It’s not in the quad, but the Mavericks have gone streaking. Dallas used a 19-0 run in the first quarter en route to their 105-100 victory over the Houston Rockets. With the victory, the Mavericks recorded their ninth consecutive win against the Rockets. It’s Dallas’ longest active winning streak against any team. The Rockets have not defeated the Mavericks in the regular season since Dec. 31, 2009, defeated Dallas 97-94. The Mavericks scored 100-plus points for the fourth straight game. Dallas is averaging 109.8 points per game over its last four games.
According to Mavericks statistician Dave Keeney, the Mavericks won for only the fifth time since 1986 when shooting under 39 percent from the field but scoring at least 100 points. They had at least 33 free throws made in all five games. Dallas shot 38.4 percent from the field in the win. The 33 free throws made marked a new season-high for the Mavericks, previous high was 30 at Sacramento on Jan. 10.
Elton Brand recorded his fourth double-double of the season (400th career) with 11 points, a team-high 10 rebounds and a team-high two blocks in 27 minutes vs. Houston. He scored in double figures for the fifth time in his last seven games. Shawn Marion tallied 18 points to go along with nine rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes. He scored 18-plus points for the third time in his last four games.
O.J. Mayo recorded seven points, four rebounds, five assists and one steal in the first quarter. Mayo finished with 18 points, six rebounds, a game-high eight assists, two steals and a block in 33 minutes. He went 12-of-13 from the line, setting new career highs for free throws made and attempted. He recorded eight-plus assists for the second consecutive game, season-high 9 vs. Minnesota 1/14. Vintage Dirk Nowitzki also arrived as he scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter.
Here is the quoteboard for victory over the Rockets.
On the fourth quarter: “Our defense was poor, we kept putting them on the free throw line, but we made plays, Elton’s block was huge and Dirk’s rebound where he got fouled and had two free throws was big.”
On playing Mike James late: “(Jeremy) Lin just walked right in there twice in a row on Collison. The physical size with Darren is what is tough for him. We needed a stronger guy in there.”
On Mayo’s development as a facilitator: “Going back to the Washington game and on, he is one of the guys that can help get guys shots. He knows how to do it. In the third quarter he made some terrific plays and he made some simple plays…He was making the “hockey assist”. It’s got to be an emphasis for him by me to him to see that he’s an all-around player and that he’s not just a scorer.”
On if there was progress in Mayo’s all-around game: “It’ll be a bigger sign if I didn’t have to scream at him at halftime about it. I thought in the first half he took some shots that were ill-advised when he is becoming a play-maker and a good all-around basketball player. I’m sorry, but it’s beneath me to watch a guy continue to veer off from the path that is best for him and our team. It’s really important.”
Carlisle on James: “I thought his play at the end of the third quarter and in the fourth may have been the difference in the game. Collison was playing good…James gave us some experience, some physical strength and some toughness. I was really pleased. …I like him. I really do.”
The team’s chances against Oklahoma City: “I like our chances in any game where we come out and play with a disposition and an attitude and an unselfish mindset. That’s going to be my universal answer for the year. I’m enthusiastic about that. I’m enthusiastic about this team. Sometimes, my enthusiasm will manifest and shouting and other things. They’re going to understand that they’ve got a chance to keep getting better.”
Where things are at: “We’re climbing out of a whole here. We can’t allow winning a few games erode our edge at all.”
On his key block: “We had to do whatever it takes to win.”
The team’s defense: “We really stepped up tonight. They lead the league in offense with 105 a game and we tried to keep them under a 100. We got big stops, big rebounds, and big blocks when we needed it. We did well because they have a heck of an offensive team.”
On how the winning streak feels: “It’s much better than that losing streak. We feel good.”
On if he feels like he’s going to stay with the Mavericks: “I’ll leave that up to management. My focus is if he calls my name to just continue to earn my keep.”
On getting crunch time minutes against Houston: “Coach continues to put trust in me on the court. I’m going to continue to keep taking advantage of that.”
His effort on James Harden: “It was a collective team effort. We did what we needed to do.”
On allowing teams to creep back into the game late: “We can’t give them any sign of life, sunshine at all. We’ve got to keep it dark out there for them.”
On the halftime: “I got a good cussing out at halftime for some of the shot selections but I’m just trying to be aggressive.”
On Carlisle’s passion to help the team get better, even if it involves getting cussed out: “He wants us to be good, be successful…I’m all in.”
On getting a good win: “The play of the game was Elton’s block. …EB came out of nowhere to block the shot.”
On if Brand showed he still has a nice vertical: “He’s got long arms. He’s got good timing.”
On Brand’s shot-blocking ability: “He said he’s got lots of practice since I let my man go by me all the time. That was a heck of a play.”
On the development of Mayo and Darren Collison as facilitators: “I think Collison and Mayo have gotten so much better from the beginning of the season not turning the ball over. …I think they’ve taken a phenomenal leap from the beginning of the season.”
The team’s mindset: “Even when we’re up, we’ve got to play like we’re down.”
On his fourth quarter performance: “It’s alright. I’m still going to be a piece of work. …It was good, but I’m going to keep on working.”
Where are they at with a four-game winning streak under their belt: “We’re still a piece of work.”
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.