Mayo breaks slump, leads Mavs past Pistons, 92-77
Posted at: 12/02/2012 12:35 AM
By SCHUYLER DIXON
(AP) DALLAS - O.J. Mayo broke out of a shooting slump with 27 points and Dallas celebrated Derek Fisher’s Mavericks debut with a 92-77 victory against the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.
Mayo was coming off consecutive games with season lows and started 0 for 4 before taking over in the third quarter. He scored 16 points in a 17-4 run that eventually stretched into a 25-6 surge as Dallas snapped a three-game losing streak.
Fisher got the start a day after the 16-year veteran’s first practice with the Mavs. His presence seemed to spark Darren Collison, the struggling young point guard he was brought in to help. Collison had eight assists and no turnovers.
Brandon Knight led Detroit with 20 points, including 18 in the first half. But the Pistons still fell to 1-10 on the road.
The Mavericks trailed 51-42 early in the third quarter when Mayo hit just his second 3-pointer in the past four games to start Dallas’ decisive run. Mayo made three more 3s in the third, when the Mavericks outscored the Pistons 25-11 and held them to 20 percent shooting.
Once Mayo gave the Mavericks the lead, Vince Carter and Elton Brand made sure they held onto it. Carter hit four 3-pointers for all 12 of his points, while Brand matched his season highs with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Fisher’s stat line was modest _ two points on 1-of-8 shooting and three assists _ but Collison looked much better. He hit a 3-pointer when the Mavericks were struggling in the first half, and assisted on dunks by Bernard James and Shawn Marion when Dallas was running away in the second half.
Mayo looked as if he was headed toward a fourth consecutive sub-par game when he took a pass in transition and saw a chance for an easy bucket _ and his first points _ late in the first half. He ended up with a three-point play.
He then scored the first 11 Dallas points in the third quarter, including a trio of 3-pointers punctuated by a timeout as disgusted Detroit coach Lawrence Frank stomped onto the court while signaling for the stoppage.
Mayo had shot just 32 percent the previous three games, including 1 of 10 from 3-point range.
Knight scored five more points than his average just in the first half. He hit a 3-pointer that started a 9-0 run for a 38-30 Detroit lead midway through the second quarter.
Chris Kaman led the Mavericks with 10 points in the first half despite going to the bench with 5:54 left in the second after his third foul. Brand, his primary backup, also had three first-half fouls while Detroit’s Jason Maxiell and Greg Monroe combined for 15 rebounds before halftime.
NOTES: The Mavericks play six of their next seven on the road. ... Carlisle started his head coaching career with the Pistons and was there for two seasons. He was NBA Coach of the Year the first season (2001-02) and led Detroit to the Eastern Conference finals in 2003. ... Mayo is the only Dallas player to start every game. A season ago, he was a reserve for all 66 games with Memphis.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)