The Memphis Grizzlies came into American Airlines Center on Friday night and did exactly what they have done in three of their four meetings against the Dallas Mavericks this season, they won.
Memphis (48-21) who led 25-18 after one quarter and 44-37 at halftime, was led by Zach Randolph who led all scorers with 21 points.
Fellow big man Marc Gasol delivered his second straight double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds) before fouling out late in the game, which ended 112-101 in favor of the visitors.
"That was a good game, a competitive Western Conference game. Both teams wanted it and we came out on top," Memphis head coach Dave Joerger said postgame.
The Grizzlies held the Mavs to 34-of-76 from the field (45 percent) and 8-of-22 from long range (26 percent).
Dallas also missed 11 foul shots, finishing 25-for-36 from the stripe.
Chandler Parsons, who had been strong over the previous three games of the five-game homestand, finished with 12 points on 4-of-11 shooting (1-for-4 three-pointer). Dirk Nowitzki also struggled from the field, finishing 4-of-14 (1-for-2 from three) with eight of his 14 points coming from the foul line.
Nowitzki also fouled out late, finishing with six rebounds to accompany his 14 points.
"Doesn’t get much uglier than that," Parsons said of the loss. "They dominated from start to finish. We made a lot of mistakes, missed a lot of open shots, free throws. Defensively, they gave us problems all night long."
Monta Ellis came alive in the second half, scoring 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter. However, Ellis too struggled shooting the rock, finishing 3-of-9, including 1-of-2 from distance.
"I thought they missed some shots," Joerger said of Dallas. "We really came with a defensive effort early in the game and tried to pressure as many of their shots as possible."
The postgame presser for Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle, much like it is after any loss, especially following one as tough to stomach as this one, a game with a final score that was more than a bit deceiving, was understandably short.
"We were poor in all areas really. Whatever you ask me about, I really don’t have a lot of positive things to say and it’s a situation where we all own it," Carlisle said. "It’s just really a very, very bad performance and I’m afraid it’s going to look even worse on film. But I don’t know that, but I think that."
Much like he did after the 33-point loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers nearly two weeks ago, the veteran head coach also placed blame on himself for not having his team prepared after giving the players the day off on Friday and not practicing.
"We got to have a practice tomorrow (Saturday)," Carlisle said. "We had a day off yesterday (Thursday), which was a mistake obviously. And tomorrow, we got to get some work in and then we got to prepare for a very physical team that is another desperate team."
The Mavs (44-26) finished their longest homestand of the regular season at 3-2. On Sunday, Dallas plays at the Phoenix Suns before returning to the AAC to host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.
In the third quarter, Dallas also lost veteran big man Amar’e Stoudemire after he was assessed two technical fouls and ejected, a truly puzzling turn of events.
"It was too quick for two technical fouls," Stoudemire said. "I’ve never received two techs that quick in my career. To be a 13-year vet, I figure I would have a little more respect. But it is what it is."
Joerger admitted postgame that the Mavs, a team who has several top scorers to focus on stopping in Ellis, Nowitzki and Parsons, are a tough team to prepare for. But he can’t really argue with the results as the Grizz take the season series 3-1.
"They have a lot of mouths to feed. They got a lot of guys that can really score the ball, so sometimes it just doesn’t come your way," Joerger said. "They got four guys out there that can really, really score, so how do you focus on one or two guys to try to take out? It’s not rocket science. It happened to work out tonight."
Memphis completes the back-to-back on Saturday night at the Portland Trailblazers.