Monta Ellis led the way with 22 points, and Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points for the sixth-straight game, and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Utah Jazz 103-81 on Feb. 7 for their fourth-straight victory.
The Mavericks, winners of five of their last six, had four in double figures. Jose Calderon and Samuel Dalembert each contributed 12 points as the Mavs shot 54 percent from downtown, while holding the Jazz to just 41 percent overall.
Dallas moved to 30-21 and nine games over .500 for the first time since Feb. 20, 2012. The Mavs pulled into a tie for 7th with the Phoenix Suns, and a half game back of the Golden State Warriors for 6th. The Suns and Warriors face off tomorrow night.
Nowitzki isn’t the only one that is peaking at the moment, but Ellis, and especially Dalembert are playing well.
Ellis has now scored 20 or more in three of the last four games, averaging 19.5 points in that span. He’s also averaging 4.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 2.3 steals in his last four.
After a rough start, Dalembert has played exceptionally well in the month of February, averaging 14.7 points, and eight rebounds in three games. He’s played an average of 24 minutes this month after averaging 16.9 in January.
These are the Mavericks that fans had envisioned when Dallas started the season.
The Mavs have a shot of going on a six-game win streak with road matches with the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Bobcats before finishing the first half with a true test in Indiana versus the Pacers on Feb. 12.
If the Mavericks can give the Pacers all they can handle, it’ll show that Dallas will be a good shot in the second half and more, like the Western Conference playoffs.
Everyone has to play the way they’ve been playing over the last two weeks. The Mavericks could be on a six-game win streak now, but lost to the Houston Rockets 117-115 on Jan. 29.
The key will be defense. Dallas will score, but if it doesn’t play defense, the Mavericks will get nowhere. They got away with it against Utah because the Jazz is last place in the west, and only averages 95 points a game.
The Celtics and Bobcats are must wins. Boston is slightly better than the Jazz, and if Rajon Rondo plays, Rick Carlisle will have to make changes to his defensive calls.
The Bobcats are even worse out of the three, averaging 94.3 a game, but Kemba Walker has returned from injury and Al Jefferson is play at an all-star level. Jefferson has scored 20 or more in 12 of the last 13, and 30 or more in six during that span.
Dallas has only faced Charlotte once, a 89-82 home win on Dec. 3. Nowitzki scored a game-high 25 points.