Preview: Mavs try to scratch out Grizzlies' win streak
Preview: Grizzlies (24-10) at Mavericks (14-23)
Mavs try to scratch out Grizzlies' win streak
Returning home for the start of a four-game homestand, the Mavericks (14-23) hope to cure their late-game miscues as they welcome in the Memphis Grizzlies. A 117-112 overtime win in Sacramento on Thursday night may be just the game to get the Mavs rolling, as the Dallas team ended a four-game losing streak by notching its first OT win of the season in eight tries.
With the win, the Mavericks also avoided setting a new NBA record with what would have been an 11th straight overtime loss, coming back from a 17-point deficit in the second half to steal a win on the Kings’ home floor.
“We had to dig deep for that one,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after the win. “Ugly game, down 17 there or whatever, and we had to battle. We had to dig deep and finish this road trip. Obviously it’s been an ugly, ugly stretch, but we needed this one.”
“I think our mindset was, ‘We’re going to win this in overtime. We’re going to win this game,’ and we did. We were able to get some good stops and hit some big shots,” veteran small forward Shawn Marion added. “It feels good to get a W, but we’ve still got a long way to go. It’s a baby step in the right direction and we’ve just got to keep crawling.”
Meanwhile, leading scorer O.J. Mayo gets set to play against his former team for a second time Saturday night, as the former No. 3 overall pick of the Grizzlies (24-10) in 2008 hopes to avenge a 92-82 road loss in Memphis back on Dec. 21, in which the sharpshooter was held to just 10 points on 3-of-11 from the field.
Mayo led the Mavs with 24 points, a season-high 10 rebounds and five assists in the win over the Kings. And with the Grizzlies on the second night of a back-to-back after extending their winning streak to four Friday following a 101-98 win in overtime at home over San Antonio, Mayo will in all likelihood need to step up if the Mavs are to win back-to-back games for the first time since a three-game winning streak from Dec. 6-10. He also hopes history repeats itself, as the Memphis team enters the night with just a 6-27 record all-time in Dallas.
“It was kind of hard getting in a groove, obviously,” Mayo said of the first meeting against the Grizzlies. “It was just a little different, obviously. They know my tendencies and it was pretty much, ‘O.J.’s not gonna get nothing and let’s make other guys make some plays in order for them to win.’ And we battled, though. I thought we hung in there and it’s just an error or two too many down the stretch.”
He added: “It will be a fun game, obviously. We’ve got them coming down to Dallas, so it’s our job to just continue playing hard, man. Giving ourselves a chance to win every night is key, but we’ve been doing that and letting games slip away in the fourth quarter. We’ve got to continue playing hard the entire 48 minutes or more.”
Note: The Mavericks return to the American Airlines Center for the start of a four-game homestand Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavs hope to avenge a 92-82 road loss in Memphis back on Dec. 21. The game will air locally at 8 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.