Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The dictionary definition of Heartache: emotional anguish or grief the Dallas Mavericks make their fans endure with every game being a wire-wire emotional roller coaster that never stops, because even though watching Mavs games is the most heart-racing, yet some times frustrating thing in the whole wide world, we tune in every night because we can’t get enough of it. Look it up, I promise that’s exactly what it says.
Us MFFL’S have a serious addiction: We’re addicted to Dirk Nowitzki one-legged fadeaways, explosive drives to the rim from Monta “Have it All” Ellis, Mavericks wins, and most of all, Samuel Dalembert mid-range jumpers when the Mavs are trying to make a comeback. Oh wait, apparently Mavs fans aren’t really fond of the last one, so scratch that.
The Dallas Mavericks( 47-31) put their fans through the ringer once again Sunday evening, as they were narrowly able to squeak out of win against the downtrodden Sacramento Kings(27-50) in Sleep Train Arena, 93-91. This was the Mavs 5th straight road win(Utah, OKC, Clippers, Lakers, and Sacramento), which is their most since they won 6 in a row from February 12 to March 7, 2011.
The game started off shaky for the Mavs, as their starting center, one Sam Dalembert, was forced to exit at the 9:30 mark in the first quarter due to foul trouble, and DeJean Blair checked in. Behind a couple of Jose Calderon and Vince Carter triples, as well as a surprising positive interjection of minutes from DeJuan Blair, the Mavs led after 1 quarter 29-24, despite a 14 point 1st quarter effort from the oh-so talented DeMarcus Cousins.
Sacramento took over momentum in the second, as they gained their first lead of the game, 35-33, with 8:11 left in the first half. After a Dalembert 2-foot jumper at the 2:47 mark, the Mavs offense became obsolete for the rest of the quarter, which allowed the opportunistic Kings to take a 48-45 lead into the second half after an 8-0 Sacramento run.
Biggest first half stat in my mind was that the Mavs, who obviously rely a little bit more on their jumper than they do driving to the rim and attacking, only were able to attempt 3, yes 3, free throws to the Kings 15 attempts.
The Kings started the second half right where they left off in the first, and extended their run and lead to 54-45, before Mavs Head Coach Rick Carlisle called a much-needed timeout. The 12-0 Kings run ended out of the timeout by the way of a Dirk Nowitzki, who had an off night with only 15 points on 5-17 shooting, 19-foot jumper, as Dirk started to heat up by scoring 7 out of the teams next 9 points. But Rudy Gay, who went for 32 points and 8 dimes on 12-18 from the floor, and one of my basketball-mancrushes, DeMarcus Cousins, who put up 28 points and 10 rebounds on 12-23 field goal attempts, wouldn’t let their team be swallowed whole by an impressive 13-31(41.9%) Mavs showing from downtown. The third quarter ended with the Mavs on top 68-65.
The early part of the 4th quarter was dominated by, you guessed it, Travis Outlaw, as he nailed two long triples to knot the game up at 71 all. Two back-to-back clutch Vince Carter threes put the Mavs on top for the final time at around the 5:oo mairk, and Monta Ellis continued to shoot the 4th quarter three ball well, as he nailed one at the 3:04 mark to make the score Mavs 87, Kings 82. Due to poor free-throw shooting, including a miss from the Big German as well a two misses from “The Matrix” Shawn Marion, the Kings put a comeback effort together at the end of the game, despite falling short by the way of a DeMarcus Cousins missed jumper as time expired that would have tied the game at 93.
Cousins missed, but the Mavs won. A much-needed win at that.
Memphis and Phoenix, the two teams the Mavs are battling with for the final two playoff spots in the West, had varied fates on the night. Memphis was blown out by the Spurs, and the Suns pulled out an impressive overtime win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. What does this mean? Well, for the Mavs it means that they remain in 7th place, with the Suns retaining the 8th seed and the Grizz falling out of the playoff picture, and are currently slated to play the Thunder in the 1st round of the playoffs. That series should be stress free, right?
Carter’s 17 points tonight pushed him past Elgin Baylor for 26th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Carter, 36 years old , said when finding out from the media after the game that he passed the NBA Legend Baylor that “They don’t tell me these things.” Carter bumped Baylor down a spot and moved to 26th on the list with the go-ahead 3-pointer with 4:54 remaining.
Vince Carter, who scored 17 points on 4 made three pointers while also posting a +13 in the +/- department, and Monta Ellis, who scored a very important 23 points on 9 of 19 from the field while scoring probably the most important points of the game when he drove the lane for an and-1 layup to stretch the Mavs’ lead to six with 1:51 remaining, were both absolutely fantastic tonight.
I was shocked to see that after a season high 23 points on a perfect 10-10 from the field on Friday night against the Lakers, Brandan Wright played a grand total of 6 minutes against the Kings. I understand that he struggles against power centers( i.e. DeMarcus Cousins), but come on, give the guy a chance…
By beating the Kings on Sunday night, the Mavericks extend their win streak to three games. They will look to make that four wins in a row whenever they play the Utah Jazz in Utah, on April 8th, this coming Tuesday at 8 p.m.
The 4 game race to playoffs resumes then.