Wednesday was a perfect example of what Monta Ellis can do when he cranks it up a notch or two.
Ellis was in such a pleasant groove against the Indiana Pacers that he almost registered a double-double — in the first half. The shooting guard finished with 13 points, nine assists and three steals in 24 minutes as the Dallas Mavericks squared their preseason record at 2-2 with a 92-85 victory over the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Ellis, acquired in the off-season as a free agent, only played seven minutes in the third quarter before retiring for the night. His only stat after halftime was one rebound.
“The good thing is that we were able to get going and get a lot of guys involved,’’ Ellis said. “My teammates were just making shots for me.”
Also for the Mavs, Shawn Marion had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Dirk Nowitzki had 11 points and five boards, and Samuel Dalembert collected nine points, eight boards and four blocks.
For the third straight game the Mavs reduced their turnover total, finishing with 11. They also won the rebounding battle 48-46 after being swamped on the boards by Orlando 54-32 on Monday.
“This league is about consistency, so we’ve got to keep pushing to continue to do that,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Other than a lag about midway through the first quarter I thought we played pretty well.”
Second-year forward Jae Crowder (12 points) and rookie point guard Gal Mekel (seven points, six assists, three turnovers) also acquitted themselves well for the Mavs.
“I thought we played with pace, with intelligence and with an edge,” Carlisle said. “And that’s how you’ve got to play in this league.”
The Mavs next face the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. It will be the first game of the preseason for Mavs starting point guard Jose Calderon, who has battled a strained left hamstring since the second day of training camp.
Roster cuts will wait
Particularly with Brandan Wright (shoulder), Jose Calderon (hamstring), Devin Harris (toe), Ricky Ledo (ankle) and Shane Larkin (ankle) out nursing injuries, Rick Carlisle isn’t ready to trim his 20-man roster.
“Everybody’s doing enough good things that we don’t need to cut anybody right now,” Carlisle said. “We’ll know when that time is.”
NBA teams must cut their roster to a maximum of 15 players by Oct. 28.
Harris to have X-rays
Point guard Devin Harris said he will have X-rays performed Thursday on the surgically repaired toe on his left foot.
He also said he’ll next visit with doctors at the end of this month or the first week of November.
Harris underwent surgery this summer and will miss the entire preseason. There is no timetable for his return.
Carlisle glad for Cuban
Mavs owner Mark Cuban was cleared Wednesday by a jury in federal district court in Dallas of insider trading charges.
“I had no doubt that he would be,” Rick Carlisle said. “And I’m very glad to hear that.”