After losing three consecutive games by an average of 14 points, the Dallas Mavericks returned from a four-game road trip before falling to the Memphis Grizzlies, 80-64 on Friday from the American Airlines Center.
The Mavs were without Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams, J.J. Barea and Devin Harris. Conversely, the Grizzlies were at full strength led by Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Zach Randolph and a pair of former Mavs – Chandler Parsons and Vince Carter.
Seth Curry and Dorian Finney Smith were called to start in the absences of Nowitzki and co., alongside Wes Matthews, Harrison Barnes and Andrew Bogut.
From the tip, two things appeared likely: offense would come at a premium and the Mavs might return to the win column after taking a 19-19 tie into the second quarter.
Both teams remained scoreless through the opening two minutes of the contest. Nine first-quarter points from Matthews kept the Mavs in competition heading into the second quarter before Memphis began to put distance between themselves and Dallas.
A six-point run from Curry, which included a three-pointer and a three-point play helped the Mavs build a brief lead over the Grizzlies early into the second quarter. But Gasol responded for Memphis, scoring nine of the Grizzlies’ 17 points during the quarter, including a 27-foot three-pointer. Memphis owned a 36-29 lead headed into the third quarter as neither team mustered 50 points in the first half.
Memphis continued to extend its lead in the second half, leading by as many as 18 points in the third quarter. Recent addition Jonathan Gibson contributed six points along with a pair of rebounds in the third quarter. But it wasn’t enough to close the gap on the Grizzlies lead as they entered the fourth quarter leading by double-digits, 56-41.
Dallas closed the fourth quarter with signs of life, scoring more points (23) than the third and fourth quarters combined. But the damage was already done as Parsons led Memphis with 12 points en route to victory.
Final Score: Grizzlies 80, Mavericks 64
Harrison Barnes – 15 points (5-of-17 shooting), 7 rebounds
Seth Curry – 11 points (4-of-14 shooting), 4 rebounds
Andrew Bogut – 2 points (1-for-4), 10 rebounds, 1 block
Jonathan Gibson – 11 points (3-of-6 shooting), 4 rebounds, 3 assists
Quote of the Night:
“If you’re looking for me to make some crazy statement tonight about how bad we are, I’m not.” – Rick Carlisle, head coach
(Quote via Tim Cato, SBNation)
The Mavs are back on the road for a matchup against the Orlando Magic at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday in Orlando.
Scoring with efficiency is proving to be too big a hill to climb for Dallas with significant contributors on the bench, out of action. Shooting numbers continue to dip and decline following the road trip, which ended with Dallas showing signs of improvement shooting 41 percent from the field and 34 percent from three in Boston on Wednesday. The Mavs shot 28 percent from the field and 20 percent from three in the loss to Memphis on Friday night.