The Dallas Mavericks (26-21) once again find themselves on the wrong end of a close game. This time falling 117-115 to the Houston Rockets who were without star player James Harden.
The Finish: The Mavs found themselves down 116-104. Thanks to an 11-1 run the Mavs had the ball and chance to tie or win the game. Jose Calderon got the ball to Dirk Nowitzki who was guarded by Jeremy Lin on the switch. The Rockets brought a second defender to double Dirk’ who decided to kick out to an open Calderon who missed the open 3 but was able to secure his own rebound. Calderon launched an off-balance 3 but was once again off and ending the game.
Waste Of A Performance: The 35-year old sure put on a performance for the home crowd. Shooting 13-21 from the field and finished with 38 points and a season high 17 rebounds. He also scored his 26,000 career point late in the second quarter off of a put-back and-1.
Starters? More like Farters: They sure stunk it up for the Mavs. Outside of Dirk, the other starters combined for 9-34 shooting and just 22 points. Monta Ellis and Calderon don’t offer much on the defensive side, so if their offense isn’t there then the Mavs really will have a hard time winning games.
Bench Strong Again: Vince Carter (22 pts), Harris (14), and Blair (13) were the key bright spots for the Mavs other than Dirk. The Bench combined for 55 points in the losing effort. If the starters continue the struggle the Mavs will need the bench to continue coming up big.
No Harden, No Problem: The Rockets seemed just fine on the offensive end without their leading scorer. Chandler Parsons led the way with 26 points. Dwight Howard added 21 points and shot an amazing 9-11 from the free throw line; leaving the Hack-A-Howard utterly ineffective. Line (18), Terrence Jones (16), Donata Motiejunas (12), Patrick Beverly (11), and Aaron Brooks (11) were also in double figures.
Allas Mavericks: May be overused but no denying how true it is. The defense had no answer for Parsons and Lin’s drives to the basket. They constantly broke the defense down and either got a shot in the paint or found an open teammate. There really is NO “D” in Dallas.
This would have been a great game for the Mavs to take. The Rockets just played a close game against the San Antonio Spurs last night and were without their top player. The Mavs could have used a win against a plus-500 team and, which have been scarce lately and clinched the season series (2-2).
Well…they couldn’t capitalize and the Memphis Grizzlies are knocking on the door for their playoff spot back.