Recap: Team effort powers Mavs to W over Kings, three-game winning streak
Earl K. Sneed recaps the Dallas Mavericks' blowout home win Monday night over the Sacramento Kings, as six Mavs scored in double figures to help the team snatch a third straight win overall.
Recap: Kings 96 at Mavericks 119
Team effort powers Mavs to W over Kings, three-game winning streak
That’s all Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban could say seemingly still in disbelief Monday night after watching leading scorer O.J. Mayo explode for 40 points in Saturday’s 116-109 win in Houston to conclude a three-game road trip.
With 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki still rehabbing from arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 19, Mayo continued to assume the primary scoring duties for the Mavericks while leading them to a 2-1 mark on their road trip. Cuban then awaited an encore performance from the sharpshooter as Mayo tried to lead his team to a third straight win overall and a 17th consecutive home victory over the Sacramento Kings, while the Mavericks took the court for the second game in a row without the services of four-time All-Star Shawn Marion due to a strained right groin.
But even without Marion the Mavs wouldn’t need 40 points from Mayo a second time around. And with six players scoring in double figures, the Mavericks (11-10) inched above .500 while extending their winning streak to three, sprinting to a 119-96 rout on their home floor.
“It’s great. It was a big win for us," Mayo would say as the Mavs seized a victory before heading back out on the road for three games. "We’re playing great basketball now, but now we’ve got to take it on the road and just continue playing hard. Just continue playing with a lot of effort and energy. You know, you can’t say that enough. We’ve got the talent to get the wins, but we’ve got to continue with the same effort and energy night in and night out.”
With Marion still sidelined, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle stuck with the starting lineup of veteran point guard Derek Fisher, Mayo, small forward Dahntay Jones, big man Brandan Wright and center Chris Kaman. And just like in Houston two nights prior, it wouldn’t take long for the Mavs to assume an early advantage after starting the game with four straight makes, before Kaman took charge of the scoring responsibilities and quickly moved into double figures.
Mayo would soon follow suit, scoring 12 points in the opening period with an array of jumpers. And with the duo leading the way, the Mavs escaped into the second stanza with a 36-29 lead.
Extending a run from the end of the first quarter into the early stage of the second that capped out at 31-3, the Mavericks held the Kings (7-13) without a point until free throws by Marcus Thornton with 6:10 left in the half. And with the Kings shooting just 4-for-15 in the quarter, the Mavericks led by as much as 28 before entering the intermission with a 65-43 advantage after producing their highest-scoring half of the season.
“We caught them on a stretch where they were struggling and we were hot, so we did a pretty good job defensively slowing them down for the most part. … Overall, it was a good team effort tonight,” Kaman said after the Mavs broke the game open in the second period.
“We got some stops, got into our sets and played at a nice pace, and I think it started out with just us sharing the ball,” Mayo added. “Obviously, guys hitting shots opens up the lane. They had to help and left the open man, so we just kept attacking and played at a great pace.”
Led by 16 points apiece for Mayo and Kaman on a combined 13-for-16 shooting, the Mavericks outshot the Kings through two quarters, 55.6 percent to 38.5 percent. The Mavs also scored 19 points off the Kings’ 12 first-half turnovers, committing just four giveaways themselves.
“We weren’t thrilled with our first quarter, because we gave up 29, even though we scored well. But in the second quarter, I think we started out with eight or 10 straight stops. Some of it was them missing, but we were moving our feet, we were in position and we were scrambling, so that made a lot of good things happen for us offensively,” Carlisle said of the first two quarters of action.
After Nowitzki received a standing ovation while being presented with the Naismith Legacy Award for his contributions to the game globally, the action immediately picked back up. And with the Kings looking to crack a dent into their deficit as the second half got underway, the visiting squad would begin the third quarter with a 9-2 spurt.
Meanwhile, Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins began to assert himself inside, attempting to will his team back into the game. Sharpshooter Francisco Garcia then began to come alive from the outside, raining in 3-point makes to cut the Mavs’ lead to as little as 11. But behind the play of their bench, the Mavericks would settle down, taking an 88-70 leas into the final 12 minutes of play.
“The second half, they had a couple of runs, but we were able to hold them off and we needed everybody. We needed everybody tonight. O.J. and Kaman got us off to a good start offensively, and then the guys off the bench picked it up for us defensively,” Carlisle said as the full roster contributed.
“Obviously, that’s a young team and they can get hot. They’ve got a lot of talented players over there, so we just wanted to keep up the consistent effort and energy,” Mayo said after the Mavs answered the Kings’ run in the third.
After regaining control of the game while upping the lead back to 20, the Dallas bench settled in on the defensive end while trying to finish the game strong. Rookie forward Jae Crowder also broke out of his shooting slump to help keep the Kings at bay, as the first-year pro, Fisher, Jones and backup point guard Darren Collison all moved into double figures in scoring.
“All that we can do is either push the lead up or if we don’t have a lead, get the lead back. And I think everybody understands coming off the bench you’ve just got to be ready to play,” Collison would later say of the bench effort down the stretch.
And with the game no longer in doubt, Carlisle finished the night with his reserves on the floor en route to the lopsided victory.
Scoring a team-high 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting and hitting 3-of-4 from 3-point range, Mayo also led the squad with seven rebounds to go along with four assists.
Meanwhile, Kaman continued to play on a bad left ankle, following up his 20-point night in Houston with 18 points on 9-of-13 from the field. Off the bench, Collison added 15 points, while Crowder, Jones and Fisher all pitched in 11 points apiece.
For the Kings, both Cousins and Garcia finished with 25 points. Sacramento also collected a 43-38 rebounding edge. But the Mavs finished the night outshooting the Kings for four quarters, 55.2 percent to 44 percent, in addition to 32 points off Sacramento’s 20 turnovers, a 25-18 advantage in fast-break points and a 44-30 margin in points in the paint.
“Great effort defensively as well as offensively. We executed what we wanted to do for the most part and we got it done. And it feels good to come home for the short time that it is, get a win and head back on the road,” Kaman concluded.
The Mavericks will now once again venture out away from home, beginning a three-game road trip Wednesday night in Boston against ex-Mav Jason Terry and the Celtics. It will be the first time the Mavs face the Celtics since Terry signed with Boston as a free agent this offseason. The game will air nationally on ESPN and locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.