When his top players are healthy, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has the luxury of bringing off the bench Jason Terry and Shawn Marion, a pair of longtime starters capable of scoring 20 points any night.
Dallas, however, hasn’t been anywhere near healthy the last few weeks. So Carlisle has been starting one, the other or both. And the Mavs were losing — badly.
Terry and Marion returned to their roles as super subs last night, each scoring 22 points to lift host Dallas past the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-100, ending an ugly six-game losing streak.
Jason Kidd snapped out of an awful stretch of his own, scoring a season-high 21 points to help the Mavericks end their worst losing streak in a decade.
“We know what we are capable of doing night in and night out, but we have to bring it,’’ Terry said. “Early on in the season we all bought into the system and all bought into our collective roles. Of late we’ve had some inconsistency and people going in and out of the lineup, but now we are going to be able to see what we have again once we are consistent with our lineup again.’’
Dallas was riding high at 24-5 a few weeks ago. Then Dirk Nowitzki hurt a knee, Caron Butler was lost for the season, and everything cratered. The Mavs went in a 2-9 funk that dropped them from the second-best record in the Western Conference to sixth-best if they’d lost this game.
They were ripe for another defeat, down by 11 in the first half and still trailing by 8 midway through the third quarter. Then, everything changed.
The defense got stop after stop, and they could do no wrong on offense. Kidd scored 13 points in the third quarter alone (his most points in any game this season had been 16) and Dallas had roared back so much it went into the final period leading by 9.
“We needed this one,’’ Marion said.
Nets 103, Jazz 95 — Brook Lopez scored 11 of his 20 points in a big third quarter and host New Jesery snapped a six-game losing streak by whipping Utah.
Sasha Vujacic added 15 points, Devin Harris had 14 points and eight assists, and Travis Outlaw had 13 points as the Nets matched their season high with seven players in double figures.
Magic 99, Sixers 98 — Ryan Anderson scored 20 points and Dwight Howard added 18 as host Orlando overcame a 7-point second-half deficit to outlast Philadelphia in overtime.
Rockets 104, Knicks 89 — Kevin Martin scored 21 points, Chuck Hayes grabbed 12 rebounds, and host Houston handed New York its fourth straight loss.
Hornets 103, Grizzlies 102 — Marcus Thornton broke up an inbounds pass with 14 seconds left in overtime, then finished a fast break with a reverse layup, lifting host New Orleans over Memphis for its sixth straight win.
Nuggets 112, Thunder 107 — Carmelo Anthony’s 35 points helped host Denver drop Oklahoma City. Chauncey Billups and Nene each added 16 points for the Nuggets, who grabbed the lead for good early in the fourth quarter of a game that was close all the way.
Spurs 104, Raptors 95 — DeJuan Blair had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help host San Antonio run its winning streak to seven by overcoming an 11-point halftime deficit to rally past Toronto.
Clippers 126, Timberwolves 111 — Blake Griffin had 29 points and eight rebounds, ending his streak of double-doubles at 27 games, and host Los Angeles won its third in a row in defeating Minnesota.
Warriors 110, Pacers 108 — Monta Ellis made a jumper with less than a second remaining to lift host Golden State over Indiana.
Trail Blazers 94, Kings 90 — Nicolas Batum scored a season-high 24 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 23 to lead visiting Portland over Sacramento in overtime.
Bucks 100, Wizards 87 — Keyon Dooling scored a season-high 23 points, Corey Maggette added 21, and Milwaukee dropped Washington to 0-20 on the road.
Suns 106, Cavaliers 98 — Grant Hill scored 27 points, Steve Nash had 15 points and 15 assists, and visiting Phoenix won its fourth in a row over fallen-to-the-bottom Cleveland, which has lost 14 straight and 24 of its last 25.