The Mavericks used a 17-4 run from the 10:06 mark of the fourth quarter through the 4:55 mark of the period to open up a 15-point advantage as they separated from the Portland Trail Blazers to secure a 114-91 victory.
O.J. Mayo, who made a career high seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 30 points in the home opener against Charlotte on Saturday, celebrated his 25th birthday by going 6-of-8 from deep against Portland on Monday. He finished with a game-high 32 points in 39 minutes against the Blazers. It was the fourth time he’s posted back-to-back 30-point games in his career but the first time he’s done so since Feb. 2009, 33 at Washington 2/2/09; 32 vs. Houston 2/4/09. Mayo has shot 62.9 percent, 22-of-35, from the field and 72.2 percent, 13-of-18, from deep over the last two games.
Chris Kaman made his first six shots against the Blazers on Monday and finished with 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting. Kaman had 16 points in his first game back from injury against Charlotte on Saturday and is shooting 84.2 percent, 16-of-19, from the floor this season.
The Mavericks had never shot 60-plus percent from the field in back-to-back games in a single season prior to the last two games vs. Charlotte, 11/3/12, and vs. Portland, 11/5/12. What’s more, if you combine their field goal percentage over their last two games, it’s 61.4 percent. That’s their highest field goal percentage over a two-game span in a single season in Mavericks franchise history.
Play(s) of the night: Elton Brand secured a rebound with 10:51 left in the third quarter and quickly delivered an outlet pass to Darren Collison. It was a three-man break with Collison, Shawn Marion and O.J. Mayo. Collison ended up delivering the pass to Marion of an easy layup. On the next possession, Marion stole the ball from Wesley Matthews and delivered the ball to Collison. On another three-man break with the same guys involved on the previous play, Collison found Mayo on the win for a 3-point bucket. The Mavericks scored five points in 24 seconds. That specific three-man break is a dangerous brand of pick your poison, if you’re the opposition.
Here’s the quoteboard for the team’s victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
The difference: “Collison did a nice job controlling the game. Mayo’s going to get all the headlines because he scored 30 again. I thought the key guy in the game was Dominique Jones, especially in the second half. He gave us a real spark defensively, got the team going in transition and he made a couple of nice play and got other guys nice shots. It’s so important to have a guy in that slot ready to step up when you’ve got a guy like Beaubois out. It gives Collison a chance to play relatively short minutes. It was huge for us. As I’ve said from the beginning a training camp. We’ve got be a team of go-to guys. There’s no set formula with our lineup. Some of it is feel, some of it is the guy who is playing well at the time.”
Defense: “We were getting stops and coming up with the ball. There were so many times in the first half where we kind of got halfway through a possession defensively and couldn’t finish…55 points is too much to give up in one half in basket, if you’re goal is to be a good defensive team. I felt that if we really put our minds to it and played with attitude – as good of an offensive team as they are – we could hold them in the 40s for a half. The second half was much better. We’ve got to put 48 minutes together.”
Mayo: “I like how he’s playing under control. He’s making other guys better…He’s getting better and better. We’re watching film virtually after every game of his touches and his defensive stuff. He’s a sponge. He wants to be as good as he can possibly be. He’s showing it. Even on nights when shots aren’t falling in like they are now, he’s giving us a really good all around effort on both ends.”
Offense: “We’re not running a lot of plays. We’re best playing randomly and we’re developing a better feel of all the time doing that. We’ve got to trust that right now. When we slowed down and tried to call plays tonight, we sucked.”
Kaman: “He’s come in and played against second unit guys. Teams haven’t game-planned for a whole lot…He’s another guy who has a good feel for the game.”
Collison: “If we defend and rebound and get the ball to Collison, he’s going to do good things because he’s a smart player and he’s learning what we’re doing. We need play-making from that position but we also need him to facilitate team ball movement so he’s not holding it too much…He’s doing a good job of it. We want him to be aggressive to score when the chances are there within our flow.”
His calf: “Honestly, it feels like someone has kicked me in the back of my leg but it’s getting better. I’m still working with the trainers and they have really been helping me and I’m taking care of it, icing it and doing everything I’m supposed to do. Right now, I think the calf is healed but there’s still some swelling in that area.”
Collison: “I think Darren came in early and had a lot of expectations because of Jason Kidd being here. I think he was a little worried about that early on and then we were all trying to figure it out early on. He came in and finally figured out to jus tplay his game and his game is good enough. He’s been playing great…Another thing that is impressive about Darren is that he comes out and plays solid defense. He puts a lot of pressure on those point guards. He fights hard, he plays hard and he brings a lot of energy to the team and a lot of guys feed off that.”
Offense: “It’s like organized street ball. We have spots that we need to fill and just keep moving…It just opens it up for shooters. It’s kind of unguardable because we don’t do something constant or something you can scout. It’s pretty much read the defense and work off that.”
The team’s mindset and the fans: “We’re going to be scrappy and play hard every night, win or loss. That’s our identity. I just hope they come out every night and give us that energy.”
The team scoring efficiently: “It’s not really about me. I’m just knocking down open shots and putting in a lot of work outside of practice and outside of the games. Everyone is being aggressive…We’re all aggressive, but it’s a controlled aggressiveness.”
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.