The Mavericks snapped a two-game losing streak with their sixth
consecutive win over Detroit at American Airlines Center, separating
late for a 116-106 victory Sunday night.
Led by forward Dirk Nowitzki's 28 points, Dallas (26-20) beat
Detroit for the 11th time in the teams' past 13 meetings overall.
The Pistons (17-27) lost their four game in a row.
If Nowitzki needed to make a case for a 12th All-Star berth, the
league's 13th-leading scorer didn't disappoint in the opener of a
four-game homestand. He made 10 of 16 shots, including three of five
3-pointers, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out four assists.
"Twenty-eight points in 32 minutes," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle
said. "Do you think he's an All Star?"
He will get no argument from Detroit coach Maurice Cheeks.
"We know Dirk," Cheeks said. "He's been doing this for a long time.
The way he picks and pops, catches the ball, he either makes a play
for someone else or for himself. He always seems to make those 3s.
That's what he's been doing for a long time."
Mavericks guard Devin Harris scored 14 off the bench and racked up
seven assists, providing a spark to finish out the third quarter and
as Dallas blew the game open in the fourth. Harris missed most of
the season with a toe injury before returning recently.
"It's been going better and better each game," Carlisle said. "He's
obviously worked extremely hard. Getting more rhythm, more feel,
shots are going in now, and he just made plays."
The Mavericks scored the first 10 points of the final period to turn
a three-point game into a 13-point advantage, and they cruised to
Guard Brandon Jennings paced the Pistons with 26 points, 12 coming
in the third quarter. Forward Josh Smith scored 25 and grabbed eight
boards. Forward Greg Monroe finished with 20 points and nine
The Mavericks shot a sizzling 58.1 percent (43-for-74) and had five
players score in double figures. Joining Nowitzki and Harris were
guard Jose Calderon (17 points), guard Vince Carter (13) and guard
Monta Ellis (11).
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The return of Harris is a welcome sight for Dallas' starting
"We knew he was going to be a big help for this team," Calderon
said. "He can do a lot of things for us. He can play D, he's
fast, he can shoot the ball and we can play with different
rotations when he's in the game. He's been good so far, and he's
getting better every day."
Jennings led a push to open the second half as the Pistons took
a 63-62 lead with a 17-6 run. Harris hit a couple of shots late
in the third, as Dallas went into the final period up 84-81.
"We made a nice run," Cheeks said. "I thought Brandon played
well in the third quarter. I thought that was the difference for
us to get back in the game, the way he played, pushing the
basketball and trying to get easy baskets.
"I think that's what we did. We got some stops, although they
still shot 58 percent for the game, but we got some stops and
were able to get some easy baskets."
Dallas was up as many as 12 before taking a 56-46 lead into
halftime behind 13 points from Nowitzki. Ellis had nine points
at the break.
The Mavericks made 10 consecutive shots in the first quarter and
Nowitzki scored eight, but they couldn't pull away. The Pistons
were down just 28-25 thanks to 11 points from Smith and seven
Dallas turnovers in the period.
The Mavericks' run at American Airlines Center continues
Wednesday against the Houston Rockets. The Pistons return home
Tuesday to play the Orlando Magic.
NOTES: Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is certain F Dirk Nowitzki
will be named an All-Star when reserves are announced Thursday.
"I've looked at it pretty closely and he'll make it," Carlisle
said. "I just have a feeling he will. If he doesn't, that's
great, he'll have rest." ... Detroit hasn't won a regular-season
series against Dallas since 1997-98. ... The Pistons fell to
1-10 in their past 11 games against Western Conference teams.
... Dallas G Vince Carter turned 37 Sunday. Among the four
players 37 or older in the league, Carter's scoring average of
11.3 points trails only San Antonio F Tim Duncan's 14.6.
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