Sometimes things happen for the best.
That is not to say I’m glad Elton Brand and Derek Fisher got hurt but you know what I mean.
It hasn’t made much sense to me why Chris Kaman has been on the bench in the 4th quarter and apparently he’s been lobbying for crunch time himself. Tuesday night he got his wish.
At first glance it looked like another night of O. J. Mayo and Chris Kaman leading the Dallas Mavericks to a victory and both certainly played well but it was Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle’s rare use of big men Kaman and Brandan Wright in the fourth quarter that squelched a Philadelphia 76ers comeback and preserved an eventual 107-100 victory.
Carlisle has been playing mostly “small ball” with a small lineup in crunch time, usually using Elton Brand at center but Brand was unavailable for the game with a groin injury and Derek Fisher went down with a knee injury as well, even though he started the game despite having the flue.
After Dallas had built a lead but had it whittled down to one basket by the end of the 3rd quarter, Wright came into the game and scored 6 fourth-quarter points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Kaman then returned to the game for rare 4th-quarter time and added 8, and Mayo and Darren Collison then joined in stretching the Mavericks lead back up to 10.
Mayo led all scorers with 26 and had another great all-around game, adding 8 assists. 3 rebounds and 3 steals while only committing 2 turnovers. Kaman added 20 points and 7 rebounds while Shawn Marion added 14/9. Wright finished with 10/6 in only 17 minutes.
Philadelphia’s Dorrell Wright almost single-handedly kept the 76ers in the game hitting 7-13 from downtown for 25 points total to keep the game close. Spencer Hawes tied a season high with 18 points and added 7 rebounds. The Sixers played again without leading scorer Jrue Holiday who has been out with a sprained foot. Holiday has been the Sixers’ best player while waiting for Andrew Bynum’s return.
The teams now have identical records as both are now 12-13. The game provided a needed confidence booster as the Mavs will be facing stiff competition just around the corner. #Heat #Grizzlies #Spurs
In-depth analysis coming up on The Smoking Cuban.