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Memphis at Dallas

Mavericks put things on cruise control to coast past Grizzlies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki got some needed rest. Jerry Stackhouse didn't have the results he wanted in a comeback test.

Nowitzki, the lone Mavericks' All-Star, scored 21 points in a season-low 26½ minutes in Dallas' 92-81 over Memphis, but Stackhouse tweaked his sore right hamstring in his return after missing seven games because of the injury.

"I wanted to get out there and test it, and it's not where I want it to be," Stackhouse said. "It was good to get some minutes. Today was a trial, a test. ... I'm not feeling as great as I would like."

Despite Nowitzki sitting more than ususal and Stackhouse playing only 11 first-half minutes, the Mavericks had another easy game against the Grizzlies.

The result was pretty much the same for Memphis. Coming off four straight losses at home, the last two after Pau Gasol was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, the Grizzlies lost their seventh straight road game.

Nowitzki scored 10 straight points in the third quarter when the Mavs put the game out of reach. A layup and a long jumper ended his streak, but those baskets started an 11-0 run by the Dallas that Jason Terry capped with a 3-pointer that made it 69-48 with four minutes left.

With Dallas facing four games in five-day stretch before the All-Star break starting Sunday, Nowitzki left good with 1:56 left in the third quarter. Two nights after his first career triple-double, Nowitzki hit 7-of-10 field goals, made 7-of-7 free throws and had six rebounds.

"It was good for us to get minutes for a lot of different guys. February's going to be a beast for us so it's nice to get everyone involved," said Nowitzki, who still played the most minutes.

With point guard Devin Harris missing his sixth straight game with a left ankle injury and Erick Dampier out with a sprained right ankle sustained Wednesday, Stackhouse tried to ease back into the lineup.

Stackhouse had seven points and three assists in his 11 minutes, including a slam dunk. It wasn't obvious when he hurt himself, but he didn't play after halftime.

When asked if Stackhouse was OK, coach Avery Johnson said the veteran forward was and that the second-half sitdown was planned. But Stackhouse was obviously dejected.

"Biology is biology. I've got to let it heal," Stackhouse said, without elaborating on if he'll miss more games. "The important time for us is going to be May and June. I want to be ready June."

Rudy Gay led Memphis with 18 points and matched a season best with 12 rebounds. Mike Miller scored 15 points.

"The tempo just wasn't there for us," coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We have to push the ball all the time. We've got guys who understand that, and guys who it's new to."

Deaven George had 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting for the Mavs, while Brandon Bass had 12 points and Terry 11. Eight Dallas players had at least seven points.

DeSagana Diop got his first start since Jan. 6 in place of Dampier, and responded with eight points on 4-of-4 shooting and 12 rebounds. A talk earlier in the day with Johnson also helped.

"He told me to keep my head in the game," Diop said.

Nowitzki wasn't on the floor when Dallas broke a 20-20 tie with a 10-2 run to open the second quarter -- or when Gay then had a personal 8-0 run in less than two minutes to tie the game for the last time.

George had consecutive 20-foot jumpers, then a defensive rebound and a pass to Bass for a fastbreak jumper that made it 36-30. That was the start of a 19-8 run over the final 6:48 of the first half.

Dallas scored 61 first-half points in a 103-84 victory at Memphis last week, but got off a slow start this time by missing their first five shots.

Nowitzki's 20-foot jumper with 14 seconds left in the first quarter made it 20-20, the fifth tie of the game. It was only tied once more after that.

Stackhouse hit a 3-pointer, then Terry had consecutive jumpers in the first 96 seconds of the second quarter. Nowitzki scored five points in the final minute for a 49-38 halftime lead.

Notes

  • Memphis has its longest road losing streak since dropping 10 in a row from Dec. 8, 2006 through Jan. 22, 2007.
  • Dallas had a 25-point lead to start the fourth before 11 straight missed field goals, with all the starters on the bench, that closed the final margin.
  • Nowitzki scored at least 20 points for the 23rd time in 25 games.
  • Dallas got three technical fouls for 3-second violations on the defensive end.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Dirk Nowitzki paces the Mavericks with 21 points as he and Dallas glide by.  (AP)
Dirk Nowitzki paces the Mavericks with 21 points as he and Dallas glide by. (AP)
Scoreboard
Memphis (13-36) 2018172681
Dallas (34-15) «2029291492
MEM:R. Gay 18 Pts
MEM:R. Gay 12 Reb
MEM:M. Conley 5 Ast
DAL:D. Nowitzki 21 Pts
DAL:D. Diop 12 Reb
DAL:J. Howard 3 Ast
Players of the Game
DallasMemphis

D. Nowitzki

R. Gay
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
216218120

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Memphis
R. Gay, SG338-182-3120318
M. Miller, SF305-134-631115
J. Navarro, PG261-34-54216
D. Milicic, PF252-80-06014
K. Lowry, SG141-63-43115
M. Conley, PG342-84-54508
H. Warrick, PF244-70-04138
J. Crittenton, PG204-62-642010
J. Collins, C181-40-12022
K. Brown, C91-10-22212
B. Cardinal, PF81-30-02013
A. McKie, SGDid Not Play
C. Jacobsen, SGDid Not Play
A. Brown, SFDid Not Play
Totals 30-7719-3246141481
 39.0%59.4% 
Dallas
D. Nowitzki, PF267-107-762221
D. Diop, C264-40-012118
E. Jones, SG251-40-05152
J. Howard, SF253-91-28308
J. Barea, PG253-100-03348
B. Bass, PF254-74-641112
J. Terry, PG235-150-012311
D. George, SG226-80-053413
J. Howard, PF161-50-03322
J. Stackhouse, SF113-60-00307
T. Hassell, SF110-20-02020
M. Ager, SG50-40-00100
E. Dampier, CDid Not Play
D. Harris, SGDid Not Play
N. Fazekas, PFDid Not Play
Totals 37-8412-1549232492
 44.0%80.0% 
Other Games
LAL 117 Final
Orl 113
LAC 102 Final
Tor 98
NJ 104 Final
Char 90
Cle 100 Final
Atl 95
SA 99 Final
NY 93
Port 82 Final
Det 91
Bos 88 Final
Min 86
Sea 99 Final
Pho 103
Utah 104 Final
Sac 117
Wash 100 Final
Den 111