The Dallas Mavericks did well on a momentous evening as they delivered a 110-95 beating to the Phoenix Suns. Shawn Marion appeared in his 1,000th career regular-season game against the Suns on Sunday. He became the 107th player in NBA history to reach the milestone. Marion played in 660 games with Phoenix from 1999-2008. Marion recorded a game-high-tying 18 points to go along with a game-high nine rebounds, five assists and one steal in 30 minutes against the team that brought him into the league.
With a jumper at the 5:38 mark of the third quarter, Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki passed Allen Iverson (24,368) for 18th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The basket gave Nowitzki 13 points for the game (and 24,370 for his career). Next on the list for Dirk is Patrick Ewing. Ewing ranks 17thon the NBA’s all-time scoring list with 24,815 career points. Dirk tallied a game-high-tying 18 points to go along with seven rebounds in 30 minutes against Phoenix.
Elton Brand appeared in his 900th career regular-season game and recorded 12 points in 17 minutes off the bench. He scored in double figures for the sixth time in his last seven games (14thtime this season). Brand is averaging 12.1 points and 8.6 rebounds over his last seven games. Brand came off the bench because Bernard James made his first career start and managed two points and three rebounds in 11 minutes. The Mavericks used their 17th different starting lineup of the year in their 44th game of the season.
O.J. Mayo dished out a team-high six assists against Phoenix. His fourth assist of the game, at the 9:22 mark of the third quarter, was the 1,000th assist of his career. He finished the game with only eight points. Dallas now moves to 1-5 this season in games where he scored fewer than 10 points in a game.
Here is the quoteboard for the Dallas victory over Phoenix.
On Mike James staying for the remainder of the year: “He’s done a really terrific, solid job since he’s been here, so it’s good news for us.”
On Shawn Marion’s play: “He played extremely well. He stepped up his game tonight and I thought he was very aggressive from start to finish; a lot of big rebounds in traffic. When he’s on the floor at forward and Dirk [Nowitzki] is off the floor, those are big minutes for us because that’s just the time of the game that’s very critical. He’s been holding the fort really since Dirk’s been back in those stretches and did a really good job again tonight.”
On Bernard James’ action as a starter: “He’s energetic and he goes hard. The biggest thing that we need right now is energy. We need any kind of injection of it we can get. He’s one of those guys where you put him in there and you know what he can do.”
On Brandan Wright’s performance: “He did a terrific job. When they went with a smaller lineup, I just felt he was the right guy to go with instead of Kaman at that point. He had had a really, really good game at Phoenix in the game we had there which was a really close game. Look, we had to go deep tonight. We had a lot of guys, 11 out of 13 guys, play important minutes when it counted, and we needed all of them to do what they did.”
On if this will turn into a center by committee approach: “I’ll have to think about that. Tonight we used four guys at that position and they all played an important part of the game. I necessarily don’t want it to be like this. I’d like there to be some consistency and rhythm to things but we’re not there yet. That’s the truth. I’d like us to get there but we’re working on it.”
More on Bernard James: “He’s done things to merit this opportunity. He has the respect of his teammates. The guys really pull for him.”
On getting a win before going out on a four-game road trip: “We knew we had to have this game. It was good to get it. …It’s a trip we’re looking forward to. We’ll keep working.”
On Roddy’s game: “I liked some of the things. I thought he was aggressive. He’s doing things to make you notice him. Some of the mistakes have to be eliminated. As he gets more opportunities, that will happen. His level of aggression, his body language and disposition is much better than we’ve seen. It’s got to continue to build to a higher crescendo if he’s going to really establish himself on this team. He can do it. It’s up here (points to head). It’s flicking that switch on to flick the rest of it on in his body. I think he can do it. We’ll see.”
How it feels knowing he’ll stick on the team: “I’m just going to continue to keep working. We’ve still got a good chance to still do something special this season. I’ve just got to be able to take advantage of the opportunities that the coach gives me.”
On 1,000 games: “It’s a lot of miles. It’s a great milestone. It’s a true blessing to be able to play at a high level and play so many games and be so effective at it.”
On Bernard James starting: “Whatever it takes to win. We need some energy. I’m not worried who starts. I just want to be a part of this team and help us keep winning games.”
On his role: “I think it’ll grow with time. I’m a defender, rebounder and energy guy. I think energy is the biggest way I can contribute right now. I’m just bringing my teammates up and giving them some energy by me playing and playing hard.”
Is this a one-game move or could it lead to more: “I don’t know. Whatever [Coach Carlisle] needs from me, I’ll do it.”
On how he feels: “I’m starting to feel better. I have a little more pop on my jump shot, I have a little more lift. I’m looking forward to continuing to work but this was a great effort. Honestly, this was as close to a must-win as we have in the regular season. We have a tough road trip coming up against some of those teams we are competing against for the eighth spot. We really needed this home win, get a good practice in tomorrow, take a long flight, then we have a tough game in Portland.”
On moving into 18th place on the All-Time scoring list: “That’s nice. It’s going to be great when my career is over and I see how many points I score. Right now, I’m just trying to get myself going more. I’m feeling better from game to game.”
Chris has to be aggressive when he comes off the bench. We need his scoring off the bench. …I think he’s a little discouraged obviously now with his minutes. He’s got to stay with it. We know how Carlisle is. Sometimes you won’t play for three weeks and then you’re starting.
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.