CHARLOTTE, N.C. – As Tyson Chandler digested the game plan before Monday’s game against Charlotte, he knew he was going to be involved in a major tussle with Hornets center Al Jefferson.
Consider that tussle won by Chandler.
Behind 14 points and nine rebounds from Chandler, the Dallas Mavericks exploded for an easy 107-80 win over the Hornets before 15,345 at Time Warner Cable Arena.
A glance of the stat sheet shows Chandler finished 7-of-7 from the field with 14 points and nine rebounds in 23 minutes. Jefferson, meanwhile, was just 3-of-12 from the field and had s season-low six points and five rebounds in 25 minutes.
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So how did Chandler tame Jefferson?
"I think we just made a good game plan, made it tough for him,’’ Chandler said. "He forced too many tough shots when he did good looks.
"He’s going to get 20-25 touches down there per game, so you’ve always got to be active and aware of where he’s at. For me, its constant back screens, screens off the ball.’’
In essence, Chandler had to monitor Jefferson’s every move because he’s the catalyst for the Hornets.
"He’s constantly going from block to block and trying to find those little looks in there,’’ Chandler said. "He’s definitely a change of pace (player), but it was one I knew I could lock into coming into the game.’’
The Mavs had gotten burned at home on Nov. 9 to Miami, losing 105-96, to an east coast team that altered the pace of the game. This time the Mavs learned their lessons.
"When the change of pace came to us in the Miami game we didn’t respond well,’’ Chandler said. ‘So it was good to see that we came out tonight and responded and took on the challenge.’’