After opening the season with four straight losses, the Dallas Mavericks are on a roll.
They look to keep it going when they face the Memphis Grizzlies in the back end of a home-and-home on Saturday.
The Mavericks (4-4) are looking for their fifth straight victory after winning 115-103 on Friday night in Memphis, continuing an impressive turnaround over the past week.
They are averaging 112 points per game and shooting 51.5 percent from the field during their win streak, compared with 89 points per game and 42.4 percent shooting in their four losses.
“We’ve got to keep building,” said Dallas forward Jerry Stackhouse, who had 19 points and was one of five Mavericks in double figures Friday. “Our first four games were bad. (Friday) we got better and won the game. It was winning time for us.”
Dallas trailed by six points at halftime, but scored a season-high 40 points in the fourth quarter to secure the victory.
Dirk Nowitzki continues to lead the way for the Mavericks. He shook off a 3-for-13 shooting start Friday to score 14 of his 26 points in the final period. He is shooting 49.3 percent for the season while averaging 26 points through the first eight games.
Dallas center Erick Dampier muscled his way to season highs of 22 points and 15 rebounds Friday for his second double-double in as many games.
“Our first four games of the season didn’t start out the way we wanted them to, but we’ve got 70-plus games left and we know what we have to do,” Dampier said.
Memphis (1-7) will need to defend better inside if it wants to avoid losing a seventh straight game. The Grizzlies continue to miss seven-footer Pau Gasol, who is expected to miss the first three months of the season after undergoing foot surgery before the season.
The Grizzlies have not won since beating Charlotte 96-83 in the second game of the season on Nov. 3. The will try to avoid a fifth straight loss on the road to open the season.
Memphis has been showing signs of improvement. Hakim Warrick scored a career-high 26 points Friday, as the Grizzlies shot better than 50 percent and topped the 100-point mark for the second straight game. They lost 115-111 to Sacramento on Wednesday.
“Basically (we’re almost there), we know what we have to do and it’s not far off,” Memphis guard Chucky Atkins said. “We just have to keep on plugging and we’ll get there.”
The Grizzlies have played their last two games without starting swingman Eddie Jones, who is sidelined with right Achilles’ tendinitis.
Dallas will look to win its eighth straight game against Memphis, which included a sweep in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs last season.