Grizzlies get quick shot at revenge vs. Mavericks
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The Memphis Grizzlies knew they would lose at some point this season. They just didn't figure the first setback would come at previously winless Dallas.
The Grizzlies (3-1) don't have to wait long to exact payback, with the Mavericks (1-4) visiting FedEx Forum on Thursday night to complete an early-season home-and-home series.
Dallas pulled out a stunning 103-94 win the night before against a Grizzlies squad that wasn't ready to play.
"I just felt like we didn't come out with the right mentality," Memphis coach David Fizdale said. "I think there was a part of us that were feeling ourselves and I think reading our own headlines.
"But we played this team very casually like we were going to have it under control no matter what, and you can't get down to a good, well-coached team like that. They were desperate. They've been going through a lot of stuff emotionally, and I just don't feel like we gave the game the proper respect that it deserved."
Grizzlies center Marc Gasol didn't necessarily agree with his coach's assessment.
"No, I think that the team was trying," said Gasol, who had his third double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds. "We got good shots early on, and they didn't fall. Defensively, we gave up too many easy points.
"My mindset hasn't changed at all from Game 1 to now and it won't change tomorrow. My mindset is set on how to play, and to me, that is it."
As frustrating as the game was for Memphis, it was equally encouraging for the Mavericks. Dallas was hoping to avoid starting 0-5 for the second straight season.
The Mavs were in control from the start and never surrendered the lead in the second half.
"Great night for us," said guard J.J. Barea, who scored 14 off the bench. "We needed this win. We showed up for 48 minutes. Everybody stepped up. We moved the ball, we played defense, so we have to take this game and take this momentum to keep it going now."
Mavericks rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. was the catalyst in his third career game, finishing with a team-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting and a game-high five assists in 28 minutes.
Smith has led or tied for team-high scoring honors in two of his three games.
"He's a pretty calm person by nature," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "He's very confident. He processes things and has a good sense of just how long five or six seconds is at the end of the clock. He understands that the defense will break down on a split second and he's got the quickness to get by people.
"Some of the things he's doing to generate baskets, fouls and shots for guys is a dimension we've never had on this team."
Dallas guard Devin Harris didn't make the trip to Memphis. The veteran returned to the lineup Wednesday night after missing three games following the death of his brother. He scored six points in 10 minutes.
Memphis forward Chandler Parsons is expected back after resting Wednesday night.
Updated October 26, 2017