Marion leads Mavs in 104-83 win over Grizzlies
DALLAS (AP) — Dirk Nowitzki is coming along gradually. Maybe the Dallas Mavericks are, too.
Nowitzki scored 17 points and was one of three Dallas starters who didn't miss from 3-point range, and Shawn Marion had a season-high 20 to lead the Mavericks to consecutive wins for the first time in a month with a 104-83 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.
The Mavericks, three days removed from dropping 10 games under .500 for the first time in 13 years, beat a team with a winning record for just the fourth time this season. They did it soundly, too, taking their first 30-point lead of the season and coasting through the fourth quarter.
"It's the kind of game we need," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "We need more of these, but they're hard to come by."
The Grizzlies were ragged a night after a big overtime win against Southwest Division-leading San Antonio. Memphis shot 38 percent and Rudy Gay was the only starter in double figures, in part because all five of them sat out the entire fourth quarter. Gay led the Grizzlies with 12 points.
"We didn't have maybe one, maybe one-and-a-half starter that could bring it," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said. "Our focus and concentration wasn't there."
All five starters scored in double figures for Dallas, with Chris Kaman stringing together eight straight in the third quarter and finishing with 14. O.J. Mayo had 11 and Darren Collison 10.
The Mavericks were 11 of 17 from 3-point range, and the starters made eight of nine. Nowitzki hit three, Mayo two and Collison had one. Marion was the only starter to miss, going 2 of 3.
"Taking small steps, but that was big against one of the top teams in the league," Mayo said. "They were tired and beat up from a tough game last night and we put it on them."
Nowitzki had another solid night after Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said earlier he wasn't trading his star forward despite the team's struggles. Dallas hadn't won consecutive games since taking three straight from Dec. 6-10, the last time the Mavericks were over .500.
The 7-foot German, who missed the first 27 games of his 15th NBA season after the first knee surgery of his career, scored in double figures for the seventh straight game after struggling in limited minutes through the first four.
Nowitzki's last 3-pointer — all net from the top of the key — made it 95-65 early in the fourth quarter after Elton Brand, who had 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds, had put the Mavericks up 30 late in the third.
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