How it happened: O.J. Mayo put the Mavericks in front late in the first half and made sure they stayed there in the second half, scoring a game-high 30 points -- 21 on 3-pointers -- in a 126-99 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. The Mavericks' highest point total last season was 122 against Phoenix on Jan. 30, 2012. Dallas is 16-0 in franchise history over the Bobcats, who ended a 23-game losing streak by beating the Indiana Pacers on Friday night. It was also Rick Carlisle's 200th victory in Dallas. That puts him third behind Don Nelson (339 wins) and Dick Motta (329).
Mayo was sure comfortable on the perimeter, making 7-of-10 from 3-point land, which set a new career high. He benefitted from Darren Collison's ability to penetrate and then kick the ball out if needed. Collison had a double-double, adding 18 points to go along with 10 assists.
But it wasn't just a two-man show. Vince Carter made his presence felt on both ends of the court, getting some timely blocks and also making pivotal outside shots to help end Bobcats' runs. Carter had 18 points. All of it helped Dallas build a 16-point lead after three quarters.
Chris Kaman, who missed the first two games with a strained right calf, saw his first action of the season early, getting in the game with 10:06 remaining in the first quarter. He ended up playing 21 minutes and was a perfect 7-for-7 from the field after three quarters. He finished with 16 points and four rebounds.
What it means: To make the postseason, the Mavericks must win the games they are supposed to win, especially at home. Charlotte won seven games last year and even though they ended their long losing streak Friday night, Dallas was clearly the superior team. After a slow start, the Mavs played like it. ... Dallas rebounded better, staying pretty even with the Bobcats, and dominated from the perimeter. That helps them obscure one troubling area: turnovers. They had 22 and the Bobcats scored 19 points off them. Charlotte had 12 turnovers.
Play of the game: With the Mavericks in the middle of a mini-run to get the lead back late in the first half, Collison sprinted up court with time winding down. He glanced at the clock and then put up a running 3-pointer just past half-court. The ball dropped in and the crowd jumped to its feet. The buzzer-beating bucket gave the Mavericks an eight-point lead at the half just minutes after they were down by one. They never looked back. Honorable Mention: Carter caused the loudest noise from the AAC crowd in the first quarter, going around Ben Gordon and over Bismack Biyombo for a monster dunk with about 3:30 left. The basket helped the Mavericks extend out to a double-digit lead in the quarter. Honorable Mention II: Collison hit Kaman for an alley-oop midway through the third quarter that pushed the Mavericks' lead out even further.
Stat of the night: Dallas had 16 3-pointers with Mayo and Carter doing the most damage from outside the arc. The Mavericks were 16-for-25 and Carter and Mayo had a combined 11 of those makes. The Bobcats were just 3-of-17 from the 3-point stripe.
Tidbits: Gerald Henderson left in the third quarter with a left foot sprain and didn't return. ... SMU coach Larry Brown was courtside for the game. Brown was fired by the Bobcats two years ago. ... Shawn Marion spoke to fans before the game and thanked them for supporting the club and being in the arena for the home opener. ... Marion blocked two shots from former teammate Brendan Haywood, who got a nice reception from Mavs fans when he was introduced.