101 points…15 for 32…19 for 36…overtime thriller…Mavericks franchise record
What do all these hints mean?
You’re right! Mavs vs Rockets Dec. 2, 2004 on TNT – the infamous Dirk vs Tracy McGrady game.
The greatest Dallas performance turned out to be one of the best in NBA history. But even more so, a back-and-forth battle between super stars.
Nowitzki was continuing to grow, entering the night third in the league with 25.5 points per game while everyone knew of McGrady, who was the scoring champ from the previous season.
Of course, this game meant nothing, marking the 17th game on the calendar for both teams – an early December game, but it would go down as one of the best.
T-Mac would get an and-1 opportunity 54 seconds in, missing the free throw, while Dirk knocked down his first four attempts to give the Mavericks a 14-8 lead with 7:13 left in the opening frame. But Dirk would finish the first by hitting just one of his next five shots.
It had the feel of a Game 7, Western Conference Finals, winner take all, go to the NBA Finals type of atmosphere.
END 1st – Mavs 25, Rockets 24
Lead Changes 3
Largest Lead – Dallas 7, Houston 2
Dirk 10 (5 for 9), McGrady 13 (5 for 7)
Each all star needed every single point. Everyone not named Dirk scored 60 for Dallas while everyone not named McGrady scored 58 for Houston.
Dirk and T-Mac combine to shoot 50 percent from the field while the other 17 players that registered a shot went 45 for 111 (40.5 percent).
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McGrady’s first points in the second came with 8:15 left while Dirk made two free throws with 7:37 left for his.
Dallas would go up as much as 10 (41-31) and nine on multiple occasions, the last coming on Dirk’s put back with 1:29 left in the half (53-44). But Houston got within five at halftime, including T-Mac’s 24-foot 3-pointer with 22 seconds left. McGrady would score nine in the final 2:27.
HALF – Mavs 56, Rockets 51
Dallas led for entire second quarter, largest lead at 10 points
Dirk 22 (7 for 16), McGrady 25 (10 for 14)
Coming out of halftime, the Mavericks would go back up nine with 2:40 left in the third after Marquis Daniels’ jumper, but the Rockets went on a quick 8-0 run in less than two minutes to get within 73-72 with 58 seconds left. McGrady would knock down three straight jumpers before Jerry Stackhouse ended the run to push the lead back to three.
END 3rd – Mavs 76, Rockets 72
Once again, Dallas led all throughout and got up nine twice. Both stars had a quiet third as Dirk went 1 for 3 in the quarter. McGrady would go 3 for 9.
Dirk 30 (8 for 19), McGrady 31 (13 for 23)
Dirk heated up in the fourth, scoring 13 of the team’s 17 points, but McGrady brought the Rockets back scoring 11 of Houston’s 21 points. Dallas would be up seven with nine minutes left, but Houston countered with a 16-8 run to take its first lead of the second half, thanks to McGrady’s three with 1:58 to go. Dirk hit two free throws to go up 93-92, but McGrady would be fouled with 27 seconds left, making 1 of 2. Stackhouse’s jumper with four seconds left would push the game into overtime.
END Regulation – Mavs 93, Rockets 93
Lead Changes 4
Dirk 43 (11 for 27), McGrady 42 (17 for 33)
Dirk had a personal 10-0 run in the first 1:25 of overtime. Dallas would score 20 points in the extra five-minute period, just as much as it did in the third and more than the fourth (in 12 minutes). McGrady hit a three to end Dirk’s run, but Jason Terry answered to push the lead back to 10. McGrady hit another three to make it a four-point game before Daniels’ layup made it six with 35 seconds left. The Rockets went into overtime without Yao Ming, who fouled out in regulation.
OT/FINAL – Mavs 113, Rockets 106
Dirk 53 (15 for 32), McGrady 48 (19 for 36)
10 years later…and here we are. Dirk is still going strong and climbing the ranks of the all-time greats. McGrady has been out of the NBA the past two seasons, but hasn’t been relevant since his final year in Houston (2010). If this is it for T-Mac, he’ll finish his career with 18,381 – good for a 19.6 point average.
Mavs – DIRK, TERRY, DEVIN HARRIS, Stackhouse, Daniels, Erick Dampier, Calvin Booth, Shawn Bradley, Josh Howard, DJ Mbenga, Dan Dickau, Alan Henderson
Rockets – McGrady, Yao, Juwan Howard, Jim Jackson, Bob Sura, Andre Barrett, Reece Gaines, Dikembe Mutombo, Maurice Taylor, Scott Padgett, Clarence Weatherspoon, Bostjan Nachbar
*Caps = Active*