Dallas, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Dirk Nowitzki paced a balanced Dallas scoring attack with 24 points as the Mavericks posted a 111-99 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies at American Airlines Center.
Five other Dallas players finished in double figures to help the Mavericks improve to 2-1 on the young season. Shawn Marion amassed 21 points along with 14 rebounds, offseason acquisitions Monta Ellis and Jose Calderon chipped in 18 and 15 points, respectively, and Samuel Dalembert contributed 14 points and nine rebounds to the win.
"I definitely think we've got an opportunity and chances for a lot of guys to have big nights," said Marion afterward. "The way we're moving the ball, it's just a matter of doing it; who gets going first, who's being more aggressive or who is getting opportunities and is in the right place at the right time."
Despite a 24-point, eight-assist effort out of Mike Conley and a 21-point, 14- rebound performance from Zach Randolph, the Grizzlies trailed for much of the contest to fall to 1-2 under first-year head coach David Joerger. Marc Gasol added 23 points in defeat.
The Mavericks used a 13-0 run midway through the first quarter to speed out to an early 16-6 lead and never trailed thereafter, though Memphis stayed within striking distance for much of the way due to the efforts of its top three threats.
Dallas later closed out the period with a 16-5 burst to open up a commanding 32-16 advantage, with the surge keyed by six first-quarter turnovers the Mavs forced that were converted into nine points.
"We dug ourselves into a hole early and we can't start games that way," said Conley. "We don't like playing from behind and you can't play from behind against good teams. [Dallas] came out tonight and threw the first punch and set the tone for the rest of the game."
The margin grew to 21 points after Jose Calderon knocked down a trey with 5:46 left in the second quarter to make the score 47-26, but the Grizzlies roared back via a 17-1 spurt in which Conley had six points and sixth man Jerryd Bayless put up five. Bayless' driving layup with 1:01 left in the half cut the deficit to 48-43, and Memphis trailed by six at the break after Nowitzki hit just 1-of-2 foul shots in the closing seconds.
Dallas was clinging to a 68-63 edge late in the third quarter before finally beginning to pull away in the fourth. A 7-0 spurt highlighted by Vince Carter's 3-point play extended the lead to 12 early in the final frame, and the Mavericks dominated the last seven minutes to keep its division rival at bay.
Memphis' fate was sealed when Dallas put together another 7-0 stretch to go up 93-77 with just under six minutes to play, with Marion accounting for five of those points. The Mavericks held a lead of at least eight points the rest of the way.
The Grizzlies had won seven of the last nine meetings between the clubs, including three of last season's four matchups ... Carter ended with 11 points off the bench ... Memphis' Tony Allen was scoreless on 0-of-6 shooting in 20 minutes of time, while fellow starter Tayshaun Prince had just three points ... Dallas went 40-of-46 from the foul line, with Nowitzki knocking down 9- of-10 free throws and Ellis going 8-of-10 from the stripe.