Monday may have been Presidents Day, legally, but in the City of Dallas, Tx, it was dubbed “Milestone Monday” for the Dallas Mavericks.
After a heart-breaking loss to the New York Knicks on Sunday afternoon, the Dallas Mavericks flew back home for some much-needed rest to prepare for a back to back game against the Boston Celtics on Monday night. Even though the Celtics have been struggling as of late, it’s never a good thing to underestimate your opponent and you need to be ready for anything; after all this is a short week and then the All-Star break and then Katie bar the door, because it’s on like Donkey Kong, well that’s what they say anyway.
As I stated it was a milestone of events on Monday night and it started with Dirk needing just 6 points to tie Robert Parrish for #20 on the All-Time scoring list and 7 to take sole possession of the #20 spot, but also Dirk needed just one block to make his #1000 for his career and be in other elite company as well.
Dirk accomplished both of those tasks tonight. It seemed as if Charles Barkley’s words were still burning in Dirk’s head because he came out like gangbusters and before the half, he already had a double-double. With 9:31 left in the first quarter, he tallied his 1000th block and with 5:55 left in the first, he scored his 7th point of the game on a free throw and moved into #20 all by his little lonesome and he only needs a little more to catch #19 on the list, Kevin Garnett who only had 23,719 points. Well, only 365 more, that’s not much for Dirk.
Then to top the rest of the milestone night away, with 5:58 left in the first quarter, Kidd got his first steal for the night, which moved him to #2 on the All-Time steals list with a total of 2,517, just ahead of Michael Jordan, the only person ahead of him is John Stockton; don’t think that record will be broken any time soon. Kidd is also #2 on the All-Time assists list.
So first of all, congratulations to both Dirk and Kidd for their accomplishments during their illustrious careers and that puts them that much closer to the Hall of Fame of Basketball, keep up the good work guys, you deserve it. The crowd knew they deserved it, because when it was announced over the PA system of American Airlines Center, they both got roars and ovations from the crowd.
As I stated, the Celtics have been struggling as of late and tonight was not going to be any better is seemed for Boston. It was announced before the game that Kevin Garnett would miss tonight’s game for personal reasons and Rajon Rondo would be serving a mandatory 2 game suspension levied by the NBA for throwing a ball at a ref in his previous game; so needless to say, the Celtics were definitely short-handed, but they still tried to fight and claw for everything they had, Dallas was just better for the night.
Dallas had to exact their revenge to Sunday’s loss in New York and Boston was the culprit who was served up on the platter, and it was evident from the beginning that the Mavericks were serious and came to play, short-handed or not. Dallas got off to a great start, but only had a 20-15 lead at the end of the first quarter, but then Dirk went on a personal 10-2 run in the second quarter which included four free-throws and 3 jumpers and stretched Dallas’ lead out even more and by the end of the second quarter the score was 44-34 and Dallas never really looked back.
Dallas sustained a double-digit lead throughout the game and at one point it was as much as 26 points.
Dirk finished the night with 26 points, a season high 16 rebounds and 2 blocked shots, and with those points, he now has 23,354 for his career. JET shot lights out and added 16 points which included connecting on 4 of 7 three-pointers. Shawn Marion had 11 points and Kidd added 6 points, 8 assists to go with his 3 steals.
Paul Pierce led the Celtics with 20 points and had 4 steals of his own, Ray Allen struggled but added 15 points for the Celtics and Avery Bradley scored 12 points and Mikael Pietrus had 6 points to go with 12 rebounds and before Jermaine O’Neal had to leave the game, he notched 4 blocks.
So you can see that without Rondo, Garnett and Brandon Bass, Boston lost a lot in their rotation and bench points for the night.
The Mavericks, even though it looked like they were scoring well, only shot 40.4% from the field, but at least that was better than 39.2% by Boston and Dallas shot 28% from behind the arc which was a little less than Boston who finished by shooting 29.2%. Dallas did protect the ball a little better by only having 10 turnovers compared to 17 by Boston, but Dallas won the rebound battle by grabbing 51 boards to Boston’s 44.
As you can see, Dallas was well-rounded in the game and was able to get some breathing room to get ready for a re-match with the Lakers who come to town on Wednesday night, the last game before the All-Star break and with all the drama going on in LA, maybe Dallas can take advantage of that and put another notch in the win column before the downhill slide of the season and be where they need to be.
So now we are sitting at 21-12 and holding the 3rd seed in the Western Conference and that’s where they need to hold their guns to or better. Now it’s just a matter of proving to themselves that they are the team to beat and finally put people like Barkley and others to rest that they are not done and old and can’t defend their title properly. Yes we are an older team, but sometimes with age comes experience and knowledge and those are things that you need to get you to the end as well.
With that, I bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!