LOS ANGELES – Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle described it as a breath-taking performance in the second half by Monta Ellis.
Ellis, though, shrugged off talk of the slump he was mired in entering Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
"It’s a long season,’’ Ellis said. "There’s 82 games.
"Sometimes you go through stretches when it be like that. You just got to stay positive, do the necessary work you need to get yourself going.’’
Digital Access For Only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Ellis certainly got going Sunday as he poured in 31 points to guide the Mavs to a much-needed 100-93 victory over the Lakers at the STAPLES Center. It’s the most points Ellis has score din a game since he popped the Houston Rockets for 33 points back on Jan. 28.
Ellis scored 26 points and was 10-of-17 from the field in the second half as the Lakers couldn’t contain him. And during his red-hot shooting spree in the third quarter, Ellis was 7-of-11 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range.
By contrast, Ellis knocked down just 4 baskets from 3-point range in 29 attempts in the previous nine games since the All-Star break.
"It was a breath-taking half of basketball, shot-making, play-making, everything,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said of Ellis. "He showed a lot of persistence and wherewithal to hang in after a rough first half.
"It was big getting him back on track, it was big getting another win.’’
The Mavs will be hard-pressed to win games if Ellis is not an offensive factor. That’s why they all were nervous wondering why he was shooting just 38.5 percent from the floor since the All-Star game.
Mavs’ nerves still must have been frazzled after Ellis was just 2-of-5 form the field with five points in the first half. But he busted loose in a very big half when he tallied 18 point sin the third quarter on 7-of-11 shooting, including making 4-of-5 baskets from behind the 3-point line.
"He was huge,’’ said Chandler Parsons, who scored 11 points in his first game after missing seven games with left ankle injuries. "It’s nothing new to us, we’ve seen him do it a lot this year.
"He’s one of the better closers in the fourth quarter. So we’re going to need him continue to do that and hit big shots for us.’’
Overall, Ellis was 12-of-22 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point territory while declaring "I’m back’’ after the game. He also gave credit to his teammates who set effective screens which enabled him to operate much better.
Ellis, who added that he never loses confidence in his game, said: "Like I said, my big men did a great job of screening and I was able to attack and get myself going and was able to knock down shots.’’
Those shots helped the Mavs (41-24) snap a two-game losing streak and end this rugged three-game road trip with a 1-2 worksheet. It also enabled them to exhale, especially as they face a brutal five-game home stand which starts Tuesday against Cleveland.
"You’ve just got to climb out of the hole,’’ Ellis said. "We did everything we needed to do tonight to get that win to feel good about ourselves going home for this two-week stretch and try to put some wins together.
"We needed a win and the team did a great job of coming together and getting stops and helping one another get this win tonight. It was a total team effort.’’