Regular Season Series (Game 1 of 4)

Series starts 11/6

Game 1: Saturday, November 6th
Game 2: Saturday, November 27th
Game 3: Monday, April 11th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 20th

Grizzlies 88

(0-3, 0-1 away)

Mavericks 112

(3-0, 2-0 home)

    Coverage: FSS

    7:30 PM ET, November 6, 2004

    American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

    1 2 3 4 T
    MEM 35 18 15 2088
    DAL 24 33 28 27112

    Top Performers

    Mem: E. Watson 14 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast

    Dal: M. Finley 23 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 1 Blk

    Nelson wins No. 300 as Mavs coach

    DALLAS (AP) -- The Dallas Mavericks seem serious about their emphasis on defense this time.

    With Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley the offensive centerpieces, the Mavericks can still score a lot of points. But they might have finally figured out how to slow other teams down.

    Once they got over a rough start and got defensive Saturday night, the Mavericks went on to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 112-88 for their third straight win, giving up less than 100 points to start the season.

    "We turned out defensive intensity up a notch and wore them down," Jason Terry said.

    The Grizzlies, a playoff team last season, had a 42-30 lead and had made 17 of their first 30 shots before Dallas coach Don Nelson called timeout with 8:48 left in the first half.

    After Nelson's talk, the tone of the game quickly changed.

    "We came out lethargic and they took advantage of it," Finley said. "We weren't playing the same ball we did the first two games and coach let us know about it."

    Within six minutes, Dallas had the lead for good. And Memphis was in a shooting slump that wouldn't end.

    The Grizzlies (0-3) made just 15 of 55 shots after that, and had just 35 points in the second half -- matching their first-quarter total.

    "Absolutely, I'm concerned," Memphis coach Hubie Brown said. "We were one of the best shooting teams in the league last year, and have the same guys here. We're just struggling to find our touch."

    Finley had 23 points for Dallas and Nowitzki had 22, including a nifty basket that turned into a three-point play in Dallas' game-turning surge. Nowitzki also had 13 rebounds.

    Nowitzki was fouled hard by Mike Miller as he drove to the basket in the second quarter. Instead of giving up on the play, Nowitzki shifted the ball to his right hand, flipping it toward the basket as he fell to the ground.

    The ball went in, and he added a free throw to get the Mavericks to 48-46 with 4:14 left in the half. After a Memphis turnover, Nowitzki missed his next shot, but Josh Howard followed it to tie the game.

    "I felt the foul, and I just got the ball up in the air," Nowitzki said. "It was a lucky shot. I'm not going to take credit for that."

    But it counted, and it was a huge momentum boost for his team.

    New Mavericks center Erick Dampier had 13 points and 18 rebounds, while Terry had 15 points and rookie Devin Harris added 14. All three Dallas wins are against playoff teams from last season.

    "You finally saw the real Dampier," Nelson said. "He and Nowitzki rebounded, scored and did all the things you would expect them to do."

    It was Nelson's 300th win in his eighth season as the Mavericks coach, moving him within 30 of Dick Motta for the most wins in franchise history. Nelson has 1,151 career wins, second behind Lenny Wilkens.

    Pau Gasol led Memphis with 18 points, including a stretch of 10 straight in the first quarter.

    It was the 7-foot power forward on the other side who pushed his team to a win.

    Dallas never trailed after Nowitzki's 17-foot jumper tied the game at 50. Gasol then made a bad pass and Harris drove for the go-ahead layup.

    That was all part of a 47-16 run for Dallas, which had a 77-58 lead by time Harris hit a 3-pointer with 4:32 left in the third period.

    Stromile Swift had 16 points and 11 rebounds for Memphis, and Earl Watson added 14 points.

    Watson's 3-pointer in the opening minute of the second quarter put Memphis ahead 38-26. The Grizzles still had a 12-point lead when Watson drove for a layup three minutes later before Nelson's timeout.

    Game notes

    The Grizzlies have lost eight straight games in Dallas, their last win coming Nov. 8, 2000. ... Nowitzki had 16 points and nine rebounds at the half, when Dallas led 57-53. ... Shawn Bradley, Dallas' 7-6 center, was called for a technical foul in the final minute after taking a swat at 6-5 Dahntay Jones, who hung on the rim and on Bradley's shoulder while defending a play. Bradley patted Jones on the head, then walked away smiling.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 88 112
    FGM-FGA 32-85 (.376) 37-74 (.500)
    3PM-3PA 3-8 (.375) 6-16 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 21-26 (.808) 32-43 (.744)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-36 16-53
    Assists 21 16
    Turnovers 17 20
    Steals 10 11
    Blocks 6 9
    Fast Break Points 6 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 30 (1/1) 22 (3/0)

    Top Performers

    Earl Watson Watson
    Points: 14
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0
    Michael Finley Finley
    Points: 23
    Reb: 6
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 1