Grizzlies-Mavericks Preview

The Associated Press

The Memphis Grizzlies began last season with a loss before reeling off a lengthy winning streak on their way to the best season in franchise history.

After bouncing back from a season-opening defeat, they'll look to follow a similar path as they seek a fifth victory in the last six meetings with the host Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.

Memphis (1-1) trailed by 21 at halftime and couldn't quite recover in a 101-94 loss to San Antonio on Wednesday, but it scored 11 of the first 13 points of overtime Friday and beat Detroit 111-108.

Mike Conley scored 22 points and Marc Gasol added 15, including a tying tip-in with 8.2 seconds left in regulation, as the Grizzlies improved to 41-4 when scoring at least 100 points since the start of the 2011-12 season.

''I thought our big guys came in and made plays,'' Conley said. ''Marc made plays down the stretch. Tayshaun (Prince) came in and hit a couple of big buckets, and that's what we expect from guys who know and have been in these situations we have been in.''

Conley committed five of the team's 20 turnovers, though, and he knows Memphis needs to improve moving forward.

''They were throwing a lot of different things at us, but a lot of it was just mental errors,'' he said. ''We were making errant passes and not focused at certain times.''

The Grizzlies also dropped their opener last season before beginning an eight-game winning streak. They went on to win a franchise-best 56 games and made their first Western Conference finals appearance, falling to the Spurs in four games.

Lionel Hollins coached that squad, though his contract wasn't renewed at the end of the season. Dave Joerger picked up his first victory as head coach Friday.

''I think maturity allows you to understand the situation and embrace the situation,'' Conley said. ''We've been there before."

Memphis won three of four matchups last season with Dallas, which is coming off a 113-105 loss to Houston on Friday.

The Mavericks (1-1) beat Atlanta in their opener, but they fell behind by 16 at the end of the first quarter against the Rockets and only led 1-0 on Shawn Marion's free throw less than one minute into the contest.

''We have to play better at the start of the game,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. ''Our play in the first quarter put us in such a hole that we could never get back over the hump.''

Dallas pulled within eight with eight minutes left, but Dirk Nowitzki, who scored 22 points, fouled out soon after.

''We didn't deserve to win,'' Nowitzki said. ''We weren't good defensively and we shot 38 percent.''

Monta Ellis followed up his 32-point effort in the opener by scoring 20, though he committed five of the team's 14 turnovers. Ellis is averaging 9.0 points while shooting 8 of 44 from the field in his last three against the Grizzlies.

The Grizzlies won the most recent meeting 103-97 on April 15 despite Nowitzki's 26 points. Conley had only six points in that contest and averaged 6.8 while shooting 25 percent against Dallas last season.

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