DALLAS -- He may be one of the oldest players in the NBA, but Vince Carter is still giving the Dallas Mavericks some valuable time off the bench this season.
Carter tallied 17 points on just 6-of-9 shooting on Wednesday to help the Mavs beat up the New Orleans Pelicans 108-89 at American Airlines Center.
"Vince has been looking great, really just coming in being instant offense like he was last year when he was probably our best player all season,'' forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "Just in a great rhythm, feel like every shot’s going in.
"He looked aggressive, he looked smooth every time he shot it, had a great rhythm on it. He’s been playing well and we need him to score.''
In the Mavs' five games since the All-Star break, Carter has 80 points, 27 rebounds, 13 assists and five steals, and has converted 13-of-29 shots from 3-point territory. Carter noted that the All-Star break afford him time to get re-energized.
"It always helps an old guy,'' the 37-year old Carter said. "I just had time to kind of get away from it, recover and just re-focused.
"Usually in my mind the second part of the season after the All-Star break is money time. That's when you earn your money and what's most important for players as well as the team, so I've just been locked in.''
A "locked in'' Carter is a good thing for the Mavs, who improved to 36-23 with the win over the Pelicans.
"He’s a playmaker for us, not only a shotmaker but we want him to run screen-and-rolls and post them,'' Nowitzki said. "He makes plays out of the pick-and-roll for others, gets other guys open.
"We rely him on a lot and he knows that and he’s been great.''
-- Dwain Price
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