road.”
“It’s just one game and it was a game we wanted to get obviously after we just played them a couple of days ago, and so it was a good game to get before we go out on a road trip for four games. And we just want to play well and continue getting better,” leading scorer O.J. Mayo added.
Despite not leading the Mavs in scoring Wednesday night, Mayo still left his imprint on the game, posting 13 points while grabbing down six rebounds and dishing out a career-high 12 assists as he finished a turnover-free night.
“I thought Mayo was phenomenal — making the right decisions off the pick-and-rolls, getting in the lane and not forcing anything,” Nowitzki said with high praise for his young teammate. “And he had two big shots down the stretch when he was open. … The big thing for him is he had zero turnovers, which sometimes get him in trouble. So he just made the right decision ever time and that was fun.”
“His best game of the year. Not even close,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle added in regard to Mayo’s night. “He just played great defensively, his awareness was tremendous, and then offensively he made the right play virtually every time.”
With the Pistons (23-40) entering the night having fallen in six of their last seven overall and four straight at home, the Mavericks will try to replicate their 92-77 victory when the two met up in Dallas back on Dec. 1.
Led by Mayo’s 27 points, the Mavs outscored the Pistons 50-29 in the second half en route to that December win. And following his all-around effort against the Rockets, Mayo could once again play a vital role in helping the Mavs continue their dominance over Detroit, after winning seven of the last eight meetings between the two squads entering the night.
Note: The Mavericks will now head back out on the road for a four-game trip, touching down in Detroit for Friday’s matchup against the Pistons. The Mavs lead the season series 1-0 after a 92-77 home win on Dec. 1. The game will air locally at 6:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest.
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