Mavs (And DB.com) In OKC: Video Donuts
DONUT 1: Overcoming illness ...
There are plenty of Mavs-Thunder issues to make anybody from Dallas sick. An 11-game losing streak to a single foe will do that. And indeed, Monta Ellis went into Sunday's visit to Oklahoma City feeling under the weather.
As coach Rick Carlisle revealed after the game, "He's sick ... but he's hell-bent on playing all 82.''
And in an individual pregame warmup, Ellis is indeed battling through, with pep in his step:
DONUT 2: 'That's what I do right there' ...
Dirk Nowitzki also has his pregame ritual, which includes leaning into assistant Brad Davis, lofting up left-handed hook shots, talking trash ("That's what I do right there!'') and working to overcome what had been a Uberman problem in his last three games at OKC: Just 11.7 points per on 11-of-34 shooting.
DONUT 3: Mavs 109, Thunder 86 ...
"One of our goals is for Dirk not to have to have a monster night every night,'' Carlisle said after Dallas' 109-86 victory.
In other words ... balance.
Shawn Marion scored 19. Vince Carter joined the 23,000-points club with 18. Jose Calderon had 16. Oh, and Dirk Nowitzki added 17 points.
Oklahoma City got 30 from Kevin Durant while playing without three usual starters — the injured Kendrick Perkins and Thabo Sefolosha in addition to Russell Westbrook (rehabbing his way back from a knee surgery and therefore not ready to participate in both ends of back-to-backs).
But for now, this isn't about who OKC didn't have. ... or even about how much or how little this team gains as it might line up as a No. 7 seed opposing the Thunder as a No. 2 seed in the first round of the playoffs.
This is about scoreboard-watching. (And Video Donuts-watching thanks to the fine work of DB.com videographer Willie Martin.)
DONUT 4: The official NBA highlight reel ...
"That's a quality win for us,'' Carlisle said.
DONUT 5: Who deserves "The Dirkie''? ...
The offense clicked to the tune of 53.3-percent shooting. The defense clicked to the tune of 36.7-percent shooting allowed. And the aforementioned balance means lots of candidates for "The Dirkie''!
Go here for your Player of the Game selection, a DB.com Mavs tradition, because this is a democracy!
Shawn Marion -- 19 and 6, the Matrix is everywhere
Vince Carter -- 18 points and the 23K Club
Dirk Nowitzki -- 17 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Jose Calderon -- 16 points and 7 dimes
Samuel Dalembert -- the Big Guy notches 10
Monta Ellis -- 9 points, 7 assists while playing sick
Brandan Wright -- pogo-sticks 8 and 8
Devin Harris -- 8 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists
Be a part of the fun and rock the vote for "The Dirkie''!
DONUT 6: Carlisle's Video Visit ...
"We played well," Carlisle said. "Look, they're down a great player, so we caught a break there. But you've still got to go out and play and they've had a great record with and without Westbrook. It's a game we needed. We need every one, the battle that we're in. We did good things. We had to clean some things up at halftime with rebounding. We did. We had four good quarters."
DONUT 7: The standings now ...
The Mavs (40-27) gave themselves a bit of room over the Grizz in the battle for seventh place in the West; Dallas is a half-game up. But Dallas isn't looking backwards ... it has every right to look ahead as it is only a game behind the sixth-place Warriors. Golden State won a come-from-behind thriller over Portland late last night, but Dallas has nevertheless made up two games since last week's crusher in Oakland.
The Warriors don't play tonight. The Mavs do, hosting Boston, which will be playing without a rehabbing Rajon Rondo ... so a chance for the AAC to be the site of Dallas pulling to within a half-game of sixth.
DONUT 8: Caleron's Video Visit ...
Dirk said the Mavs had the basketball "hopping.'' The man in the middle of orchestrating that?
And we visit with the other point guard, too:
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DONUT 10: B-Wright takes to the air ...
Here, Brandan Wright does the talking ...
And here is the sort of Brandan Wright play that is fueling so much of the talking ...
Or is it this one?
"Nah, he can't overthrow me,'' B-Wright joked. "As long as he doesn't throw it over the backboard."
DONUT 11: Thanks, Red Rock! ...
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DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
"This is a tough place to play," Nowitzki said. "Obviously, Westbrook getting the night off, that helped us, but it's really only a good thing if you win the game. I've lost plenty of games in my career before when people were resting or hurt, but we still lost. It's only an advantage if you take care of business and I thought we did a good job."
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