Now that’s Dallas Mavericks Basketball at it’s best! The Mavs used their momentum from the 2 previous wins at Phoenix and Houston to their carry-over into tonight’s game and it paid off. O J Mayo led the Mavs with 19 points by shooting 6 of 9 from the field and connecting on 3 of his 4 three point attempts, but it wasn’t just Mayo tonight, it was a collective effort by five other Maverick players who had double-digit scoring besides Mayo.
Chris Kaman had 18 points on 9 of 13 from the field, Darren Collison added 15 points of his own on shooting 7 of 9 from the field, as well as 3 who had 11 points a piece which included Dahntay Jones, Derek Fisher and Jae Crowder. Fisher also racked up 6 assists for the night, not bad for a team still trying to find their own.
Some people felt that Dallas would have their hands full with the Sacramento Kings, after all they had just won 3 games in a row and they rely heavily on DeMarcus Cousins for his tenacity on the court, especially around the basket and even though he scored 25 points, he wasn’t as dominate as they would have wanted him to be. Dallas kept throwing different guys at him for defensive modes and they were able to keep his scoring down some. Now Dallas has won the last 16 games against the Kings in Dallas and wanted to keep that streak going, so they had a lot riding on this game as well as trying to stay above the .500 mark.
Dallas came into tonight’s game at .500, after completing their 3 game road trip and with the last win over Houston, they were sitting at 10-10 for the first 20 games into the season. Now it had been anticipated that Dirk would be returning around the end of the month, but after listening to him during the broadcast, he is a little behind in his training simply due to the fact of the length of time of the swelling and trying to get back into the conditioning that he really needs to get his leg back to where it needs to be, but he did provide some court side color commentating during the 2nd quarter of the game and during that time, Dallas was on a hot roll.
Speaking on the subject of Dirk, he added another accolade of awards to his resume during halftime of the game. The grandson of Dr. James Naismith, the man who invented basketball, awarded Dirk the Naismith Legacy Award. This award is given to players, coaches or personnel of organizations who further the values of honor, respect and integrity of basketball both on and off the court and I can’t think of a person who deserved it more. Congratulations Dirk on all of your accomplishments and we are so glad that you are a Maverick!
Now Cousins wasn’t the only hot hand for the Kings. Francisco Garcia was hot for them as well, he also scored 25 points which included connecting on 7 of his 12 three-point attempts and Jason Thompson added 11 points with 12 boards and Marcus Thornton added 10 for the Kings as well.
Dallas was determined that any bad taste they had in their mouths from bad games was going to be erased and they did pretty much that tonight. They started hot from the beginning, it was one of the only games that I have seen where Dallas actually won the tip and controlled the game at the beginning instead of having to play catchup. The Mavs shot over 55% from the field and they have not done that in a while and only had 10 turnovers, but also accumulated 10 steals for the night as well. The Kings got the upper hand on the boards, but not by much, but it was an even scoring game for Dallas and it made it a much more enjoyable game.
They worked well together in sharing of the ball, scoring of the ball and protecting the ball. When a mistake was made, others offered assurance that it was going to be ok and that’s what teamwork is all about.
The Mavericks were able to score 32 points off of 20 turnovers that Sacrament committed which came during a time that saw the Kings go nearly 11 minutes without a field goal; now that’s some defense if you ask me.
To show their determination, the Mavs were in a 29-29 tie with the Kings when they went on a 29-2 run from part of the first quarter and into the second quarter. During that time, the Kings missed 12 straight shots and committed eight turnovers. Again, Dallas Maverick basketball at it’s best. A lot of the scoring was done during the second quarter when Dirk was commentating; wonder if that added extra motivation for the guys!
According to Coach Carlisle, they found grit and toughness when they needed to and they also found Fisher, who is feeling a little more comfortable in his role with this team and it definitely shows in his numbers, because even though his scoring was only 11 points, he didn’t commit any turnovers at all. Along with that Elton Brand, who had had a dismal game the last outing, was tough in his defense and even though he only had 8 points, he tallied up 3 blocked shots. So he and Brandan Wright both are being tough around the basket as they need to be.
So where do we go from here? Now we are off to “Beantown” to face the Celtics and see their ex-teammate Jason Terry in a green and white uniform and see if they can keep it going.
And with that, I will bid you a good day and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!