The Dallas Mavericks used a 34-5 run from the 2:02 mark of the first quarter through the 2:44 mark of the second period to turn a one-point deficit, 29-28, into a 28-point advantage, 61-33, en route to the 119-96 victory over the Sacramento Kings. With the win, the Mavericks are now on a three game winning stream and have climbed above .500 with a record of 11-10. The Mavericks continued their domination of the Kings as Dallas recorded their 17th consecutive victory against Sacramento at home. The Kings have not defeated the Mavericks in Dallas since 2/27/03 (126-124 in overtime). It’s the Mavericks’ longest active home winning streak against any team.
O.J. Mayo entered Monday’s game coming off a 40-point effort at Houston on 12/8 and with 5,001 points in his career. He recorded a team-high 19 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds, four assists and one steal in 28 minutes against the Kings. He led Dallas in scoring for the 14thtime this season. Dallas improved to 9-3 when he makes at least three 3-pointers in a game this year. Mayo is averaging 27.3 points on 57.7 percent shooting over his last three games. Mayo led the charge as the six players scored in double figures for Dallas in the win. It marked the fifth time this season that the Mavericks have had six players in double digits (4-1 record).
The convincing victory did have it’s share of drama. Late in the second quarter, Mayo and DeMarcus Cousins were fighting for position on the low block. Cousins delivered a back-hand, closed-fist punch to Mayo’s groin. Both were seen arguing with each other and Cousins and Mayo were whistled for a double-technical foul. Mayo spoke openly and candidly about the altercation.
Here is the quoteboard for the victory over the Kings.
The defensive performance: “We weren’t thrilled with our first quarter because we gave up 29 [points] even though we scored well. But 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. The second half, they had a couple of runs, but we were able to hold them off and we needed everybody. We need everybody tonight. O.J. [Mayo] came and got us off to a good start offensively, and then the guys off the bench picked it up for us defensively especially during the second quarter run.”
The play of Dahntay Jones: “Dahntay’s playing well. He’s playing an all-around game. I think the key to the game was when [Marcus] Thornton came in in the second quarter, Dahntay
did a great job of just not letting him see the ball or see the basket. He got called for one foul, the deadball foul, but he was into him and didn’t let him get any looks. That was a big key to the game because if Thornton gets going, he can drop 20 on you in a quarter.”
The play of Jae Crowder: “I thought Crowder was really probably our key player of the second half; activity on defense, deflection steals, making things happen in transition,
getting the ball moving in the half court, hit a couple of big shots, shots that were very timely. The great thing about Crowder is he plays with confidence all of the time. His approach never changes regardless of what’s going on with the scoreboard, shooting percentages – any of that kind of stuff. That’s one of the things you admire about him as a young player.”
What has been discovered during the win streak: “We’ve found some toughness. We’ve found some grit. We found Derek Fisher and he’s helped us. We’ve won four of five with him. We’ve just got to continue to find ways to stay in games and give ourselves a chance. We’re very much tempo driven right now which is okay. We’re built for it.”
Derek Fisher’s impact: “Look at the plus/minus, the win. It all factors in somehow.”
His comments towards DeMarcus Cousins in the second half, when defending Mayo (with a smile and half laugh): “I really like him as a player and I was expressing that to him.”
On his production as a starter: “It makes a lot of difference out there when you know you’re going to play a consistent amount of time. It helps your confidence and your ability to do your job.”
On a three-game winning streak: “I think we’re in a good place right now. We’ve made a lot of adjustments, we have some great leadership with Derek Fisher, great guys coming off the bench and we’re doing a lot of positive things. Our confidence is at a high place right now.”
On DeMarcus Cousin’s jawin’ to the team: “I don’t know. He’s young. I really don’t listen to young guys.”
His performances since turning his ankle in Phoenix: “Maybe I should roll my ankle more often. I’m just getting good looks. We’re being efficient on offense lately.”
What’s led to the winning streak: “We’ve keeping consistent energy on both ends of the floor.”
On DeMarcus Cousins hitting him below the belt: “I was so pissed. I’m good, though. It’s just, where does that come in in the game, you know what I mean? He’s a talented player, has a chance to be an All-Star. But you do stuff like that, it takes you down a class.”
What he told Cousins: “I told him, ‘Man, play basketball.’ You’ve got a chance to be a good player, but when you do stuff like that, you’re like a garbage player. It’s not a sign of being great.”
Cont.: “That guy has some mental issues, man. He’s a talented player. He has an opportunity to be the face of that organization, but I don’t think he wants it.”
The issues for Cousins: “He’s immature, man. Big maturity problem. Hopefully, he’ll grow up out of it and become great. He definitely has the talent to.”
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.