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Inside Report: Mavs Spotlight: Riding 'the Jet'
Despite Jason Terry's sluggish start to Monday night's matchup with the Hornets, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle stuck with the team's No. 2 scorer. The sixth man returned the favor by carrying his team to a victory, writes Earl K. Sneed.
DALLAS – It probably would have been easy for Jason Terry to stop shooting in the second half of Monday night's Hornets-Mavericks matchup. Easy at least for most other players.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle just as easily could have sat the sixth man extraordinaire in the final two quarters, after watching Terry start the game 2-of-11 from the floor.
"JET [Terry] had a rough shooting first half, but he just stayed with it," Carlisle said. "In this league, you've got to have selective amnesia. If you're struggling, you've got to forget about it and stay in the present -- play this position and the next position. None of the other stuff should matter. If it does, you're distracting yourself."
With that in mind, the coach stuck with the team's No. 2 scorer, as "the Jet" kept ascending.
By night's end, Carlisle was glad he kept Terry on the court, as the sharpshooter battled back from the sluggish start to finish the night 9-of-19 -- including 3-of-6 from behind the 3-point arc -- for a game-high 26 points.
"He did a great job with it," Carlisle said of Terry's second-half adjustment.
More importantly, Terry led the Mavericks (7-2) to a come-from-behind 98-95 home victory over what was the NBA's last unbeaten team.
"I'm a shooter, I'm gonna keep shooting," Terry said. "Nothing changed in that respect...If it was tough shots (in the first half), then I would have been concerned. But they weren't tough shots. I was missing wide-open looks -- shots that I practice. So, I told myself, 'Change your shoes at halftime. You're gonna get a new feel. And come back out firing.'"
Terry came back out of the locker room firing indeed, including 10 fourth-quarter points and the eventual game-winning jumper with 34.3 seconds left.
"JET was amazing in the second half," teammate Dirk Nowitzki said. "He barely missed a shot."
"I think for JET and Dirk, those guys are gonna get a lot of attention shooting the ball and they're not going to make every shot," point guard Jason Kidd added. "And we all believe that when it's on the line they're gonna step up and make big shots. And JET did that (Monday night)."
Now, after Terry carried the team down the stretch to escape its home floor with a comeback win from a late double-digit deficit, No. 31 and the Mavericks try to do it again, this time in New Orleans.
The two teams collide a second time to complete the early-season home-and-home series, with the Mavs trailing the Hornets (8-1) and San Antonio Spurs (8-1) by just a game atop the Southwest Division standings.
Looking to extend both their four-game winning streak and three-game road unbeaten stretch, Terry says that the Mavs will need to come out and match the vengeful Hornets' effort from the opening tip.
"It's gonna be another tough battle," Terry explained. "I mean, New Orleans has turned into another rivalry for us. A Southwest Division foe, and with the way they're playing this season, obviously. So, it's gonna be another opportunity for us to go out on the road, where we play well at, and get a win."
Note: The Mavs will put their 3-0 road record and four-game winning streak on the line Wednesday night in New Orleans against these very same Hornets. The matchup will tip off at 7 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest.
The Mavs return to the American Airlines Center Friday night to begin a back-to-back, hosting Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. That matchup will tip off at 8:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and nationally on ESPN. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting the American Airlines Center box office, logging on to Mavs.com or by calling 214-747-MAVS (6287).
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Fans can visit Mavs.com or call 214.747.MAVS for more information and a complete listing of preseason and regular season home games.