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Mavs outlast Grizzlies in Nerlens Noel’s first start


Mavs Fanatic (30 of 76)


On Friday night, the Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Memphis Grizzlies, 104-100, in a game that did not lack entertainment. Seth Curry continued his hot shooting streak with his third consecutive game with 20 points or more. Curry finished this one with 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting and 2-of-7 from behind the three-point line.


Dirk Nowitzki inched closer to the 30,000 point mark, as he dropped ten points to give him 38 short of 30k.


“LeBron might catch me before I get there,” Nowitzki jokingly said. “I’m not going to force bad shots. I’m going to play within the system and we’ll see what happens.”


The Mavs set the defensive tone early in the first quarter, with Nerlens Noel making his first start in Dallas. His defensive presence was instantly felt, clogging the lane up and protecting the rim. Noel played almost the entire first quarter, getting  a couple of huge blocks and grabbing 5 rebounds.


Dallas turned up the offensive heat in the second and third quarters, scoring 59 points in the middle two frames, as the Mavs took a 79-72 lead into the fourth quarter. The Mavs were able to penetrate the lane at will in these two quarters, causing Memphis to respect the drive and open up the floor for Dallas. The guards did a good job of coming off the screen at the top of the key and knifing into the paint, which allowed them to either kick it out or throw the lob to Noel.


Dallas again came out strong in the fourth quarter on the defensive end, forcing a couple of Memphis turnovers and making them pay with a Dorian Finney-Smith dunk and a Nowitzki three with a little more than 8 minutes left. a couple of minutes later, Dallas brought Noel, Curry, and Harrison Barnes back into the game for the stretch run. Over the next three minutes, Dallas would increase their lead to 9 at 94-85 with 5 minutes to go, and Memphis took a timeout. Both teams went scoreless for three minutes until the Grizzlies went on a 5-0 run to bring the lead down to 4.


Marc Gasol then was called for a loose ball foul on Ferrell, sending the Mavs into the bonus. Memphis coach David Fizdale did not like the call, and received a technical foul. Nowitzki shot the technical, and Yogi Ferrell sunk the pair of free throws to bring the Mavs lead to 97-90 with 46 seconds remaining. Memphis hit a couple of last minute shots, but the Mavs knocked down their free throws to win by a score of 104-100.


Key to the game

Noel’s 17 rebounds were huge for Dallas, as that is a presence they have not had since the likes of Tyson Chandler. Noel’s ability to grab the ball on the first miss and make the outlet pass will do wonders for Dallas on both ends of the floor.



Credentialed media member and contributor covering the Dallas Mavericks.

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