Dallas trailed by nine (51-42), and by as many as 11 in the second quarter, but used a 25-8 run from the 9:29 mark of the third quarter through the 42.8-second mark of the period to go up by 10 (67-57). The Mavericks had their second victory of the season when trailing by at least 10 points as they won the game over the Pistons 92-77. The Mavericks held the Pistons to just 11 points in the third quarter (outscored Detroit 25-11 in the period). It marked a Dallas opponent low for points in a period this season (was 12 in fourth quarter vs. Portland 11/5/12). Detroit scored 29 points in the entire second half.
O.J. Mayo scored 24 of his game-high 27 points in the second half against the Pistons, including 16 of Dallas’ first 17 points in the third quarter. Mayo went 6-for-9 from beyond the arc, marking the third time this season that he made at least six treys in a game. With the win, Dallas improved to 5-1 on the season when Mayo scores 25-plus points in a game. It was Mayo’s ninth 20-point effort of the year. He led Dallas in scoring for the 11th time this season (includes ties). Mayo shot 9-of-16 from the field in the second half, including 6-of-9 from deep.
Elton Brand recorded his second double-double of the season (398th career) with a season-high-tying 17 points, a season-high-tying 12 rebounds and a season-best four blocks in 28 minutes vs. Detroit. He scored 17 points for the second time in his last three games (17 at Philadelphia 11/27/12).
Derek Fisher, who was signed by Dallas as a free agent on Thursday (11/29), made his Mavericks debut against the Pistons on Saturday and started at the point. He managed two points, three assists, two rebounds and two steals in 24 minutes. He grabbed the game’s first rebound, which was the 2,500th board of his career.
For the eighth year, the Dallas Mavericks partnered with American Airlines for the annual “Seats for Soldiers” event that took place on Saturday when the Mavericks played the Detroit Pistons. Mavericks season ticket holders provided a special tribute to U.S. military personnel by donating their seats to wounded soldiers. Over 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and other troops on reserve in the Dallas/Fort Worth area traveled to Dallas to see the Mavericks play the Pistons at American Airlines Center. Dallas Mavericks season ticket holder Neal Hawks originated the concept, and he and other front-row season ticket holders again generously donated their courtside seats for the game, valued at more than $350,000. With the win, the Mavericks improved to 7-1 (.875) all-time in “Seats for Soldiers” games.
Here is the quoteboard for the win against the Detroit Pistons.
What led to the win: “We got stops and we got in transition. Detroit was a tired team because they played a hard, physical game last night in Memphis. We struggled in the first half with shot making but we had a lot of good looks. We felt we just had to stay the course and do a better job rebounding. We started out well, hit a lull in the second quarter, and then picked it way up in the second half. That’s what got us the win; the ability to get stops and then get out in transition because they were doing a good job of locking up O.J. (Mayo) in the half-court stuff.”
Derek Fisher’s debut: “He ended up a significant plus in the game. It’s going to take some time for him to get his legs. I’ve been saying that all along. I liked when he and (Darren) Collison were together. I thought that was pretty productive lineup. He enhances our situation a lot of different ways. He gives us more options, and his experience, you just substitute what that means.”
Elton Brand’s performance: “This was a vintage game for him. For whatever reason, his shot-making has been up and down. He got into the flow of the game. He got into it and he affected it greatly on both ends. He had blocks and he had rebounds in traffic. He was hitting shots and making passes. It was really a big-time effort when we really needed it most. His effort was enormous.”
Bernard James’ performance on Seats for Soldiers night: “I thought (James) played really well off the bench. He gave us a lot of energy and ran the floor. It was fitting, given it was Seats For Soldiers night that he would have an impact like that. It was great.”
On his performance: “I got some minutes. It’s not really vintage. I feel like I can do that when I get the opportunity.”
Playing alongside Bernard James: “Sarge and I played well, especially on the defensive end. On the offense end, we’re going to talk to him about those hands a little bit. We missed some spots there. He’s a great player. He plays with a lot of intensity and he’s trying to get better. He helped us a lot tonight.”
On the turning point: “There’s just a real sense of urgency, we needed to get off the snide. We have lost a few games that we thought we could have won. Coach is giving me the opportunity to play and if I’m out there I always think I can help the team.”
The defense: “I had the opportunity to get out there and get some minutes and get in the flow. Once we get back we are good. O.J. had the opportunity to hit some open 3’s, that gives Darren the opportunity to penetrate and Marion the ability to hit his floaters. We are off and running after we get stops.”
On Derek Fisher: “Derek Fisher solidifies the unit, he keeps us tight, and he’s a proven veteran. There’s not a shot he hasn’t seen, not a defense he hasn’t seen. He’s very heady and very smart out there. Darren Collison played his role great. He came off the bench and helped us lock up and created turnovers. He’s playing his role.”
On transition defense being a factor for the team: “It has to be. In order to get in transition, we have to get defensive stops.”
On Derek Fisher: “He’s great in the locker room…He has a presence.”
On his first game back: “It felt good to just get out there and compete…I didn’t feel like physically I couldn’t keep up. But basketball is a game of timing and rhythm. Obviously playing with a new team, understanding spots on the floor, where shots are going to come from, understanding time and score, who you’re out there on the floor with, there’s a lot to think about and process. So I won’t worry about how I’m looking individually. It’s really just more so how I can impact this team in a positive way.”
Darren Collison’s potential: “He’s not just your average NBA guard. He has a lot of talent and ability…He can continue to get better.”
The crowd cheering him on: “That’s humbling. I’m sure it was hard for them to cheer for me considering the history. Texas and the Dallas area is southern hospitality at its finest…I’m looking forward to getting comfortable in this city and in this community.”
On individual performances and the big picture: “Forget the individual stats. We want to get win some games so it was good to get a win tonight.”
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.