'Too much Monta' pays off for Mavs again

MILWAUKEE -- Monta Ellis' wild, spinning, 18-footer over three Milwaukee Bucks at the buzzer Wednesday night might have been the sweetest one-legged fadeaway in franchise history.

"For sure!" declared Dirk Nowitzki, the father of the one-footed fade, giddy that the Dallas Mavericks found a way to pull out a hard-fought 107-105 win while he rested his 36-year-old legs less than 24 hours after a double-overtime victory in Chicago.

Nowitzki, wearing a gray suit and blue dress shirt, joined owner Mark Cuban and the rest of the Mavs in mobbing Ellis on the Bradley Center floor after one of the most spectacular buzzer-beaters any of them had ever seen.

With the score tied and 8.9 seconds remaining, there was no doubt who was going to get the last shot for Dallas. It was simply a matter of whether Ellis, whose 38-point performance in Tuesday's win over the Chicago Bulls included the game-tying free throws at the end of regulation and game-winning 3-pointer, could deliver in the clutch for the second consecutive night.

The play didn't unfold exactly how coach Rick Carlisle envisioned it, but the Mavs got the most important part right. They got the ball in their star shooting guard's hands.

"We wanted Monta to have the ball at the end and hit the shot and get out of here," Carlisle said. "Look, that's an All-Star. That's an All-Star, flat out."

Ellis caught the inbounds pass about 40 feet from the basket near the right sideline with Bucks guard O.J. Mayo playing tight defense. Ellis didn't dribble until 3.5 seconds remained on the clock, waiting longer than Carlisle anticipated. As he approached the lane, the Milwaukee defense collapsed, with wing Khris Middleton and center Zaza Pachulia joining Mayo in forming a wall in front of Ellis.

Then the spectacular happened. Ellis spun back and away from the Bucks' trio, somehow controlling his body well enough to launch off his left foot and float the shot over Mayo's outstretched hand. Ellis was at midcourt by the time the ball splashed through the net, a tick after the red lights around the backboard went off.

The Bucks wanted a walk called. The Mavs ran off the floor hollering and hoorahing.

It was the fourth bucket of the final 94 seconds for Ellis, who finished with a team-high 23 points on 11-of-26 shooting. He opted not to speak to reporters after the game, but the rest of the Mavs couldn't stop talking about the buzzer-beating beauty.

"It was an amazing shot, amazing shot," Nowitzki said. "Played the clock all the way down, turned around, spun. I don't even know if he saw the rim."

Added Chandler Parsons, who contributed 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals: "I would think it's normally a circus shot, but coming out of his hands, I had a feeling it was going to go in. ... Crazy. Probably one of the tougher makes I've ever seen."

And Carlisle: "He just made a phenomenal play, phenomenal play. That's all you can say. They'll be watching that shot on 'SportsCenter' for the next day and a half."

It was a fitting final act of a phenomenal road trip for Ellis, who was the biggest factor in the Mavs' 4-0 sweep through the East. He averaged 27.3 points and 4.8 assists during the trip, consistently saving his best for crunch time.

Ellis had 15 of his 30 points in the final 4:46 of a 106-102 win over the Toronto Raptors to start the trip. He hit the three free throws to send Tuesday's game in Chicago into overtime and scored seven of his season-high 38 points in the second overtime, including the game-winning 3 with 39.9 seconds remaining, to allow the Mavs to escape with a 132-129 win. And he capped it off with his clutch scoring spree in Milwaukee, breaking the Bucks' hearts with the buzzer-beater.

"Too much Monta," said Mavs big man Tyson Chandler (18 points, 20 rebounds), using a catchphrase from the Run DMC parody video produced by the team. "He's been playing unbelievable."