The Dallas Mavericks cruised in this one, beating Minnesota 100-77. This was the 3rd consecutive win for the Mavericks, a streak they will need to extend to 6 or 7 if their playoff hopes are to be revived.
The first quarter was close, with the Mavs finishing the frame up 21-20. J.J. Barea and Ricky Rubio looked like they where going to take advantage of the Mavs poor defensive back court and keep the game competitive.
The Mavericks took the game over out of the gate in the 2nd quarter, opening the quarter with a 14-0 run. They did a decent job holding that lead until half leading by 12 at the break 56-44. Dallas had made 6 threes in the first half of the game.
That lead widened to 17 at the close of the 3rd, and 23 at the close of the game.
Dallas did a good job taking advantage of a team on the 2nd half of a back to back. They have several wins in that fashion this season, and that speaks of the professionalism of a team that might not be overly talented.
Vince Carter had a monster night, making 6 of his first 7 shots and scoring 15 points in this first 14 minutes. Carter finished with 22 points and 9 rebounds in just 25 minutes.
Dirk had a solid night, 16 points 9 rebounds on just 13 shots in 28 minutes. A line that looks better when you realize that for much of the night Nowitzki was a passenger. He settled for jumpers all game,knowing this one was in hand early.
Elton Brand had another double-double, 10 points and 12 rebounds. He has proven a solid player and may find a home in Dallas.
Brendan Wright had 13 points on 6 of 7 shooting along with 7 rebounds and a block. Wright is starting to show some consistency. He is another free agent this summer that would be a good piece going forward.
Darren Collison played well. He has become a much better point guard under the steady hand of Rick Carlisle. His overwhelming flaw is his inability to guard other point guards. Despite his solid offensive night, the takeaway play from Collison’s night was being backed down by tiny J.J. Barea.
O.J. Mayo had only 8 points on 4-9 shooting, but stuffed the stat sheet with 8 boards and 7 assists. Mayo had a turnover in the 3rd quarter which is notable because he had gone 112 minutes on the floor without one. Mayo’s transformation under Carlisle has been stunning, and if he can find the scoring form he had to start the season, he will have Chauncey Billups’ Carlisle recommendation to thank for a big pay-day in the off-season.