Augustin, Pistons snap Mavs’ win streak

D.J. Augustin and the Detroit Pistons had a pretty good two-game swing through the Lone Star State. On Wednesday night, the former University of Texas standout finished with a season-high 26 points, 19 of which came in the fourth quarter, as Detroit defeated the Dallas Mavericks 108-95 at American Airlines Center, a game the visitors never trailed in.

"I thought in the first half, quite honestly, I thought we got lucky," Pistons head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "They (Dallas) missed some great open looks. I thought our defense in the second half was a lot better. Then Greg (Monroe) and D.J. (Augustin) just carried our offense and we made some threes again. So a good night all around and then the other thing is, obviously, we dominated on the glass."

The Pistons (12-23) have now won seven in a row and remain unbeaten since the day after Christmas while the Mavericks (26-11) saw their six-game winning streak snapped in a game Detroit led for much of the night except for three ties.

"It feels good," Pistons center Greg Monroe, who had 27 points and 18 rebounds, said of continuing the winning streak. "Any win feels good. (Dallas is) another very good team. We just have to keep it going."

Augustin had nine points through three quarters but the ex-Longhorn exploded for 19 in the fourth quarter, going 6-of-8 from the field, including a perfect 2-for-2 from long range. 

"I have just been trying to be aggressive these last few games," Augustin said. "I’ve been attacking and looking for my own shot. Things just opened up for me tonight."

His season-high in points came just one night after Augustin had 19 points on 8-of-18 shooting in that big 105-104 win over San Antonio at the AT&T Center on Tuesday night in the first game of the back-to-back. 

Augustin clearly carried the momentum from that strong performance off the Detroit bench on Tuesday into Wednesday’s game in Big D.

Besides Monroe’s double-double, the Pistons also got 19 rebounds from Andre Drummond and finished with a 60-43 edge on the glass, including an 18-9 advantage on the offensive glass.

"The rebounding problem caught up with us tonight in a big way because we turned it over quite a bit and our shot-making wasn’t great," Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. "When you can’t mitigate a rebounding deficit with those two things in your favor, then it’s going to be tough. I give Detroit a lot of credit. We just weren’t good enough tonight."

When recently-acquired point guard Rajon Rondo hit a driving layup with 10:56 remaining in the second quarter, that bucket tied the game at 31 apiece. 

However, that would be the closest the Mavs, who never led, would get. Detroit outscored Dallas 77-64 the rest of the way to keep their win streak intact as they head home to host the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

"We enjoyed last night’s win, but we talked about it and we understood that we were coming to play a very good team tonight and last night was over with," Monroe said. "Now we can enjoy another good win and get ready for Atlanta."

Offensively, the Mavericks were led by Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 19 points on 8-of-19 shooting. The Big German got some degree of support from his two normal sources of Monta Ellis and Chandler Parsons, who combined for 31 points, but Ellis and Parsons combined to go just 11-for-30 from the field, including just 2-for-9 from long range.

Dallas will now hit the road for a three-game swing out west, playing at the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday, the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday and completing the trip on Wednesday at the Denver Nuggets, the same team they will host next Friday night at the AAC.

"Right now, we’ve got a little practice time and we’ve got to get back to doing things better ourselves," Carlisle said.