Friday, March 14, 2008

Mavs fall just short of franchise first

The Mavericks officially have 2,248 games in the books over nearly 28 seasons. Obviously, much has happened since the birth of the expansion team back in 1980.

But Friday night they fell a point shy of a franchise first. Dallas nearly ran off quartet of 20-point wins for the first time ever after dismantling Indiana 116-97 before 20,354 fans at American Airlines Center.

Though the 19-point win didn’t set a record, it had to feel good. The latest Eastern Conference rout comes on the heels of home blowouts over New Jersey, New York and Charlotte. The Mavs (43-23) finished off the five-game homestand at 4-1 going into Sunday’s date at Miami. Are the Heat next?

Once again, the Mavs were in command early by racing out to an 18-point lead in the first quarter. The ball was moving freely and the shots were coming in rhythm. At the other end, the Pacers struggled for good looks in the face of an aggressive defense.

“It is about making that extra pass,” Jerry Stackhouse said. “Once the defense starts to move you have to make that team pay for double-teaming. When we move the ball, swing the ball and do the things we are supposed to do, we are going to get good looks all night.”

Not much changed the rest of the night. The Pacers (25-40) never threatened, falling behind by as much as 23 in the second half. The Mavs avenged a four-point loss at Indiana back in November.

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