As in the words of The Rock, “finally the Mavericks have come back to Dallas!”, and they won. Dallas faced one of the lowest winning teams in the NBA tonight and came out with a victory, barely.
Why do I say barely? Well, there was a point in time during the game, that Dallas actually let the Wizards have the lead and gave them the hope of a win that I’m sure was not in the planning before the game.
The Mavericks had just came home from a 3 game road trip that ended in disaster, as they lost all three games and to at least 2 teams that they should have beaten, and really should have beaten all three teams, but Phoenix, Sacramento and Golden State pulled the rug out from underneath the Mavericks and got wins in all three cities and have now put the Mavs in a must win spot as they are clinging to the #7 seed in the Western Conference, but they can move up the ladder again if they play their cards right.
The first way is to beat the teams they are supposed to beat now and that started tonight with Washington. Now not taking anything away from the Wizards, because they do have some talent, but they are a young team and not a lot of experience which sometimes is good and at other times it’s bad. The good part is, sometimes with the lack of experience, you don’t have enough fear to fear the opponent and you might pull of a victory, which they have had some luck at doing that very thing this season, but the bad side of it is your opponent is smarter at making those plays that make a team come together and that’s what Dallas did tonight.
One could see that not only did the players want and need this win, but the crowd also needed this win because there were times during the game, that the crowd was just there, no hoopla, no oohs and ahhs, clapping along the way but no extra umph. Well for a while anyway.
Dirk led the Mavs tonight with 27 points while hitting on 10 of 14 from the field, 2 of 5 from the three-point line and 5 of 6 from the free throw line. JET, the other part of that two-man team, had 24 points, Roddy B, the French jumping bean who was everywhere, added 19 points of his own. Vince Carter had 14 and Shawn Marion recorded his 399 career double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
The good things for the Mavs started at the get-go with Dirk hitting his first 7 shots and finished the first half with 20 points by hitting 8 of 9 from the field, 2 of 3 of his three-point attempts and connecting on 2 of his 2 free throw attempts and the Mavs as a team shot 62% from the field, and shot a whopping 82% from the field in the second quarter alone. Roddy was 4 of 4 from the field and 2 of 2 from the free throw line in the first half as well.
It was Roddy’s spark coming off the bench that helped to get the Mavs going again when they hit a lull and also got the crowd back into the game. His displays from running the court to get a steal to catching a high throw from a teammate and then getting the ball to Carter for a three with the clock winding down, was just some of the spark and luster Roddy had tonight and everybody commended him for it.
The good thing about Roddy’s plays for the night, that it gave Jason Kidd a chance to rest, especially in the fourth, even though he was recording his 1300th game of his career.
Now, Washington was not without its sparks and highlight reel plays as well, they were led by Trevor Booker who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. John Wall had 18 points and 10 assists, Jordan Crawford and Nick Young both added 15 points and JaVale McGee had 12 points which included a few thunderous dunks and Andre Blatche added 11 points.
At the end of the first half, Dallas was shooting 62%, while they allowed Washington to shoot 50% from the field and hung onto a 60-51 lead. Dallas took the first quarter with a 27-26 lead, but that was hard to get as they allowed Washington to keep nipping at their heels throughout the whole first half, even though at times Dallas had as much as a 10 point lead.
During the third quarter, Dallas was struggling to get their shots going again while Washington was driving and getting fouled which sent them to the line and kept them in the game and also take the lead back and forth and outscored Dallas 24-23 in the third, but it allowed Dallas to keep a 83-75 lead going into the fourth.
At one point early on, Dallas had expanded their lead to 12 points and thought that Dirk would be able to rest the remainder of the quarter, but again, Washington was driving and getting fouled and kept going to the line and making up the differential and then the lead was cut to 6 when Dirk re-entered the game.
The good thing was that Dallas was able to maintain enough momentum to let Kidd stay out the whole 4th, as he is about to celebrate his 39th birthday later this month and Dallas was able to fend off the pesky Wizards and get the win.
Dallas finished the night shooting 50.6% from the field, 27.3% from behind the three, 86.7% from the free throw line, which Dallas only attempted 15 shots all night, had 12 turnovers and 51 rebounds.
Washington finished the night with 44.3% shooting from the field, 16.7% from behind the three, 68.4% from the free throw line on 38 attempts, had 10 turnovers and 38 rebounds.
So you can see that Dallas was active on both ends of the court and each team had 40 points in the paint and 17 fast break points and of the rebounds, Dallas had 11 offensive rebounds to Washington’s 9.
As you can see the main thing that kept Washington in the game was the free throw attempts, 38-15, very lopsided if you ask me, but Dallas overcame it and got the win. Now we stay home and face the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday night and again another team we should beat as they have the worst record in the league, but the games get tougher and tougher over the next couple of weeks when they play contender teams and they have to win those games as well if they want a shot at the playoffs.
So with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!