DALLAS MAVERICKS vs CHICAGO BULLS Recap- Feb. 28
After a strong first-quarter showing, and going up as much as 16 in the second, the Dallas Mavericks (36-24) fell 100-91 to the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 28 to snap a four-game win streak.
Chicago went down 38-22 in the second quarter before outscoring the Mavs 78-53 in the final 34 minutes. The Bulls held the Mavs to 15 points in the fourth quarter.
Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 20 points, four boards, five dimes and three steals. Dirk Nowitzki added 15 points, but on 7-of-18 shooting.
Ellis recorded his 1,000th-career steal and 500th-3-pointer.
Less Is Better: Only seven players scored for the Bulls, with at least nine points, while four players (Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler, Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy) scored at least 16 points. Gibson had a game-high 20 points. The Bulls shot 51 and 47 percent from the field and downtown while holding Dallas to just 40 and 36 percent. Chicago committed 20 turnovers and only recorded six steals compared to the Mavericks’ 13 and 12, but were still able to move six games above .500.
Get Back On Track: I never blame Dirk for anything he does, whether it’s a bad game, bad shot or bad turnover. My opinion is…why should you blame the franchise player who has done everything for your team in his 16-year-career. Dirk, though, is in a mini-slump. The 12th-leading scorer in the league at 21.6 points per game, has scored 18 points or less in the teams’ last three games. He is averaging 16 points in that span and shooting just 20-of-44 (45 percent) and 2-of-13 from behind the arc (15 percent).
Tough Road Ahead: The Mavericks will face a tough stretch with five of their next eight on the road. They will start that stretch in San Antonio on March 2 against the Southwest-leading Spurs. Dallas will also play the Warriors and Thunder on the road while hosting the Blazers and East-leading Indiana. If the Mavs can finish this stretch at a respectable 6-2, Dallas will end March and head into April with eight straight at home.
Drop In The Standings: After moving into the 6th spot in the West on Feb. 26, the Mavs dropped yet again back into the 7th spot after the loss and the Golden State Warriors winning in New York. Dallas is a half game back of Golden State and one game ahead of the Phoenix Suns, after they won at home versus the Pelicans.
Employee Of The Month: Even though Dallas finished February on a sour note, the month was good to the Mavs and one of the reasons they’re in the thick of the West standings. The Mavericks finished with a 9-3 record, mixed with two separate four-game winning streaks. Their most impressive win during February is no doubt the Pacers game on Feb. 12, where they won 81-73. It wasn’t a great offensive night, but one of their best defensive performances in recent history, and to the Pacers no less. The Mavs averaged 105 points during the month while giving up 98.7 a game, both of which are better than their season averages. Not counting the only game in October, Nowitzki had by far his best shooting month at 54.4 percent. The Tall Baller From the G averaged 20.6 points and 5.3 boards a game. He also shot a season-best 44 percent from three, and 93.5 percent from the line during the month (only trailing November’s 94 percent). His points and rebounds were down compared to other months, but the Mavs still found ways to win nine of 12.