Just when you think that the Dallas Mavericks can’t get a win, not only did they get a win, they got an overtime win to break both streaks they had going on. So far this season, Dallas is now 1-8 in overtime games and stopped a four game losing streak to get the victory over the emotional Sacramento Kings.
Over the last couple of days, Sacramento has been in the forefront of the news where the Maloof brothers were trying to sale the team to a group of investors in Seattle and of course move the team to Seattle. I know these guys are professionals, but come on, it’s hard to play a game when you have all this going on around you. It’s bad enough when your team is being sold, but to be sold and move to another city and all this is going on during the middle of your season, it’s a hard thing to cope with sometimes. But Dallas was able to focus and get back into this game and secure the win, finally.
It took almost 2 minutes for either team to score and Dallas had missed their first three attempts and needless to say, it was Sacramento that scored first, with a shot from Francisco Garcia who finished the night with 13 points. Chris Kaman came back and tied the game on 2 free throws, but after that Kaman was not much of a factor in the game. He finished with 6 points and after being taken out in the third quarter, he didn’t play any more for the night. There are just some match ups that are better than others and tonight unfortunately, Kaman was getting beat around the basket and others were more effective on Demarcus Cousins.
Dallas hung in there for some time, at one point in the first quarter took the lead, but Sacramento was not going away quietly at all and took the first quarter 25-23. Dallas came into the second quarter and got to a 29-29 tie when the Kings went on a scoring frenzy that found Dallas in a 13-0 run and down 41-29 before they starting fighting back in scoring and that came off of a three pointer by Darren Collison who ended the night with 11 points, but it was a critical basket for Dallas that with a little over 4 minutes left in the half, had to do something to stop the bleeding and help them to start scoring.
The Mavericks were able to get back into a sort of things and ended the half only trailing by 7 points. Now it was too bad that Dallas left that drive in the locker room at halftime, because they dug themselves into another hole and allowed the Kings to increase their lead again and it took Dallas 3 and 1/2 minutes into the third quarter before they even put any points on the board, but they had allowed Sacramento to get a 14 point lead on them at that point.
With Shawn Marion’s basket at the 8:31 mark, they were able to stop the run that the Kings had made. Marion finished the night with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 8 of 15 shooting. The Mavs were led in scoring by O J Mayo who had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Vince Carter, who finished with 23 points, which included the 2 critical free throws that got Cousins ejected from the game after he was called for a Flagrant 2 foul on his hit to Carter’s face in overtime.
Cousins had been playing with 5 fouls up to that point and had been doing pretty well for himself, after all he had led the Kings with 29 points in scoring, but he was getting frustrated on not being able to control everything he did and was making mistakes that cost his team and when he and Carter went for the loose ball, Cousins came up with the open palm to Carter’s face; Carter went to the floor and once the refs reviewed the play, they initially called it a Flagrant 1, but then upped it to a Flagrant 2 since the hand was above the shoulders and the ball was not involved in the play. This was his second Flagrant 2 for the season.
Tyreke Evans made his presence known, he has missed most of the season due to an injury, but he was still able to put 20 points on the board and Isaiah Thomas hit a critical three pointer with 9.1 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and force overtime. Thomas scored 18 points and John Salmons ended with 11.
Now the game was not without drama for Dallas, after all these two teams are currently in the 12th and 13th seeds in the Western Conference and after Dallas’ loss to the Clippers the previous game, Dallas had been able to stay in front of Sacramento until the loss, so for more reasons than none, this was an important game for Dallas; they had to win this game.
At just under 4 minutes left in the third quarter, Dallas found themselves in a heap of trouble and down by 17 points, 71-54. It was then that the Mavericks decided to put on the gas and start playing the game and worked themselves back into it again and went on a bit of a scoring run and got to within 10 points by the end of the quarter, 78-68. It was do or die time now and the Mavericks knew it.
Throughout the fourth quarter, Dallas made some runs to get within 3 points when the Kings would make a short run themselves and increase their lead, but it was when Mayo brought the score, 93-90 Sacramento, I knew that it was going to be an interesting finish and it was. Not long after that, Dallas was able to capitalize on the mistakes that the Kings were making, after all they had 20 turnovers for the game, but Dallas played smart and eventually took the lead at 2:15 mark with a driving layup by Mayo and they were in control.
But again not being able to close out the games, Thomas got the freak three point shot to tie the game 101-101 at the end and Dallas was not able to keep control of the ball and time expired, on to overtime.
Dallas was able to close out the overtime period and took the win and stopped their bleeding on the losing end of things and the best thing of the night, well outside of winning the game, was that Dirk made himself a new friend.
Dirk finished the night with 17 points and 9 rebounds, but the funniest thing was during one of the official reviews of a play on the court, the refs were taking an extremely long time to determine who would get possession of the ball on an out of bounds play, and this little guy kept getting in front of Dirk while he was walking around getting bored with it all and Dirk decided to have some fun with it and tried to fake the old guy out and needless to say, they both had a laugh at it, even the broadcasters saw what was going on.
Oh well, we got the win, get to come home, get some rest before they face the Memphis Grizzlies and let Mayo get some redemption. Maybe Coach Carlisle will use some of the same lineups that he used tonight; the James boys, Mike and Bernard, worked well together as well as James running the court.
Only time will tell if the changes that the Mavericks are making will pay off, let’s hope so; and with that, I will bid you a good night and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!