Ejection, Grizzlies ruin Nowitzki's return

Zach Randolph had 23 points and 20 rebounds, and the Memphis Grizzlies ruined Dirk Nowitzki's abbreviated return with an 89-70 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

Darrell Arthur finished with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field, and Rudy Gay added 16 as the Grizzlies won their second straight and fifth in the last seven.

Nowitzki, Dallas' leading scorer with 24.1 points per game, returned after missing nine games with a sprained right knee. But he managed only seven points before being ejected in the third quarter as the Mavs were held to their lowest point total of the season and lost their fifth straight.

Ian Mahinmi led Dallas with 17 points, hitting all six of his shots, while Shawn Marion scored 11.

The rust from missing nine games was evident for Nowitzki. He looked tentative in his time on the floor, not cutting sharply or running as hard as usual.

With 8:08 left in the third period and after getting called for a foul against Randolph, Nowitzki's frustration spilled over. He took two quick technicals from official Eric Dalen and was ejected, finishing with seven points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.

By the end of the third, Memphis was up 67-48 as Dallas looked completely out of synch. The Mavericks were 5 of 20 from the field in the quarter, and Memphis coasted home from there.

Memphis used 17 first-half points and 11 rebounds from Randolph to lead 46-36 at the break.

Memphis led by as many as 15 in the first half, when Dallas committed nine turnovers and shot 32 percent.

The Mavs finished at 32 percent and were 6 of 31 from outside the arc.

Notes: The Mavericks' starters, who scored only 34 points in Friday night's loss to the San Antonio Spurs, tallied 26 against the Grizzlies. Memphis had been 1-4 against other teams in the Southwest Division, and had not defeated a division opponent at home. Dallas C Tyson Chandler never made it to the arena. He was sick. Brendan Haywood started in his place. Chandler missed one other game this season, Dec. 7 against Golden State with a stomach illness. The Mavericks' previous low was 76 points in a Dec. 28 loss to Toronto.