The Dallas Mavericks were able to avenge their catastrophic 136-103 loss to the Houston Rockets on Sunday with a 112-108 win at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday night. O.J. Mayo recorded his second double-double of the season (fourth career) with 13 points, six rebounds, a career-high 12 assists and zero turnovers in 33 minutes against Houston on Wednesday. His previous high assist total was 10 (at Golden State Mar. 30, 2009). Seven of Mayo’s 12 assists came in the first half, including five in the first quarter alone. The seven first-half assists were tied for the most assists he’s recorded in any half in his career (7 in first half at Golden State Mar. 30, 2009; 7 in second half vs. Golden State Feb. 9, 2013).
The clean sheet for Mayo in the turnover department marked the sixth game of the year where Mayo did not commit a turnover. The Mavericks are 5-1 in those games. The one loss came in the team’s last game against the Rockets on Sunday.
Shawn Marion went 10-of-16 from the field and recorded a team-high-tying 22 points to go along with three rebounds, four assists and two steals in 36 minutes against Houston. With the win, the Mavericks improved to 4-1 this season when Marion scores 20-plus points.
Dirk Nowitzki tallied 22 points, five rebounds and three assists in 33 minutes against Houston. He scored 20-plus points for the fifth time in his last seven games.
The Mavericks made a change to their starting lineup. They started Mike James in place of Darren Collison and Brandan Wright in place of Chris Kaman. It marked the team’s 19th different starting lineup of the year.
Some notes before the quotes:
- Mike James made his first start of the season (264th career) against Houston on Wednesday. It was his first start since Mar. 25, 2009 vs. Charlotte (with Washington). The Mavericks used their 19th different starting lineup of the year.
- Shawn Marion passed Rod Strickland (1,616) for 25th place on the NBA’s all-time steals list with a theft (his 1,617th career) at the 6:37 mark of the third quarter. Marion finished with two steals against Houston and now has 1,618 for his career. Eddie Jones ranks 24th all-time with 1,620 career steals.
- With a block at the 1:16 mark of the first quarter, Elton Brand passed Rockets head coach Kevin McHale (1,690) for 24th place on the NBA’s all-time blocks list. It was the 1,691st block of Brand’s career. Moses Malone ranks 23rd all-time with 1,733 career rejections.
Here is the quoteboard for the Mavericks’ win against the Rockets.
On Shawn Marion’s defensive performance: “Shawn had a great all-around game. We needed his points early and throughout the whole game he just did a tremendous job on Harden. Harden had a lot of points but at the end of the game, Shawn was the guy that got the key stops.”
On the difference between tonight’s game and Sunday’s game: “I don’t know, probably about 30 points. We played better. We had a stronger posture tonight. We were more determined. They made runs and we knew they would make runs. The run where they took the lead with about 3 minutes left, that was one where the guys could have dropped their heads but they didn’t. We came out of the timeout, O.J. hit a big three, and we executed really well and built a lead back up to where we could finish the game. There was a lot stuff going on out there. Dirk thought he got fouled a couple of times and he got upset. After 14 years, the number of times he’s been hit and hacked and having his jersey grabbed and everything else, sometimes it just builds up. We weathered everything tonight and it is a sign of some character.”
On O.J. Mayo’s performance: “It was his best game of the year. Not even close. He played great defensively, his awareness was tremendous, and offensively he made the right play virtually every time.”
On Mayo being efficient with his facilitating: “It’s a lot better for him and for us. The thing is, he didn’t put himself in positions where he had to try to manufacture something in a crowd. He was just really patient … He’s shown a lot of growth this year and tonight was a big night for that.”
On the lineup changes: “All of that worked out fine, but it was less about the lineup change and more about our attitude tonight. The lineup change was something I thought would help us.”
On Brandan Wright’s performance: “He really helped us a lot … He’s been a key guy when we play these guys.”
On a career-high 12 assists: “I just wanted to come in and make the simple play. …It just came with the flow of the game. I just wanted to make the simple play every time down the court.”
On shooting the ball late in the game: “They trusted me and they put the ball in my hands to make a play. I was looking for Dirk and any of those other guys that were open. I’ve been working off coming off the screens, so, I got one of those after the three, Dirk had an ISO and I was wide open at the top. It was a great team effort. Shawn Marion did a great job offensively and we did a good job finishing off that game.”
On if he wanted to correct Carlisle on the assertion that he’s not a creator: “Nah. “I’m a scorer first, and he said to keep that mentality. But some nights they’re going to scout me well and I’ve got to be able to put guys in the best situation for them to be successful offensively.”
On tonight’s game after Sunday’s loss to Houston: “We were supposed to have the next day off, but instead we came in and worked our tail ends off. After what happened in Houston, it was embarrassing, as a man, as a player and as a Dallas Maverick. We really wanted to come in here and show our fans that we are a much better squad. It was a great game and a lot of fun.”
On his performance against James Harden: “I just tried to make it hard for him, crowd him and don’t let him get comfortable. He’s a very aggressive player. If you take a lot of the free throws out of the game, he had a rough night tonight.”
On guarding Harden: “I’m just making it hard for him. I’m going to be in his face. He’s going to have to hit a hell of a shot against me. That’s it.”
On Mayo’s night: “He was great tonight. I thought Mayo was phenomenal … He made the right decision every time.”
Keeping things with a one game at a time outlook: “That’s what we’re doing right now. You can’t really look big picture because it doesn’t really look that great, but you’ve got to be positive.”
Sarcastic logic: “We’re 3 and 1 against the Rockets. If we’d be 3 and 1 against some of the other teams we’d be in great shape.”
The mindset: “Every game for us now is big. We can’t afford to lose … (The playoffs) started early for us. That’s how we’ve got to approach it.”
On defending Harden: “Out of the whole team, I’ll take ‘Trix on him for sure.”
On the lineup change: “It doesn’t really matter. Whoever is out there has got to play hard and give us something … It’s too late now for hard feelings. We’ve got to suck it up and play and try to win some of these games.”
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.