Jae Crowder told us that Chicago is a team they are supposed to beat, and without superstar Derrick Rose and Luol Deng in the lineup Dallas made it look easy.
Dallas went on a 15-2 run to end the first quarter and take a 30-19 lead. The second quarter was highlighted by two four-point plays by Jae Crowder and Dirk Nowitzki. They outscored the Bulls 61-34 at the halfway mark. Coach Rick Carlisle on the hot start:
We were locked in from the jump and we didn’t have to play catch-up, and I think that’s good for our team….We had to bring more energy and we had to do it from the beginning. We had to hit those guys first because they do a great job of trying to take teams out of their game early.
Even though the Mavs carried a 86-56 advantage into the fourth quarter, the Bulls made a 16-0 run to make things interesting. Vince Carter would end the run with a layup at the 6:16 mark. Carter was impressive off the bench with 18 points. Monta Ellis on his play:
When he plays the way he played, we’re a whole different team
Ellis finished with a team high 22 points, Dirk had 18 points, and Shawn Marion was in Matrix form with a double-double (14 points, 13 rebounds).
Game Notes: Brandan Wright returned after missing the San Antonio game due to illness. Wayne Ellington did not travel with the team due to illness.