DALLAS -- The past week has easily been the most joyous time of the season for the Dallas Mavericks.
During that time the Mavericks won their first road game of the season, found some continuity, and also picked up their fourth consecutive victory.
The Milwaukee Bucks put up very little resistance Friday night as the Mavericks cruised to a 102-76 victory before 20,112 at American Airlines Center. On a night when Dirk Nowitzki became the 23rd player in NBA history to score 23,000 points, the Mavericks stretched their record to 7-5 after mauling a Bucks squad that played without center Andrew Bogut.
But just because Bogut wasn't around, the Mavericks didn't have a letdown as they sent the Bucks packing with a 0-7 record on the road.
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"Actually I'm pleased tonight because we found out before the game that Bogut had been sent home because of concussion symptoms," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said. "What it meant for us was that there's going to be a lot more quickness in the game, and that's a big challenge, because we're a long and knowledgeable team, and our athleticism is good. But from top to bottom quickness is not our forte."
Maybe it wasn't before, but against the Bucks the Mavericks were able to turn 19 Milwaukee turnovers into 33 points. Rodrigue Beaubois did most of the damage by using his lightning speed to blow past the Bucks for uncontested dunks and layups.
"I just need to keep pushing myself," said Beaubois, who scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. "I just need to play basketball and use everything I know -- my mind and obviously I need to use my speed and my athletic abilities."
The Mavericks had their highest-scoring first quarter of the season when they broke out to a 32-23 lead at the end of the first period. They also enjoyed their highest-scoring half of the season, taking a 60-45 lead at halftime.
Vince Carter ignited the fast start by scoring 11 of his 16 points in the game's first 6:30, including a pair of dunks.
"I was just trying to give our team a little life at the start," Carter said. "You have to hit first, because we've seen teams hit us first and it's effective."
This was the Mavs' largest margin of victory of the season and the fewest points they've allowed so far. Dallas, which hosts Sacramento at 8 tonight, would like to also bury the Kings before leaving town for a four-game road trip, which starts Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"The thing I thought we did best tonight was respect the opponent," Carlisle said. "The guys followed the game plan and approached the game with tenacity because a home back-to-back is an opportunity. You've got a chance to play two [games] in two nights and that's two potential wins. The better we can do, and keep minutes down, gives us a better chance [tonight]."
Jason Terry led the Mavs with 17 points, Nowitzki finished with 11 and Shawn Marion added 10. Even Yi Jianlian scored his first Mavs' points on a 16-footer that put Dallas up 99-69 with 4:27 left.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760