PHILADELPHIA – For the second night in a row, the Dallas Mavericks were in desperate need of some crucial points. And for the second night in a row, Monta Ellis rose up and came through in the clutch.
One night after scoring 10 straight points during Friday’s 106-102 win in Toronto, Ellis hit clutch basket after clutch basket Saturday night to aid the Mavs’ in their 110-103 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center.
The shooting spree and taking over of games by Ellis is something coach Rick Carlisle has grown accustomed to.
"Monta played a very patient game,’’ Carlisle said after his team improved to 13-5. "He played a great floor game the entire night, but he was very patience the first half -- they were taking away a lot of driving lanes and he just kept moving the ball.
"He was playing great defense, and then down the stretch when we needed it, it got to be a two-point game one time out of a timeout and we got him the ball and he scored, and he scored two or three times down the stretch to close it out. He played huge for us.’’
The winless Sixers (0-16) were within 98-94 of the Mavs. Then, Ellis flew in for a layup of a set play with 4:49 left, and followed that up with a brisk jumper to bump the Dallas lead to 102-94.
Shortly after Chandler Parsons and Richard Jefferson banged in bumper-to-bumper 3-pointers, Ellis sealed the deal with a jumper which padded the Mavs’ lead to 110-98 with 1:12 remaining.
In essence, if anyone was in panic mode, it sure weren’t the Mavs.
"It’s 48 minutes in this game,’’ said Ellis, who finished with 18 points and five assists. "You’ll get frustrated at times, but at the same time I’ve got great teammates (and) coaches that always tell me to stick with it and help me trough whatever is going on, so it’s easy for me to continue to play the game, as well as our team.
"We had a goal coming on this road trip to have a great and successful road trip, and we got the first two down and we’ve got two more, so we’re taking it game-by-game. But this game off a back-to-back with a young energetic team who’s hunting for a win, we knew it was going to be tough, but we stayed with it, rode the course and came out with a win.’’
With forward Dirk Nowitzki sitting out Saturday’s game so he could rest, a lot more of the offense fell on the lofty shoulders of Ellis.
"That’s our guy, that’s what he does,’’ guard Devin Harris said of Ellis. "With him and Dirk we’ve got two great finishers, and he stepped into his role, and I hope he can keep doing it for us.’’
Ellis, no doubt, is built to take over a game. Particularly when his jumper is falling the way it has been lately.
Then again, staying alert to play a Sixers squad the Mavs spanked 123-70 on Nov. 11 in Dallas must have been painstakingly difficult.
"It’s the NBA, anything can happen,’’ Ellis said. "We knew they were at home and they had a lot of energy and they scouted us from the last game and made some adjustment that went wrong the last game.
"We just had to stay with it and stay with our game and ride the course out, and we came out with a win.’’