CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Three weeks into the season the Dallas Mavericks are already in midseason form.
The Mavs routed the Charlotte Hornets 107-80 on Monday night, leading by as many as 33 points with a display so dominant that the starters rested the entire fourth quarter.
It was the Mavs’ fourth straight win, and it was a performance that thrilled coach Rick Carlisle.
“When you’re trying to be a championship-caliber team you’ve got to be able to build leads and sustain efforts, and we did a good job with that tonight,” Carlisle said. “We did a lot of good things. Now we’re in a position where we’ve got to keep momentum and we’ve got to sustain a good effort like tonight.”
Guard Monta Ellis led six Mavs in double figures with 18 points, and forward Chandler Parsons had 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Forward Dirk Nowitzki finished with 13 points, but that was enough for him to surpass the 27,000-point plateau for his career. He’s now one of four players in NBA history to score at least 27,000 points with the same franchise, joining Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
The Mavs (8-3) shot 61.9 percent from the field in the first half, racing to a 67-43 halftime lead. They wound up shooting 51.2 percent for the game, had 32 assists on 43 field goals, and committed only eight turnovers.
“We’re playing consistent, playing together, playing unselfish,” Parsons said. “We’re focusing on the defensive end. We know we’ve got guys that can score the ball and we’re really starting to connect defensively. We just wanted to come out and play principled, play our game, and then once we got up, not give them any hope.
“We moved the ball well tonight, and it’s all a product of our system. It’s perfect for our personnel. If we get stops, we can get out in transition and make the extra pass, and we’ve got a lot of guys who can do a lot of different things. When we’re playing like that, we’re tough to stop.”
The Mavs also got 14 points from center Tyson Chandler on 7-of-7 shooting, 11 points and eight assists from guard Jameer Nelson, 10 points from forward Brandan Wright, and nine points and 11 rebounds from forward Al-Farouq Aminu.
Charlotte (4-7) has now lost two straight and four of its last five. The Hornets were returning home from a four-game Western road trip that ended with a 112-87 loss at Golden State on Saturday night.
The Hornets shot an even 40 percent from the field, were outrebounded 50-35, and allowed the Mavs 50 points in the paint.
“That’s a tired team,” Carlisle said of the Hornets. “They’re coming off a back-to-back on the West Coast, playing at 11:30 Pacific time on Saturday and then coming back East. That’s a hard turnaround. So we caught a break there. But it’s going to go the other way some nights for us. In this league, you take wins any way you can get them and move on to the next one.”
Guard Gerald Henderson led the Hornets with 18 points. Guards Kemba Walker and Jannero Pargo scored 11 each. But their leading scorer, center Al Jefferson, finished with only six, on 3-of-12 shooting from the field.
“Obviously, for the second time in a row, we just didn’t have a readiness in our approach,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “Against a team like that, you have to be on it, disciplined, together and willing to fight for every possession. We just weren’t there tonight.
“Every team is going to have a stretch like this. We took some injuries to guys that were playing well, but to me, it has to be better for longer. We have to have fight. In order to play well and consistently in this league, you have to find your group’s intensity so that you can play the same way every night. Obviously that’s what we’re struggling to find.”
NOTES: The Hornets were without G Gary Neal (concussion) and F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (stress reaction, right foot). … Mavs G Raymond Felton was left back at the hotel, serving the first game of a four-game suspension. … The Mavs came into the game leading the NBA in fewest turnovers, averaging 11.3 per game. … Hornets F Jeffery Taylor remains away from the team as the NBA continues to investigate his domestic assault case. He has already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to probation. … Mavs G J.J. Barea leads in the NBA in assist/turnover ratio at 6.80, while F Brandan Wright leads the league in field goal percentage at .774. … The Mavs’ 123-70 win over Philadelphia last Thursday was the largest victory margin in franchise history. The Mavs led by 44 at halftime, also a franchise record. … The Mavs will play at Washington on Wednesday. … The Hornets will play at Indiana on Wednesday.
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