DALLAS -- Something very simple stood out to coach Rick Carlisle after the Mavericks’ most lopsided win of the season.
“The thing I thought we did best was respect the opponent,” Carlisle said after a 102-76 rout of a Milwaukee squad that was missing big man Andrew Bogut and three other rotation players. “We approached the game with tenacity because playing back to back is an opportunity. You’ve got a chance to play two in two nights with two potential wins. The better we can do and keep the minutes down gives us a better chance [the next night].”
Fatigue shouldn’t be too much of a factor for the Mavs in Saturday night’s matchup with the Sacramento Kings, even though it will be Dallas’ fourth game in five nights.
The Mavs seized control against the Bucks early and turned the game into a blowout early in the second half, ensuring that the Mavs’ key players could enjoy the fourth quarter from the comfort of the bench. None of the Mavs’ starters played a single second in the final frame. Sixth man Jason Terry played the most minutes among the Mavs, and his 25-minute stint wasn’t a heavy workload.
A few more notes from the Mavs’ fourth straight win:
1. Vince Carter proved during the first quarter that he can still take over a game for a burst. He had 11 of his season-high 16 points in the first seven minutes, including a couple of driving dunks. He made his first five from the floor during that scoring spree and seven of 10 in the game. “I was just trying to give our team a little life at the start,” Carter said. “You have to hit first.”
2. Rodrigue Beaubois scored a season-high 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Carlisle praised the young combo guard, unlike his reaction to Beaubois’ 11-point performance last week, when the coach criticized the kid’s poor decision-making and lack of defensive intensity. “Roddy’s getting better,” Carlisle said, pointing out that Beaubois’ penetration was “more north-south” and his defensive intensity had been turned up several notches.
3. Centers Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi combined for only four points against the Bucks, but the Mavs still exploited Bogut’s absence. With Milwaukee lacking a shot-blocking threat, the Mavs attacked the paint early and often. They scored 16 points in the paint during the first quarter and 42 in the game.