The Dallas Mavericks probably wish they could clone that 105-83 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.
The Mavs shot 52.6 percent from the field, made 13 of 26 3-pointers, outrebounded Chicago 39-34, and had 26 assists.
“It’s one of the first times I’ve seen us really play a complete game for 48 minutes in a while,” forward Vince Carter said. “Everybody was on the same page and we were locked in offensively and defensively. That’s just the benchmark on how we need to play.”
The Mavs (17-13) hope to do the same when they meet the Minnesota Timberwolves (15-15) at 7 p.m. Monday at the Target Center.
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“I was pleased with the way we played, I was pleased with our resolve when they made runs at us,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said.
“I’ve been around too long to trust happiness. That’s an old Chuck Daly-ism. Don’t trust happiness.”
Daly is the late coach who led the Detroit Pistons to back-to-back NBA titles in 1989 and 1990.
Saturday’s victory was the seventh time this season the Mavericks had won by 10 or more points.
“How you build on that is just by bringing the same energy and the same mentality we came into the game against Chicago with,” center Samuel Dalembert said. “We came in, we communicated, we moved and we scrambled a lot.”
Carlisle said the Mavericks have to build on the victory.
“You’ve got to resist the temptation to start feeling too good, and that’s how you keep an edge is by keep continuing to push,” Carlisle said. “That’s what we’re doing as a staff and I think our guys understand, and [Monday] we’ll lace it up and get after it again.”
Playing through illness
Because he was ill, center Brandan Wright knew he wasn’t going to be at his best against Chicago.
Still, the seven-year veteran had six points, two rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot in 16 minutes.
“I was a little weak during the game, but I feel a lot better today,” Wright said following Sunday’s practice at the Target Center. “I knew I needed to get out there and help out. “I should feel close to 100 percent [Monday].”
Carlisle marveled at how Wright was able to play, make all three of his field-goal attempts and have a solid impact after he missed Thursday’s contest against San Antonio and also did not practice Friday.
“I thought he did well considering what he came off of, because I had the same thing two weeks ago,” Carlisle said. “For a 24-36 hour period it’s a real miserable state to be in, and then you feel better, but then you’re weak.
“For not participating in practice [Friday] the previous day he did well. So hopefully the worst is done.”