Nowitzki, who was 3-of-13 from the field the first three
quarters, hit 4-of-5 down the stretch and scored 14 of his 26
points in the fourth as the Mavericks rallied to beat the Memphis
"I had open shots all night," Nowitzki said. "I don't know
what happened. My first shot went way over the hoop. I don't know
what was going on.
"My team counts on me to be aggressive offensively. So I stayed
with it, and I was just glad in the fourth quarter, my shots
started to go down."
The Mavericks scored 40 points in the period, including a 13-2
run to erase an early Memphis lead in the fourth.
Erick Dampier added 22 points and 15 rebounds as Dallas won its
Dampier's bulk was too much for the smaller Memphis frontline.
He was 8-of-11 from the field, many of them on dunks or
second-chance points, sending the Grizzlies to their sixth straight
loss. The win puts the Mavericks at .500 for the first time this
season after they dropped their first four games.
"I tried to be aggressive, and guys found me when I was open,"
Dampier said. "I just tried to finish when I got the ball around
the basket and grab rebounds."
Hakim Warrick led Memphis with a career-high 26 points, while
Stromile Swift added 21 and Mike Miller finished with 16. Chucky
Atkins and Damon Stoudamire scored 11 apiece and each handed out
After Dallas' fourth-quarter run to take the lead, the Grizzlies
cut the deficit to two on a couple of occasions down the stretch.
But Nowitzki's 20-foot jumper with 1:36 left extended the Dallas
lead to 104-93.
Kyle Lowry's steal and layup in the closing seconds of the half
gave Memphis a 57-51 lead at the break. At one point in the first
half, Memphis was connecting on 67 percent from the field and
better than 90 percent from the line.
Memphis ended up shooting 53 percent from the field in the half,
despite missing all three 3-pointers, and hit 19 of 21 free throws.
The Grizzlies shot 51 percent for the game.
Early, it appeared the Mavericks would dominate with their bulk
inside against the smaller Grizzlies. Dampier controlled the boards
as Dallas grabbed the game's first six rebounds, including four off
their own glass.
"Dampier had nine offensive rebounds (for the game), which was
as many as our whole team got," Memphis coach Mike Fratello said.
Nowitzki, meanwhile, missed his first five shots and picked up a
pair of quick fouls as he was limited to seven points in the first
It was the second straight game Memphis has surpassed 100
points. The Grizzlies are relying on younger players and a faster
pace. Most players seem to like the up-tempo approach and think it
can be successful.
"If we can play like that for 48 minutes, we're going to win
our share of games," Swift said. "We played maybe 42 good minutes
and took six off. We can't do that and win games because it's a
thin line for us right now."
The last time the Mavericks were in Memphis, they were
closing out a first-round sweep of the Grizzlies in the opening
round of last season's playoffs. ... Dallas swingman Josh Howard
missed his fifth straight game with a sprained left ankle. ...
Memphis G Eddie Jones sat out his second straight game with right
Achilles tendinitis. ... The Memphis marketers didn't waste any
time building a promotion around rookie Rudy Gay. Replicas of Gay's
No. 22 jerseys were given out before Friday's game. Gay also got
his first home start of the season. ... Memphis was returning home
from a three-game Western swing, where it lost to Phoenix, the
Lakers and Sacramento. ... In one of those unique back-to-backs by
league schedulers, the teams could have shared a charter flight
after the game. They play each other Saturday night in Dallas.