MAVERICKS AT GRIZZLIES, 8 P.M. ET

TV: League Pass

  • Tonight’s game features Dallas guard O.J. Mayo’s first return FedExForum to face off against his former team. Mayo spent four years in Memphis after being acquired in a draft day trade with Minnesota for Kevin Love. He was an instant fan favorite after a standout rookie season and flourished under former coach Marc Iavaroni. But Mayo’s numbers declined under current coach Lionel Hollins and he spent the last two seasons as the team’s sixth man, a situation he accepted, but didn’t necessarily like. Now Mayo is thriving as the Mavericks starting two-guard, averaging 20.2 points a game to go with four rebounds and 3.7 assists. “It’s a new opportunity,” Mayo said. “It’s a new home, a change of scenery. I’m just trying to go out there and play. I think (I needed that). It was a pretty wild four years. I was almost gone (traded) three times and ended up back here. When it’s all said and done, I think both sides are happy.”
  • Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said he talked with Mayo on the plane ride from Dallas about the emotions of tonight’s game. “The important thing is to be patient and be disciplined,” Carlisle said. “He’s going to get a lot of attention. They’ll put the best defensive player (Tony Allen) on him, without question. He’s got to let the game come to him to some degree. He’s an aggressive player and we love him to attack, but he’s got to make sure that when he’s attacking, there’s things to attack to and there’s an outlet if there’s nothing there.”
  • The Mavericks will be without Elton Brand, who continues to recover from a right groin sprain. However, Brandan Wright (sprain right ankle) is expected to play.
  • Mayo’s replacement, Wayne Ellington, has been heating up recently. In his last four games, Ellington has made 12-of-25 (48 percent) of his shots from the floor, including 6-of-9 (67 percent) from 3-point range.

– By Marlon W. Morgan

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