DALLAS (AP) — Monta Ellis had 30 points and
nine assists, Dirk Nowitzki was one of seven Dallas players in double
figures with 11points and the Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers
123-104 Tuesday night.
Ellis, Nowitzki’s new pick-and-roll
partner, put on a show for Steve Nash, the big German’s buddy and old
running mate. He was 11 of 14 from the field, made all eight of his free
throws and had just one turnover.
Nash was scoreless until the second half and finished with five points. Nick Young led the Lakers with 21.
The Mavericks never trailed, led by 20
late in the first half and pushed the lead to 26 early in the second
half after Ellis got them off to a quick start with a jumper and two
assists, including one when Nowitzki took the pass and ducked under a
defender’s arm for the layup.
Jose Calderon had 12 points on 4-of-6
shooting from 3-point range, including one that put Dallas ahead 90-60
with 4:33 left in the third quarter. The Mavericks were 13 of 27 from
The Lakers tried to make it interesting
with a 19-4 run, but DeJuan Blair stopped it by blocking a layup attempt
by Chris Kaman, leading to a 3-pointer by rookie Gal Mekel after
Nowitzki passed out of a double team.
Mekel scored again on layup off a steal from Blair, who had 10 points — all in the first half — and eight rebounds.
The top three scores came off the bench
for the Lakers, who were blown out for the second time in two road games
without Kobe Bryant. After Young, Jordan Farmar and Jodie Meeks had 11
Jae Crowder kept the Lakers from getting
any closer by going 4 of 5 from 3-point range in the second half, and
getting a breakaway dunk on assist from Ellis. He finished with 18.
Nowitzki didn’t get his first points
until he faked Pau Gasol and drove for a dunk to put the Mavericks up
59-39 with 3 minutes left in the first half.
When Ellis wasn’t running the offense
in a first half that featured 21 Dallas assists against just two
turnovers, Mekel kept it rolling with Blair, the backup center. Mekel
had four points and four assists before halftime, while Blair had 10
points and six rebounds.
Ellis had two free throws to start an
11-2 Dallas run late in the first quarter, featuring mostly backups.
Three straight buckets came on assists from Mekel — a 3-pointer by
Vince Carter and consecutive buckets from Blair.
Carter hit a 3-pointer and a layup, and
Marion hit a jumper in the lane to give Dallas its first 20-point lead
at 57-37 with 3:39 left in the first half.
None of the Lakers starters were in
double digits before halftime. Kaman had all 10 points of his points
before halftime in his first game against the Mavericks and spending
last season in Dallas.
Kaman was critical of Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle on Monday after
spending just one season under him. He characterized Carlisle as among
“coaches who say one thing in one ear and then behind your back they’re
saying something else.” Carlisle said it “didn’t work out well here with
Chris and I take my share of the responsibility.” Kaman had a good
start with Dallas but barely played late in the season and skipped his
exit interview because he figured he wasn’t coming back. … Ellis had
three steals Saturday against Memphis to give him 900 for his career.