Pistons vs. Mavericks Game Preview - February 22, 2014
Regular Season Game #56After scorching the nets in the opener to a favorable road trip, the Dallas Mavericks will seek to continue their dominance over the Detroit Pistons.
The Mavericks will also try to add to their recent success away from home with their fifth straight win against the Pistons on Saturday night.
Dallas (33-23) is on a three-game road trip against Eastern Conference teams that are a combined 59-107 and beat Philadelphia 124-112 on Friday. The Mavericks shot 62.3 percent, their best showing since a 65.5-percent performance in Houston on Nov. 25, 2009.
Dirk Nowitzki had a team-best 25 points on 9-of-12 shooting, and Shawn Marion made 11 of 14 shots while finishing with 22 points. The 76ers used eight players in their rotation after trading away three on Thursday.
The Mavericks never trailed and led by double digits through much of the game but had to endure an 8-0 run from Philadelphia that cut their advantage to five points late in the first half.
"We kept our composure and were able to sustain the lead," said Marion, whose team remains one game in front of Memphis for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
Dallas shot 58.1 percent in its only meeting with Detroit (23-32) this season, a 116-106 home victory Jan. 26. Nowitzki shook off a sore left knee to score a game-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting.
The Mavericks have won nine of 10 in the series and in four of their last five visits to Detroit. They head into the Palace of Auburn Hills having won four of five on the road and seven of nine overall.
The Pistons are coming off the end to a three-game skid and they avoided a third straight home loss with a 115-107 victory over Atlanta on Friday. Kyle Singler made a pair of late 3-pointers and scored 20 points while helping Detroit pull away from the Hawks, who used an eight-player rotation with starting point guard Jeff Teague out due to a sprained ankle.
Atlanta scored 41 points in the second quarter en route to an 11-point halftime lead but the Pistons erased that deficit late in the third quarter.
"We came together at halftime. We asked each other if we really want this," center Andre Drummond said. "We looked each other in the eyes as men and we all came together and decided we wanted to do this. So we came out firing."
Greg Monroe led six Detroit players in double figures with 22 points and had 15 rebounds. Drummond had 20 points on 10-of-11 shooting and helped the Pistons finish at a season-high 54.0 percent.
Leading scorer Brandon Jennings had 12 points on 3 of 12 from the field after getting ejected for two technical fouls in a 116-98 loss at Charlotte on Wednesday. Jennings had a team-best 26 points while making 10 of 18 shots in the loss to Dallas.
Josh Smith scored 25 and Monroe had 20 on 9-of-13 shooting.
Drummond, meanwhile, matched a season low with four points. Nowitzki is averaging 25.9 points in his last 18 games against Detroit but averaged 15.0 points in two matchups before the win in January.