With a 105-95 victory over the Washington Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks improved to 4-0 at home this season. It marks the first time since 2007-08 that the Mavericks have started 4-0 at home (when they won their first six home games of the year).
The night belonged to Dirk Nowitzki. With a 3-pointer at the 59.9-second mark of the third quarter, Nowitzki passed Jerry West (25,192) for 16th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. The basket gave him 16 points for the game (and 25,194 points for his career). Nowitzki finished with 19 points against Washington and now has 25,197 career points. Reggie Miller ranks 15th all-time in career scoring with 25,279 points. It wasn’t all sunshine for Nowitzki. There was a mild case of skepticism running through the arena as Nowitzki was seen wearing a sleeve on his left knee for the first time this year.
Monta Ellis was 3-of-10 from the field for nine points through the first three quarters, but went 4-of-6 in the final quarter for a total of 10 points. His 19 points tied Nowitzki for team-high honors. Despite the struggles in the early portion of the game, Ellis kept his nerve and helped his team in their time of need.
Coming off a career-high night against the Oklahoma City Thunder in their previous game, Wizards guard Bradley Beal went 2-of-10 from the field for only nine points.
Here is the quoteboard for the Mavericks victory over the Wizards.
On Dirk passing Jerry West: “It’s a monumental achievement to pass a player like that. He’s going to pass more big names in the weeks and months to come. This has been a fantastic career that Dirk has had. We’re going to do everything possible to extend it as long as possible.
On Monta Ellis recovering from a slow start to the game with a strong fourth quarter: “Huge, huge because we were struggling at that point. We were in the bonus, so we wanted to get the ball in his hand. He made four or five consecutive either shots or drives that gave us momentum and helped us get stops defensively.”
On the scoring fluctuations from quarter to quarter: “You always hope that you can have that disposition from the beginning to the end of each quarter, but sometimes you get knocked on your heels and you have to recover and fight back. We had to fight back in the first. …It’s a very good team [Washington]. They’re young guns that are very close to taking a quantum leap. We wanted to prevent them from taking a big leap tonight, and it was hard.”
On DeJuan Blair: “Once again, he brought energy, a physical presence, the scoring and rebounding. We need to have him keep doing what he’s doing. He’s become a much better screener for us. … The combination of him and [Samuel Dalembert] is a good one because they both provide different looks to the opponent. They’ve been a really solid one-two punch. They just need to keep going.”
On Ellis having Jason Terry-like moments where he wants the ball late in games: “Monta has always been aggressive by nature. He’s always had to carry the load since his first or second year. … He’s used to this. The thing I was really proud of and happy about tonight with his game was it was a little frustrating early. He was getting in the lane and not getting calls, but he kept defending Beal. … Defense on Beal was a big part of our game plan and Monta provided it. He was patient and disciplined. In the fourth when we just kind of went to him, he got it going and we rode him. He really helped us finish the game off. … He stepped up to the moment. He’s going to need to be a main playmaker for us in those situations all the time. He won’t necessarily have to always carry the major part of the scoring load, but he’s going to have his hands on the ball a lot.”
On the impact DeJuan Blair has on the team: “Oh my gosh, [he] has been deceiving with his hands. He’s been stealing the ball a lot and doing it really aggressively and talking smack doing it. I love it.
On Dirk passing Jerry West: “Congratulations. We’re going to keep breaking records on this team because we’ve got a lot of old guys. It’s another year of that.”
On coming through in the fourth quarter, despite struggling for most of the game: “The shots that I got early were good shots. They just weren’t falling. It’s going to be like that some nights. I stuck with it, and my teammates backed me up, my coach believed in me. I just felt like I had to do something. He called plays for me and I executed in the right spots.”
On the fact Carlisle called plays for him even though he was struggling: “It feels good. I love that moment of the game [the fourth quarter]; born for it. [Carlisle] still had the confidence in me to call those plays when I was having a bad shooting night. It showed me how much confidence he has in me.”
On his effort on Bradley Beal: “I thought we did a great team job. … We did a good job on him. I think it was just a team effort.”
On Dirk passing Jerry West: “Legend. He’s done a lot in this league and put a lot of points up. It’s well-deserved. I’m proud of him. He’s not done yet. He’s got a whole lot left in his tank.”
On passing Jerry West: “It’s nice, great accomplishment. The logo kind of says it all and sums it up. It’s another great milestone. For now, I’ve got to keep working and that’s really about it.”
On the sleeve on his left knee: “I’ll be all right. I’m a piece of work. We just had six games in nine days and four in five days. It is what it is. I’m alright.”
On Monta Ellis in the fourth quarter: “He’s going to keep attacking. That is his mindset. All good scorers in this league have got to have a short-term memory. … He was phenomenal.”
On Jerry West: “He was obviously a little before my time, but I love the history of the game. I’ve watched plenty of games and watched him shoot. He’s really the first guy to have a pure jump-shot like that. He’s the man, he’s clutch. He’s the logo.”