Win One For Carlisle

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Dallas Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle.

    Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle is no stranger to walking out of Conseco Fieldhouse as a victor.
    Unfortunately for his former team, the Indiana Pacers, it came at their expense.

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, Jason Terry had 17 and Kris Humphries added 12 points and 11 rebounds as the streaking Mavericks coasted to their fifth straight road victory, 113-92 on Friday night.

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    The outcome was especially sweet for Carlisle, who coached the Pacers from 2003-07 and led the team to three straight postseason appearances. Dallas, which leads the Southwest Division, improved to 12-4.

     "It's meaningful because I spent a lot of great years here, both as an assistant and head coach," he said. "My wife and daughter came in for Thanksgiving and they were at the game tonight, so we wanted to win it for them. Indiana is a great place, but it is a little bittersweet coming back."

     Carlisle, who was fired by the Pacers after missing the playoffs in 2006-07, took the high road and praised the organization.
     "I really believe that (Pacers president) Larry Bird has done a great job rejuvenating the type of people they have," Carlisle said. "This fan base is very knowledgeable and they know these young players are going to continue to get better. They're going to have some nights where it's a struggle, and other nights where they're going to beat the Bostons and Dallases of the world.

     "We're doing some good things," he said. "This time last year, we were laboring to play well and win games, so we've made strides. It's all about daily improvement and trying to get to the level of being one of those ultimate contenders. The important thing is to just keep building."

    Dallas has won seven of eight, with the only loss coming against Golden State on Nov. 24.