DALLAS – For the second consecutive game, the Dallas Mavericks had a rather easy time getting out of their arena with a win.
Two days after hammering the Philadelphia 7ers, 123-70, the Mavs scooted by the Minnesota Timberwolves, 131-117, before a sellout crowd of 19,730 at American Airlines Center. It was a game where Monta Ellis – with 35 minutes – was the lone Mavs who played more than 29 minutes.
In other words, this was one of those just what the doctor ordered type of games for the Mavs. Low minutes for the starters and a victory to boot.
"It’s a long season, so the more games we have like this where we can get everybody in and get everybody reps and get the high minute guys off the court in the fourth quarter, that’s always nice to do,’’ said Chandler Parsons, who had 12 points, five, rebounds and five assists in 29 minutes. "Tonight is one of those nights where we took care of business early, so we were able to do that.’’
The Mavs led the Sixers, 73-29, at the half, and led the Timberwolves 63-44 at the half. In both cases Dallas stepped on the gas early and often and boldly let the opponent know their chances of winning were slim.
Still, the Mavs are a bit grumpy that Minnesota did pop them for 73 points in the second half.
"Tonight we got a little sloppy defensively,’’ Parsons said. "But for the most part we continued to play for 48 minutes and not allowed these teams to even think for a minute that they can win the game.
"It’s just a mindset you have to have early and come out of the gate,. We’ve really been emphasizing having strong third quarters since we struggled with that early.’’
As the Mavs prepare for a two-game road trip which starts Monday ion Charlotte, guard Monta Ellis knows they have to pick up the pace on defense.
"We just need to take it game-by-game,’’ said Ellis, who scored a team-high 30 points. "It’s the beginning of the season, we have a lot of time to get going and be one on defense.
"We’re still learning each other, but a lot of guys out there have each other’s back and we’re scrambling a lot. We know we’re going to miss shots, we just need to get down there and help the big guy rebound.’’