Sports

Dallas Mavericks find offensive stride against Kings

DALLAS -- The air seemed fresher and the drama certainly was behind them.

In their first game post-Lamar Odom, the Dallas Mavericks put on one of their best offensive performances of the season in racing past the Sacramento Kings 110-100 on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center.

It was a game where the Mavericks got 15 points apiece from Dirk Nowitzki and Rodrigue Beaubois and13 points apiece from Jason Terry and Delonte West in one of their most balanced offensive showings of the season.

And it all came on the heels on Monday's explosive events, when the Mavericks parted ways with Odom, who was the big-time off-season acquisition they thought would help them win back-to-back NBA titles. So, were the Mavs all-in against the Kings now that they know that the team's biggest distraction is no longer around?

"This is a team, we've got a lot of veteran guys in here, so we've dealt with worse," Terry said. "It's a situation that it wasn't working out and management has decided to move on, as has the team.

"We wish him luck in his future endeavors. But as far as the Dallas Mavericks, we are a team vying for playoff position and we're ready to go forward."

The Mavericks improved their record to 32-26 and will embark on a four-game road trip, which starts Thursday at Golden State. But they do so knowing they were able to grab tons of confidence while shooting 50 percent form the field and outrebounding the Kings by 16.

"He was part of this team all year and I'm sorry that situation happened," said Shawn Marion, who had 10 points and 14 rebounds. "Everybody is still going to compete and step up their scoring."

The Mavericks led 27-25 after the first quarter and 57-50 at the half. Yi Jianlian picked up some of the minutes that would have gone to Odom and responded with eight points in eight minutes.

Also, Jason Kidd returned after missing four games with a strained right groin and contributed seven points, six rebounds and seven assists in 22 minutes.

"[Odom's] gone, but again our biggest difference is Jason Kidd is back," Terry said. "When you have your leader, your point guard, I think that's more of what we're looking at with the feel of everything out here."

And smoothness is exactly what coach Rick Carlisle was looking for.

"This is the first time we've had this complement of players healthy," Carlisle said. "It's a beginning. We don't have a lot of time to be experimenting and this and that. Every second counts from here on out, and we know that."

The Mavs also know victories like the one they got against the Kings must continue if they want to enhance their standing in the Western Conference.

"It's always fun when you're playing for something," Terry said. "Right now, as you know, each game is critical, and obviously tonight was a big win for us."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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