How it happened: Deron Williams, the point guard who decided this summer that he’d rather move to Brooklyn than play for the Mavericks, dominated the second half during the Nets’ annual trip to Dallas.
Brooklyn big man Brook Lopez dominated the entire game.
The 7-foot Lopez lit up the Mavs for a season-high 38 points and 11 rebounds, making 15 of 22 shots from the floor. Williams shrugged off a sluggish start to pour in 26 of his 31 points in the second half.
Williams was 13-of-25 from the floor, including a dagger 3-pointer with a little more than two minutes remaining, despite missing 5 of 7 attempts in the first half. He also dished out six assists.
Williams and Lopez took over the third quarter, when the Nets broke a halftime tie and took the lead for good. Lopez had 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the frame; Williams scored 13 on 5-of-7 shooting.
Meanwhile, Mavs star Dirk Nowitzki didn’t even attempt a shot from the floor during the third quarter. He finished with a team-high 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
The Mavs, who made 50.6 percent of their field goal attempts, didn’t have a problem scoring points. They simply couldn’t stop the Nets, especially once The Colony native Williams got cooking.
What it means: The Mavs started a critical six-game homestand on a sour note. The loss dropped Dallas (32-36) to 3½ games behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers in the West standings with only 14 games remaining on the Mavs’ schedule. The Nets (40-28) remain in fourth place in the East, a game behind the crosstown rival New York Knicks.
Play of the game: An in-the-zone Williams swished a fadeaway jumper from the right corner to stretch the Nets’ lead to nine midway through the third quarter. Williams, who claimed Wednesday morning that this was “just another game” to him, couldn’t resist turning around and cracking a grin toward the Mavs’ bench while trotting up the floor.
Stat of the night: With his fourth rebound, Nowitzki became the 10th man in NBA history with at least 24,000 points and 9,000 rebounds. He joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Wilt Chamberlain, Shaquille O’Neal, Moses Malone, Elvin Hayes, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kevin Garnett and Patrick Ewing in that exclusive club.