CLEVELAND -- After scanning the stats sheet following Saturday's 103-95 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena, Rick Carlisle was almost apologetic when it came to forward Shawn Marion.
"I didn’t want to play Marion (33) minutes tonight,'' the Dallas Mavericks' coach said. "But he was so good in the fourth quarter I couldn’t get him off the floor.''
Marion had missed five games with a sprained left medial collateral ligament before returning to play 25 minutes during Friday's 103-83 loss to the Indiana Pacers. So, to play 33 minutes on the second leg of a back-to-back after being out an extended period was not something coaches regularly prefer to do.
Marion, though, understood Carlisle's pain. With the Mavs' best player (Dirk Nowitzki) already out, Dallas could ill-afford to sit its second-best player when a game is there to be taken.
"I’m feeling it right now,'' said Marion, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds. "My wind was OK -- it was just the flexibility (in the knee).
"Sometimes you’ve got to do what you've got to do. We needed this win and we were able to buckle down and get some big stops when we needed to and extend that lead.''
-- Dwain Price
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