NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Mavericks (33-23) at Detroit Pistons (23-32), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks look to stay on
track when they resume a three-game road trip Saturday against the Detroit
Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
The Mavericks opened the trip with Friday's 124-112 victory over the hapless
Philadelphia 76ers, as Nowitzki led the charge with 25 points, grabbed seven
rebounds and handed out four assists. Nowitzki is averaging 24.5 points per
game in his previous 11 contests.
Nowitzki helped the Mavs to a 41-23 lead after the first quarter and finished
with 19 points over the first 24 minutes, including 14 in the opening quarter.
The Sixers were able to rally back, but ultimately lost their 10th in a row.
Dallas shot a season-high 62.3 percent from the field to help erase the 25
turnovers that led to 34 Philly points. The Mavs, who bounced back from their
recent loss to Miami, are 17-4 when shooting 50 percent or better.
"We had an amazing start to the game," Nowitzki said. "We were shooting the
ball and getting layups, and then they started to trap us a little bit. We
didn't really react well to their run-and-jump defense. I think we had 17
total turnovers in the first half, and that really kept them in the game or
got them back into the game. And then we had to kind of grind it out from
there. You've got to give them credit. They kept competing."
Shawn Marion and DeJuan Blair scored 22 and 18 points, respectively, for
Dallas, which won for the seventh time in nine tries and will close the trip
Monday at New York. The Mavs are 15-14 on the road and one game ahead of
Memphis for the final postseason spot in the West.
The Mavs are 16-8 against the East this season
Detroit is in the midst of playing three straight and eight of nine games at
home, and halted a three-game slide with Friday's 115-107 win over Atlanta.
Greg Monroe had 22 points and 15 rebounds, Andre Drummond chipped in 20 points
and 11 boards, and Kyle Singler added 20 points as well. Josh Smith had a
double-double of his own, finishing with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while
Brandon Jennings compiled 12 points and 14 assists for the Pistons.
"Our guys went out in the second half and made them miss. I'll give our guys
credit. They showed a lot of guts and determination," said Pistons interim
head coach John Loyer. "You can go out there and kind of play hard, but not
play well. Our guys played hard and played well."
The Pistons have a 13-17 home record and will end the stay Monday versus
Drummond is averaging 15.5 points and 14.5 rebounds in his last 11 games. In
the first meeting with Dallas this season, a 116-106 loss for Detroit,
Drummond was held to four points and six boards. Nowitzki had 28 points in
that one for the Mavs, winners in four straight and 11 of 13 games in this
Dallas is unbeaten in its last two trips to The Palace.
02/22 10:43:13 ET