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 Nowitzki, Kidd send Mavs to first home victory

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PostSubject: Nowitzki, Kidd send Mavs to first home victory   Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:20 pm

DALLAS(AP) The Dallas Mavericks restored their home-court advantage, thanks to big games from Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd.
Nowitzki
had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Kidd contributed 18 points and 13
boards, and the Mavericks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 91-76 on Friday
night to halt an 0-4 home start."That's why you have star players, to play like stars,'' Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
Jason Terry added 20 points for the Mavericks, returning from a 3-0 road trip.
Dallas
had been beaten at home by playoff contenders Houston, Cleveland, the
Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando before getting on track against Memphis.
"This
has been a strong home court for so many years, so to start off with
losses was difficult,'' Carlisle said. "We have to continue to build
momentum.''
The Mavericks won 34, 36 and 34 games at home in the
previous three seasons, making the poor early performance all the more
alarming.
"We played pretty good basketball on the road,'' Kidd
said. "With the success we've had here at home, we kind of relied on
that. We knew we had to take the same approach here that we did on the
road.''
O.J. Mayo scored 19 points, and Mike Conley and Rudy Gay
added 14 apiece for the Grizzlies, who've lost 12 straight to the
Mavericks and are 7-45 all-time against Dallas.Nowitzki went
4-for-11 from the floor in the first half, but he heated up in the
third quarter, accounting for 11 of Dallas' first 13 points and
assisting on a basket by Kidd to put the Mavericks in front, 57-46.
Kidd, who added six assists in the game, delivered a crowd-pleasing,
no-look touch pass to feed James Singleton for a layup later in the
third quarter, pushing Dallas' lead to 62-48.
Nowitzki was
involved on both ends of a third-quarter sequence, blocking Mayo's
layup attempt, then hustling to the offensive end where he hit an
18-foot jumper.Kidd had eight points and eight rebounds in the third quarter, and Dallas carried a 68-56 advantage into the final period."We
were playing a real good game, but they got a couple of easy baskets
and then they started going to Nowitzki, and we don't have an answer
for Nowitzki,'' Memphis coach Marc Iavaroni said.
Kidd hit a 3-pointer and converted a layup on the next possession as the Mavericks extended their lead to 88-72 with 2:20 left.
Memphis'
starting lineup includes rookies Mayo, Darrell Arthur, and Marc Gasol,
and the other two starters, Gay and Conley, have a combined three years
of NBA experience. The inexperience showed, especially in the third
quarter when the Grizzlies went 6-for-27 from the field in the face of
stepped-up Mavericks defense.
"I think we were forcing it a little too much,'' Gay said.Dallas
shot only 33 percent in the first half (14-for-43) but the Mavericks
scored the final seven points of the second quarter and held a 44-41
lead at the break behind Terry's 15 points.Despite the halftime edge, Carlisle wasn't pleased with his team's early performance.
"Coach
was upset with us about the first half,'' Kidd said. "He called us out.
He talked to us about, one, playing defense, and two, making some
shots.''
Notes: Dallas' No. 2 scorer, Josh Howard (20.3 ppg),
missed his second straight game with a left ankle injury. ... G-F Jerry
Stackhouse was among Dallas' inactives with a foot problem. Stackhouse
has played in eight of 13 games. ...The Mavericks got off to a
lethargic start, missing 14 of their first 17 shots, but the score was
even at 22 after the first quarter. ... G-F Devean George played in his
first game for the Mavs this season. George, who's been out with a left
hand injury, scoring his first points of the season on a pair of
fourth-quarter free throws. ... Memphis has lost five of its last six.
... Arthur, a former Dallas high school star, went scoreless in his
first NBA game in his hometown.
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