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Mavs 'Windshield-Wiper' Bulls, 105-83
Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle previewed Saturday's visit to Chicago by describing the Bulls' style of play as "Smash-Mouth.''
It's a football term befitting a tough-guy city and it also fits the recent history of Mavs-Bulls games: Under coach Tom Thibodeau, Dallas has in its last five meetings with Chicago been limited to a paltry average of 84 points per.
But Rick has another colorful characterization for a team's style of play: "Windshield-Wiper Basketball'' -- something Dallas is fully capable of. Would that be the trick for Dallas to beat Chicago? Back-and-forth pace? High-speed attacking? "Windshield-Wiper'' trumping "Smash-Mouth'' as if this was an 94-foot-long game of "Paper, Rock, Scissors''?
They're a physical team that keeps coming at you," said Chicago native Shawn Marion, who had 14 points and 13 rebounds in Dallas' most lopsided win of the year, a 105-83 decision. "But we made our presence felt."
That is an understatement.
The Mavs are now 17-13 - and 8-3 against JayvEast teams -- as they begin this three-game road trip by blowing out the Bulls. The Mavs led 61-34 at the half and by as much as 32 points (86-54) in the third. Monta Ellis scored 22 points. The Mavs got 18 points each from Dirk Nowitzki and Carter. Marion contributed his fifth double-double of the year ... and marking the accomplishment is a special boxscore: Every single Mav who played (all 12 of them) ended with pluses. And every single Bull who played (all 10 of them) ended with minuses.
There was another oddity: Within a 139-second span, Dallas registered a pair of four-point plays as Nowitzki and Jae Crowder were each fouled on 3-pointers and followed up with made free throws.
This was a collision between a Mavs team that is seventh in the NBA in points and sixth in the NBA in field-goal percentage ... matching up against a Bulls team that is second in scoring defense and fourth in field-goal defense.
But the "Windshield-Wiper'' approach worked in terms of pace, as the Mavs managed a 46-17 run bridging the first and second quarters. Three-point shooting was a big part of it; Dallas finished 13-of-26. But the Mavs also won the rebounding battle 39-34, and they held Chicago to 43-percent shooting from the field and 17-percent shooting from the arc.
"When we defend and rebound like that,'' Carlisle said, "we're a formidable team."
That is quite a statement. But it's merited here. Dallas essentially accomplished the NBA version of a "perfect game'' in terms of the boxscore, and not only beat Chicago with its "Windshield-Wiper'' efforts but also offered up some of its own "Smash-Mouth,'' too.