Originally written March 13, 2013 on Fox Sports Wisconsin:
MILWAUKEE -- Vince Carter may not be able to elevate like he used to, but he still knows how to hit a big shot. Each time the Bucks made a push to close the gap, Carter hit a long 3-pointer or beat his man on a drive to the basket. On a night Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle talked at length about the youth on his team pregame, the 36-year-old Carter scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead Dallas to a 115-108 victory over the Bucks. "I've been coaching in this league for almost 20 years now and the last time we played Dallas was the first time and the only time I've ever seen Vince have a bad game," Bucks coach Jim Boylan said. "I was coming into this game with a little concern because he takes big shots and makes big shots. "Last game we were able to contain him, but tonight he was the difference maker." Carter finished 6 of 10 from the field and hit four of his six 3-pointers. Laughing and smiling with fans and opponents, the veteran looked like he was just out there having fun. "I felt in a groove tonight," Carter said. "The basket just seemed huge, and I was playing with a lot of confidence out there. I felt comfortable with my shot all night, and I was prepared for a battle. "We are fighting for a playoff spot and I know that our guys are all locked in. When it came to the fourth quarter it came down to who wanted it more." With both Atlanta and Boston losing Tuesday night, the Bucks had a golden opportunity to move within a half game of the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee stayed 1-12 games back instead mainly due to a lackluster effort on the defensive end. The Bucks have put an emphasis on defending walk-up three-pointers and transition defense in general the last few weeks, and Boylan had been seeing progress. But the Mavericks got going during a stretch where they outscored the Bucks 39-12 to turn a nine point deficit into a 75-57 lead and never looked back. "Tonight we were just a little bit lackadaisical and they got a nice rhythm going," Boylan said. "They are in a position right now where they are kind of clinging to life and as they are coming down the stretch these games are really important." Milwaukee battled back to cut it to 98-91 with 6:08 left and had three cracks at cutting further into the deficit before Carter hit the first of his three, three-pointers in the fourth quarter, this one a 25-footer. A J.J. Redick jumper made it 101-96, but Carter had an answer. Again with a defender in his face, Carter stepped back and drilled a 26-footer, putting the Mavericks up by eight. Not going away, the Bucks cut it to 106-100 before Carter all but iced the game with another three-pointer and a drive to the basket for a layup with 1:40 left. He looked like the Vince Carter of old, except his total elevation might have only added up to what he used to get on one of his dunks. "We had some big shots go in all night but Vince got hot at the perfect moment," Carlisle said. "We had Dirk (Nowitzki) out of the game because he need a break in the third quarter, and Vince came in and hit some hellacious shots. He has that capability and tonight was a great example of it. Vince was fearless." With time running out on the season, every opportunity to gain ground in the standings is valuable. While the Bucks didn't lose ground with Tuesday's loss, they could have pulled within a tie of the loss column for the sixth seed with fifth place in sight. The schedule is not kind to Milwaukee, as the Bucks just returned home from playing a back-to-back in the Bay Area with only Monday off before starting another back-to-back. After Wednesday's game against the Wizards, the Bucks will have played in Oakland, Sacramento, Milwaukee and Washington D.C. in a span of five days. Then they get a day off before hosting the Miami Heat on Friday. All losses sting, but losing at home Tuesday stung hard because the Bucks could have gained a game on two teams ahead of them. "We just have to continue to play basketball," Bucks guard Monta Ellis said. "We have 20 games left. I'm not even worried about that. It's one game. We have another one tomorrow. We have to stay together as a team and get back to playing our game." Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter.

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it

Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand


Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

Report: Carson Palmer's nerve injury 'still lingering'

Adam Dunn to retire after 14-year MLB career

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision, will learn from it

NL Wild Card Game Live Blog

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Aaron Rodgers says smoking gesture a tribute to Jay Cutler

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

Major League Baseball's 2014 All-Disappointment Team

Jeter introduces 'The Players Tribune,' 'The Voice of the Game'

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

What to watch in the NL Wild Card game

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Brady snubs rookie after TD pass

FCC: Washington nickname 'inappropriate today'

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.