Dallas wins series 4-0 (Game 2 of 4)

Dallas wins series 4-0

Game 1: Sunday, April 23rd
Game 2: Wednesday, April 26th
Game 3: Saturday, April 29th
Game 4: Monday, May 1st

Grizzlies 79

(49-33, 19-22 away)

Mavericks 94

(60-22, 34-7 home)

7:00 PM ET, April 26, 2006

American Airlines Center, Dallas, TX

1 2 3 4 T
MEM 31 12 13 2379
DAL 32 24 20 1894

Top Performers

Memphis: P. Gasol 16 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast, 2 Blk

Dallas: D. Nowitzki 31 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk

Nowitzki drops 31 on Memphis as Dallas opens up 2-0 lead

DALLAS (AP) -- The jerseys said Memphis. Otherwise, they might've been mistaken for the Vancouver Grizzlies.

Although the former lottery regulars have become a first-round playoff staple since moving to Memphis, the Grizzlies regressed to their bad old days Wednesday night, going 16 straight possessions without a point and 10:47 between baskets in a 94-79 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Active NBA Playoff Losing Streaks
Grizzlies 10
Nuggets 6
Bulls 6
Knicks 6
Warriors 5

Dallas' Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points to drop Memphis to 0-2 in this series and 0-10 in its playoff history. That's four more losses than any NBA team has ever had before its first postseason victory.

Halfway to being swept for a third straight year, the Grizzlies at least have the benefit of heading home for Game 3 on Saturday.

"We've got two days to fix what went wrong," center Lorenzen Wright said. "We have to hold on to our home court, and that's what we plan to do."

Memphis actually played great at the start, leading by four points early in the second quarter. It all fell apart in a run of missed shots and turnovers that spilled into the third quarter, the halftime break not lasting long enough to snap the spell.

Many of the Grizzlies' mistakes were offensive fouls. They even lost a point on a lane violation.

"We just got out of the game for a few minutes and that really cost us," All-Star forward Pau Gasol said. "It was frustrating the way we were turning the ball over and giving it back to them without making them work."

Nowitzki scored 21 in the first half, helping Dallas take a 13-point lead into the break. When Memphis' woes continued in the second half, the Mavericks seemed to go through the motions the rest of the game.

It hardly mattered, either. When the Mavs went through a stretch of six straight misses and three turnovers, the Grizzlies could only turn it into four points.

"We'll just take this victory any way we can get it," said Dallas' Avery Johnson, who received the NBA coach of the year trophy before the game. "There's still another level for the Mavericks to go to. We're just not there yet."

Then again, they're also not down 0-2, as they were at this time last year when they hit the road for Game 3. Dallas rallied to beat Houston in seven games -- which makes them at least somewhat wary as they head to Memphis.

"Really, anything's possible," Nowitzki said. "We expect them to come out swinging Saturday, especially being at home."

Memphis' top two objectives to get back into the series were getting Gasol going early -- he didn't have a field goal in the first half of Game 1 -- and cutting down on their 19 turnovers in Game 1.

The Grizzlies got both, with Gasol scoring in the first minute and having 10 points in the first quarter, plus the team went the entire period without a giveaway.

But Dallas was sharp, too, making 11 of its first 14 shots and leading 32-31 after one quarter.

With Nowitzki on the bench to start the second, the Grizzlies scored five quick points and were building momentum. Then the big German returned and scored every point in a 9-0 run that put the Mavericks ahead for good.

Memphis' do-no-right stretch hit a few minutes later.

After Chucky Atkins made a layup with 7:07 left in the second quarter, the Grizzlies didn't get another field goal until a dunk by Eddie Jones with 8:20 left in the third. Their only points in between were four free throws.

Along the way, Memphis went from being down by three to trailing by 19.

"We turned the ball over too much and after that we had our heads down," Grizzlies forward Shane Battier said. "We just didn't have it."

Memphis scored 12 points in the second quarter, 13 in the third.

During the big drought, the Grizzlies missed only eight shots. They hurt themselves more by committing nine turnovers. They finished with 20.

Gasol finished with 16 points. Bobby Jackson scored 12 and Jones -- who organized a players-only dinner Monday night to try rallying the troops -- scored 11.

Dallas' Josh Howard scored 17 points and Jason Terry had 16 and nine assists. Erick Dampier wasn't as active as he'd been in the opener, but still managed eight points and six rebounds.

Griffin scored six, including a dunk on a fast break during Memphis' awful stretch that left several teammates cracking up on the bench.

Neither team liked the officiating in the whistle-filled second quarter, with Grizzlies coach Mike Fratello and the Mavs' Jerry Stackhouse getting technicals for complaining. There were a whopping 16 offensive fouls called in the game.

Game notes

Johnson said he had more than 50 calls from well-wishers, including two he noted as being very special to him -- from Detroit president of basketball operations Joe Dumars and Spurs point guard Tony Parker. Said Dumars: "Avery is my homeboy, we're both Louisiana guys and we actually pull for each other. I was happy for him." ... When Johnson received his trophy from team owner Mark Cuban, he turned to the bench and pointed, a thank-you gesture to his players. ... Johnson had a new golf bag in his office. "I don't want to use that until about July 1," he said.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 79 94
FGM-FGA 28-61 (.459) 31-69 (.449)
3PM-3PA 5-14 (.357) 4-14 (.286)
FTM-FTA 18-26 (.692) 28-36 (.778)
Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-34 11-37
Assists 15 18
Turnovers 20 13
Steals 1 5
Blocks 5 5
Fast Break Points 10 19
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 32 (1/0) 31 (1/0)
Largest Lead 4 20

Top Performers

Pau Gasol Gasol
Points: 16
Reb: 7
Ast: 5
Stl: 0
Blk: 2
Dirk Nowitzki Nowitzki
Points: 31
Reb: 4
Ast: 1
Stl: 0
Blk: 1