The Hornets finally have Chris Paul healthy again so that he can provide a spark and actually push the New Orleans Hornets to victory. The Hornets are surely hungry for a victory after a 17-point loss to the New York Knicks. Their previous two games before that had both been wins.
After a razor thin margin of victory for the Mavericks in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats, the team was looking to get off to a fast start and not give the Hornets any hope of winning the game. Some unlikely heroes for the Mavericks tonight made things all the more interesting.
Game as a Whole:
If this game were a book it would be called "The Tale of Two Quarters". The Mavericks came out looking for blood in the 1st and it looked like the game was quickly going to get out of hand. However, we know that this is the NBA and every team (especially one with Chris Paul) is going to make a run and that is exactly what happened in the 2nd quarter.
New Orleans holds Dallas to 14 points in the quarter while pouring in 25 of their own points to erase most of the Mavericks lead going into the half. The Mavericks, with their excessive turnovers, absolutely refused to close the game throughout the 3rd and 4th quarters and had to continue to grit out a win (I guess that is what good teams do when their stars have bad night).
Kris Humphries got to play major minutes when the game mattered toward the end of the 3rd quarter (needed him to rebound). It would have been interesting to see Roddy put into the game when the team was looking to slow Chris Paul and the Hornets in the second (obviously you couldn’t overlook Barea who was on a scoring tear).
It takes a great team to pull out a win when you commit 20+ turnovers and your top scorer has only given you 10 points. Either that, or it takes a bad team and a bit of a luck
Lets look at the quarters…
(first and second quarters were done with some assistance tonight!)
- Mavericks win tip, Shawn Marion misses first shot, Erick Dampier misses the put-back. Groan…
- Dirk gets his first steal and Jason Kidd misses a 3-pointer at the other end.
- The New Orleans Hornets score the first basket. Is this how the rest of the night is going to go?
- Jose Juan Barea drives hard to basket, Emeka Okafor goal tends and he gets his first score.
- Barea decides that he wants to make it rain tonight and takes an ugly jumper and bricks.
- Kidd misses another wide-open 3. Kidd, please focus on passing the ball.
- Kidd adds to his career steals by intercepting a pass, Barea drives for layup on the fast break.
- New Orleans is staying in the game only because they are shooting the 3 well tonight. The Mavericks exterior defense has always been pretty suspect.
- There’s no game clock for some reason, so I have no idea what time anything is happening. Sorry.
- Has anyone else noticed that Barea makes a silly free-throw face? I’m just saying.
- Damp drives hard and throws up…a baby hook? Magic, is that you?
- Barea having another excellent start to stay in the lineup, he is currently pacing Dallas with 10 points. His scoring has never been suspect though.
- Josh Howard comes in to end the quarter, gets fouled on his first shot by Peja Stojakavic. Peja decides he doesn’t like the call and gets a tech. JET makes a free throw and Howard makes both of his a well.
- Marion makes jumper on a smooth dime from Kidd, puts Mavs ahead by 15.
- Mavs have not committed a team foul in the first quarter!
- Kris Humphries, welcome back! Where have you been hiding?
- Humphries wants to show that he deserves minutes, takes it strong to the basket for the score.
- There he is again!
- The 1st Mavs foul is committed at 9:47 and it’s committed by Kris Humphries. I guess it’s back to the bench for you Kris.
- The Mavericks are dominating the paint (didn’t think I would ever get to say that). It’s currently 22 to 4 in the Mavericks’ favor.
- Josh Howard passes to referee, that’s going to be a turnover unfortunately and not an assist.
- OUCH, Wright has huge dunk to quiet the home crowd.
- JET, first shot attempt is a missed 3 pointer off an inbounds play. He is usually really good at those. As the saying goes, "shooters keep shooting".
- New Orleans is on 13-0 run. Not how you want to see the 2nd quarter go.
- Barea ends the Hornets run with a layup. That caps 4 minutes without a score for the Mavericks.
- Barea drives AGAIN for a CP3-style layup. He is looking like Dirk tonight.
- ANNNNND again. Barea has 19, leads Dallas scorers. When he leaves the floor, the crowd goes wild for him.
- Dirk is having a really bad night. Only has 2 points to his name right now.
- FINALLY Jason Terry gets on the board with 1:30 left in the quarter. Surprised that the Mavericks are still winning this game with two of their best scorers firing blanks.
- 10:10, Marion gets the friendly roll on a shot that cannot be classified.
- 9:49, why does Marion even go for that ball? I can understand you want to score but there is no reason to get hurt trying for a loose ball that is going to go to your team.
- Dampier has a great follow on a Marion miss. Definitely looks like Marion wants to be more aggressive this quarter. I like that.
- Chris Paul is absolutely unstoppable. I am still trying to decide whether he is the best point guard in the league right now? Thoughts?
- 6:52, Kidd has been reading his scouting report and knows exactly where Brown is going (draws an offensive foul).
- 6:36, Kidd going all the way to the basket? Kidd tries to pass out of the drive when he is directly under the basket (leads to a turnover).
- Peja, lazy pass and Marion makes him pay for it with a dunk. It’s great when the Mavericks force turnovers.
- 4:12, Terry gets a nice 2-pointer off of a screen. Definitely going to need some more scoring from him tonight.
- Jason Terry scores off of a screen and curl at 2:52 for a two point score. The JET might be on the runaway.
- The lid has come off the basket for the Hornets. Luckily, 1:48 the Hornets commit a 3 second violation on the offensive end.
- Chris Paul is sitting down for the last minute and a half. The Mavericks need to force the tempo here.
- Josh Howard hits a three and then hits a two on back-to-back possessions. The coaches have always talked about finishing quarters and the Mavericks look like they are doing it tonight.
- Had to put Chris Paul back in after two Mavericks scores with 41 seconds to go.
- 16 Mavericks turnovers and we have a quarter left. That’s not a good number tonight.
- 11:16, This is an interesting choice by Carlisle with Humphries at the 5. We haven’t seen this lineup for a while. Is Carlisle saying we need more rebounding?
- 10:15, Josh Howard is doing a lot of talking to the refs and gets a technical foul for it. You can’t give away points in such a close game.
- Barea is willing the team to a win tonight. Nice to see him take it to the basket for a floater.
- 6:58, Time out plays are great for Carlisle. Jason Kidd hits an open three to give him 11. Howard comes and gets a block on the help side defense.
- 4:47, Howard takes it to the basket and gets fouled. New Orleans has 4 team fouls now.
- 21 turnovers is something that you don’t want to hang your hat on. You are lucky to win games when you commit that many turnovers.
- 1:45, Kidd almost hits a dagger three. It was a nice pass from Dirk.
- The Mavericks are lucky that there wasn’t a score on that play where Dampier was covering Paul at the top of the key. He could have easily taken it to the basket.
- :58.9, Dirk is so clutch. Adds two more points to his six point total (almost his career low) to help push the Mavericks to victory.
- Nail bitters are always the best NBA games to watch.
- :12.9, Jason Terry has not been automatic from the free line recently. He rolls his first free throw in. He sinks the second. Mavs win.
Some Choice Statistics:
- Hornets are now 2 -10 on the road, and 7 of those 10 losses by have been by double digits.
- Barea had scored 36 points in the last 3 games, 31 of those points came in the 1st half.
- In the last 3 games Dirk is shooting 36 of 72 or exactly 50% from the field. That’s even with a horrible game versus the Bobcats.
The defense was key tonight as a lot of the offense flowed directly from it. When the Mavericks needed big stops, they got them and found players up the floor who were ready to convert on the fast break. In the preseason the Mavericks talked a lot about wanting to get baskets in transition and it would be nice if we could catch more than a glimpse of that potential.