Reporting Mike Fisher
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Kings-vs.-Mavs in games played in Dallas? This is Elmer Fudd haplessly hunting Bugs Bunny. This is Ahab futilely stabbing Moby-Dick. This is 17 straight times the home-standing Mavs have defeated sad-sack Sacto, thanks to a 119-96 decision on Monday at the AAC.
“’We needed everybody,’ Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said, but really, Dallas didn’t need much.
It was as automatic as ever.
The Mavs entered Monday’s visit from Sacto having won 16 straight home games against the Kings dating all the way back to 2003. Dallas has won those games by an average margin of 14.3 points.
Carlisle said all the right things in the pregame media session and was polite following the lopsided decision.
But the truth is, this margin was fatter than usual and noticeable from the start. The Mavs led by as many as 28 points in the first half, saw the 7-13 Kings cut into the lead in the third, but stepped on the gas from there, jumping back up 88-70 by the end of the third.
“We needed everybody,” Carlisle said, and Dallas’ accomplishment here (which includes a seventh home win in 10 tries, a third consecutive win and a vault to over .500 at 11-10) did include almost everybody. Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is still out, as is Shawn Marion (groin). Those two street-clothed Mavs had their fun clowning their way through a portion of the telecast on Fox Sports Southwest.
And indeed, Dallas used nine players for at least 19 minutes, with Derek Fisher, Darren Collisonm, Jae Crowder and defensive ace Dahntay Jones all scoring in double figures.
“We had a great time out there playing together as a unit,” Jones said. “I think we’re in a good place right now. We’ve made a lot of adjustments, we have some great leadership with Derek Fisher, great guys coming off the bench and we’re doing a lot of positive things. Our confidence is at a high place right now.”
Chris Kaman (playing on a bum ankle) scoring 18 points was pivotal. And more than anything, the story of the game was “same-old-same-old” when it comes to Dallas through this first quarter of the season:
Mayo, playing at an All-Star-worthy level, led the Mavericks with 19 points. Dallas is now 10-4 when Mayo has at least 19 points.
“O.J. came and got us off to a good start offensively,” Carlisle said.
The Mavs’ first-half domination included preventing the Kings from scoring in the second quarter until there was 6:10 remaining. Dallas’ 65-43 halftime lead meant season-bests for points scored and points allowed in a first half.
When it comes to playing in Dallas, the Kings find creative ways to get crushed. On Monday, that fact was low-lighted by the work of potential standout DeMarcus Cousins, who totaled 25 points, six rebounds, one sideline argument with opposing coach Carlisle and one subtle and unprovoked punch to the crotch of Mayo.
“He has the opportunity to be the face of the franchise,” Mayo said of Cousins, who he accused of having “mental issues” and immaturity. “But I don’t think he wants it.”
When the Kings play the Mavs, for 17 straight times now, it doesn’t matter if they want it. All that matters is, like Elmer Fudd and Ahab, they never get it.