Boy if there was anyone who needed a win, it certainly was the Dallas Mavericks. After they got hammered in the 3rd quarter in Sunday’s game against the Houston Rockets who went on to beat Dallas, the Mavericks got a bit of revenge in their 112-108 win at home.
Of course it wasn’t by 30 plus points, but a win is a win no matter how you stroke it up, it’s still a win. Throughout most of the game it was a nip and tuck, back and forth thing, but Dallas showed that they still have something left in their tanks, it’s just that they don’t use their tanks all the time and that’s what usually gets them into trouble and has created the losses they have suffered.
A lot of these leads have been after Dallas has had the game under control, but then relax too much and start making the silly little mistakes and lets a team go on a roll and get the momentum that Dallas has kept from them during the game, but somehow they get it anyway and then Dallas is having to fight to regain their composure and control and wind up making the boo-boos that have caused them to lose a good game.
Now if a team is in their fighting all the way through and it’s a neck and neck type thing, then that’s one thing; a loss is a loss no matter what, but it might be an easier pill to swallow in these cases, but if you have a 15 or 20 point lead on someone and you let it wilt away and you let them win by more than 5-10 points, that’s not a good loss in anyone’s book. You have let them take the game from you and let them take control and there’s nothing you can do except lick your wounds and go after the next game.
That’s sort of what Dallas did here against the Rockets. They had that game throughout the first half, but let Houston get a bit of a break starting in the 2nd quarter and Dallas did not do any adjustments in the start of the 3rd and no one could guard Chandler Parsons or for that matter anyone on the three point line. Houston loves to spread the court, they shoot from the outside and do more damage from there, it’s usually towards the end of the game when they start using the interior game option so James Harden can get to the line for free throw attempts, and tonight was no exception.
Harden is nearing 600 free throw attempts for the season and was perfect from the charity stripe tonight with connecting on all 16 attempts. He led the Rockets with 28 points on 5 of 17 shooting from the field and connected on 2 of 7 three point attempts and added 9 assists to his stats for the night. Parsons started getting a little warm later in the game and finished the night with 23 points on 8 of 15 and 5 of 8 from behind the arc.
With the defensive prowess of Shawn Marion, he was able to contain Harden later down the stretch to keep him from getting everything he wanted and did a very good job of it. Omer Asik added 12 points to his 15 rebounds as Jeremy Lin also had 12 points for the night and Carlos Delfino notched up 11 points of his own.
Dallas was led in points by Dirk and Marion who had 22 points respectively on 9 and 10 of 16 shooting from the field. Vince Carter was revving it up and added 16 points on 5 0f 9 shooting and had 3 of 6 from the three point range. O J Mayo had a very good night and finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds and a season high 12 assists and connected on 3 of 4 from behind the arc. Branden Wright who stepped into the starting lineup added 12 points.
The Mavericks started this game hot and determined and actually had stretched out an 11 points lead and by the end of the 1st quarter, was shooting 70% from the field and by the end of the first half was still shooting over 65%. They finished the nigt with 54.2% from the field and 42.3% from behind the arc and 78.6% from the free throw line. Houston shot 44.9% from the field and 37.5% from behind the arc on 32 attempts and 78.8% from the free throw line. Both teams protected the ball fairly well with Dallas only committing 11 turnovers to Houston’s 13. Dallas notched up 35 assists to Houston’s 22, but got out-rebounded by Houston 40-33.
Now I realize this is all just numbers, but when you put those numbers to outcome on the court, those numbers are as good as the final score. Dallas was ablel to force Houston to miss a lot of their shots because at times they were rushing the shot; maybe late shot clock shots and made a balanced effort to guard up on the outside guys on the three point line. Houston is a three point shooting team as evident with 32 attempts for the night and that is what killed Dallas in their last meeting in Houston when it was raining 3’s everywhere you looked and even though Parsons connected on 5 of his attempts, at least he didn’t have 12 to add to his numbers for the season.
With this win, Dallas is still in the 11th spot in the conference, but at least they gained a game up on the next team and now they head out on a 4 game road trip that they are going to have to buckle down and get some wins. Theoretically, they are not out of the playoff hunt yet, but they have to get some wins and show that they still belong up there with the elite and let everyone know that the “fear the beard” is not just a passing phase right now, but a hard thought that everyone needs to take notice of.
Now Dallas is headed to face the Pistons in Detroit and hopefully keep their momentum going that they ended this game with and make sure everyone keepts their cool throughout the game, namely you Dirk! Don’t let the “no call” situation get under your skin, you and your Dallas Mavericks are better than that and just show them why.
And with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!