Josh Howard hit his first eight shots on
the way to 26 points and the Dallas Mavericks shot 54 percent in a
103-84 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.
Howard ended the night 10-of-17 for Dallas, which won its fourth
straight and 12 in the last 14. It also was the Mavericks 13th
straight win over the Grizzlies, including a sweep of Memphis in
the opening round of the 2006 playoffs.
Dirk Nowitzki added 20 points and 11 rebounds and Jason Terry
finished with 14 points for the Mavericks. Erick Dampier
contributed 11 points and 12 rebounds in the first game of a
four-game trip that will take Dallas to Boston, Detroit and
Rudy Gay led Memphis with 18 points, Kyle Lowry scored 17 and
Juan Carlos Navarro had 16 points. Pau Gasol, finished with 13
points for Memphis, which lost its third game in the last four.
Memphis never led and never even threatened the Mavericks.
Dallas put the game away early with accurate shooting coupled with
domination on the boards and in the middle.
The Mavericks finished the night with a 47-33 advantage on the
boards, and outscored the Grizzlies 52-36 in the paint, eventually
building the lead to as many as 29.
A weak Memphis defense gave the Mavericks open shots and Dallas
made 70 percent in the first quarter, with Howard going 5-for-5.
While Dallas couldn't maintain that accuracy, the Mavericks did
shoot 63 percent for the half and carried a 61-44 lead into the
break, matching its largest advantage of the first half.
Howard led the way with 21 points in the first half. Nowitzki
Lowry and Navarro had 11 points each for Memphis, but the
Grizzlies' 48 percent shooting couldn't keep pace with the
Mavericks, particularly since Dallas outrebounded the Grizzlies
Dallas continued to extend the lead in the second half,
eventually building the advantage to 29 before carrying a 84-63
lead into the fourth.
Notes: Mavericks G Devin Harris, who averages 14.4 points did not
travel to Memphis and will miss two to three weeks with a bone
bruise on his left ankle. Harris was injured in the fourth quarter
of Dallas' 90-85 victory over Denver on Sunday. ...The Mavericks
also were without F Jerry Stackhouse, who missed his third straight
game with a strained right hamstring. ...The Grizzlies announced
before the game they released veteran G Damon Stoudamire as part of
the buyout agreement for his contract. ...The Mavericks have never
lost at the FedExForum, which opened in 2004. The Grizzlies' last
home victory over Dallas was in Feb. 17, 2004, in their previous
home, The Pyramid Arena. ... Gasol returned to the lineup Monday
night after missing the previous two games with a sore back. Point
guard Mike Conley missed his second game with a chest contusion. He
could be out for a week to 10 days.