DALLAS -- The speed of the Atlanta Hawks apparently did in the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
Time after time again, the Hawks were darting up the floor as the Mavs appeared as though they were standing in a ditch filled with cement. In all, the Hawks outscored the Mavs in fast break points, 26-14, en route to claiming a 105-101 triumph at American Airlines Center.
"It hurt as a little bit,'' forward Shawn Marion said of the speedy Hawks. "I guess we underestimated their speed to a certain degree.
"They've got some athletes over there. They're one of the most athletic teams we've played this season.''
The Hawks' speedy backcourt of Jeff Teague (20 points, nine assists) and Devin Harris (15 points, five assists) combined to give the Mavs fits all night long. Harris, who played for the Mavs from 2004 until they traded him in 2008 to the New Jersey Nets as part of the Jason Kidd package, produced the biggest play of the game Monday.
Mavs center Elton Brand came up with a key steal in the backcourt with 29.9 seconds left and Dallas trailing, 99-98. Brand immediately passed the ball to OJ Mayo, who sped up the court and was one dribble away from picking the ball up and attempting a shot within five feet of the basket.
Harris, however, never gave up on the play and snatched the ball from Mayo with 23.9 seconds left. That led to Josh Smith burying a pair of free throws after he was intentionally fouled by Dirk Nowitzki with 23.9 ticks to go which put the Hawks up 101-98.
On the ensuing Mavs' possession, Teague stole a Mayo pass intended for Vince Carter, then proceeded to nail a couple of free throws with 13.6 seconds left for a 103-98 lead for Atlanta.
"They had a very fast lineup with Teague and Harris,'' Marion said. "They were speeding the ball up the court and they got some open layups to start the game.''
-- Dwain Price
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