Several rarities surround the Dallas Mavericks following the 116-109 win against the Houston Rockets. For starters the Mavs played their 20th regular season game without Dirk Nowitzki. The team won consecutive road games inPhoenix and Houston. O.J. Mayo splashed a 40 spot on the Rockets. You have to go back to Roddy Beaubois’ rookie season and his promising night in GoldenState to find the last Maverick not named Dirk to score 40 points.
If for some reason you missed the Juice Explosion Saturday night, missed the highlights or simply want to see them again…and AGAIN…well here you go. Video of OJ’s big night:
Then there’s this from ESPN’s Marc Stein on just how especially rare Mayo’s 40-point outburst was for a Mavericks starting guard:
“According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Mayo assembled just the second 40-point game from a starting Mavs guard in the last 18 — yes, 18 — seasons.
Before Mayo’s 40-point eruption that enabled the Mavs to pull out a 116-109 victory on the Rockets’ floor, Dallas hadn’t seen a 40-point game from a backcourt starter since Michael Finley’s 42 points against Detroit on Nov. 27, 2002.”
When the Mavericks take the court tonight and aim for their third consecutive victory, they will be facing a team riding a three-game win streak of their own – the Sacramento Kings. The Kings are just 7-12 and 13th in the conference, but anytime you string together wins your confidence level elevates.
The Kings defeated the Portland Trail Blazers on the road 99-80 Saturday night. DeMarcus Cousins led the way with 19 points and 12 rebounds. John Salmons added 19 points with 11 helpers.
“It feels good,” Salmons said. “Especially coming off two home wins, to go on the road and get that third win. Hopefully, we can continue doing that.”
Winning in Dallas will be a daunting task for the Kings who have lost to the Mavs 16 straight times in the American Airlines Center. This may be their best opportunity with Dirk not in the lineup, but Mayo and the Mavs are just trying to win ballgames. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, seven wins or 17 wins.
“O.J. [Mayo] is definitely on the kind of roll where he’s putting the team on his back,” said Derek Fisher. “He’s playing at an unbelievable level. It sounds simple, but I think O.J. just wants to win.”
A lot is going right for Mayo this year in Dallas and he’s more comfortable than ever. He himself stated how much he just understands his role as a Maverick and the coaching staff and locker room supports him 100%. It’s showing on the court as Mayo continues to play at career-best levels.
In the shadows of the heroic performance put on by Juice Mayo in Houstonwas the effort given by Mavs center Chris Kaman. Most the evening Kaman was laboring, clearly limping on his badly bruised ankle. Then we found out Kaman’s ankle was indeed purple. Yet, somehow he battled through the pain to score 20 much need points in only 19 minutes of action.
“Kaman showed a lot of guts even being out there,”Carlisle said. “He went out there and gave us everything he had.
It’s unclear whether or not Kaman will be able to play tonight and Shawn Marion’s status also is questionable as he nurses a groin strain. You’d want the Matrix out there, but it’s best to be cautious with any type of groin issue.
The Mavs and Kings tip 7:30 p.m. CT and the game airs on FSSW and CSCA.