02/07/2007 Mavericks vs. Memphis
DALLAS, Feb. 7 (AP) -- Dirk Nowitzki scored 18 of his 38 points in a flawless first quarter, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 113-97 Wednesday night to match a franchise record with their 16th consecutive home victory.
Nowitzki made all seven of his field goals in the opening quarter, including a 14-footer at the buzzer, to go along with 4-of-4 free throws, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
When he missed his first shot - five minutes into the second quarter right after returning from an extended break - the Mavericks had a 25-point lead. They needed almost all of that to overcome their own miserable stretches.
After trailing by as many as 27 before halftime, the Grizzlies got within 68-61 on Mike Miller's tip-in midway through the third quarter after Dallas missed its first 11 shots following halftime. Dallas led by 27 again early in the fourth before a 16-2 spurt by the Grizzlies.
Memphis scored the first 12 points of the third quarter before Nowitzki made the second of his two free throws. But by the time Nowitzki made a 3-pointer at the end of the third, Dallas was back up 89-65.
Nowitzki finished 14-of-20 with 10 rebounds and six assists. Josh Howard added 23 points and nine rebounds, and Devean George scored 15 points for the Mavs, whose last home loss was Dec. 7 against Detroit. They go for their 17th straight home victory Friday night against Houston.
Pau Gasol had 29 points and Miller 21 with five 3-pointers for Memphis, which lost for the sixth time in seven games and dropped to 3-21 on the road. Gasol had nine of the 22 Memphis turnovers.
One season after the teams met in the first round of the playoffs, the Grizzlies (12-38) are 28+ games behind Western Conference-leading Dallas (40-9), which has the NBA's best record.
After sweeping that four-game playoff series last April, the Mavericks have swept this season's regular four-game set as well.
A week earlier in Memphis, the Mavericks held on for a 95-94 victory despite a pair of 30-footers by Miller and Chucky Atkins in the final 5 seconds. Dallas had played only once since, winning 94-93 over Minnesota on Saturday night.
Miller, who had 20 of his 32 points in the fourth quarter of the last meeting, started this one with another long 3-pointer. But that was the only time the Grizzlies led.
Howard responded with a 3-pointer that started a 10-0 run for Dallas. The Mavericks led 40-24 after the first quarter, then scored 12 straight points after Gasol's 6-foot hook shot to start the second.
After the Grizzlies got close in the third, they then had six turnovers in a five-minute stretch when George scored nine points for the Mavericks. Nowitzki hit consecutive baskets to end the quarter.
Notes: The Mavs led 65-45 at halftime, one point shy of their highest-scoring half of the season. ... Dallas finished with 30 assists and 14 steals, both season highs. ... Memphis is 6-14 since Tony Barone replaced fired coach Mike Fratello on Dec. 29. ... Dallas has three 40-point quarters this season, including another against Memphis in the fourth quarter on Nov. 17. ... Mavs starting C Erick Dampier missed the game with a sore right knee. DeSagana Diop and DJ Mbenga combined for 10 fouls, three points and five rebounds in 26 minutes in his place.
Further Notes: Dirk Nowitzki again looks five years younger with no hair, he resembled the inexperienced dirk nowitzki that was featured on the overhead monitors during pre-game.
Notes Not from The Article: With Dirk Nowitzki scoring 38, rebounding 10 times, and assisting 6 times, this game would be Nowitzki's 6th 30-10-5 game in 49 games.