The Mavericks put their excellent road record (12-6 away) on the line against a Spurs team that is predictably good at defending their home court (15-5). No matter what team your allegiance is with, this rivalry is something that all NBA fans circle on their calendar because they know both teams are going to give it their all for a full 90 minutes.
With that said, which coach will win the chess game?
Game as a Whole:
Whenever the Mavericks and Spurs tango you can expect a game that looks like it is being played on a seesaw. The Spurs looked like they had this one in control from the outset (even with Dallas matching the Spurs output in the first). Just when you thought it was all going the Spurs way in the fourth quarter, something happened. A defense that looked poor most of the night started rotating and covering for each other. Nowitzki, who had been cold, broke out of his slump. The Mavericks, who couldn’t slow down Duncan, started to get the ball out of his hands.
So, was it all luck? Maybe, but could it also have been that the Mavericks felt more comfortable having their rotation restored (welcome back Dampier) and waited till the fourth quarter to make their push? This really was the prefect storm of a game. Terry and Nowitzki both started scoring at their normal pace, Beaubois slowed Parker just enough, and the Mavericks got some veteran plays out of Kidd.
First two Quarters are thanks to my g/f since I had to work late.
Damp is back in the starting lineup. Dallas needs him against Duncan.
- 11:34, Dirk makes a long jumper for the Maverick’s first score. A better start than he’s had in a while!
- 10:49, Dirk can’t get an and-1 to fall. He makes both free throws.
- 10:18, Damp drives hard to the basket and makes it. Welcome back, sir.
- Still having a hard time with those offensive rebounds directly under the basket.
- 9:33, Damp fouls Parker and it’s a good one, as he misses the first free throw.
- 8:49, Damp with a lefty jump hook over Duncan.
- 7:33, Barea takes an ill-advised outside shot and misses, leading to a Spurs score on the other end.
- 6:41, Damp fouls Jefferson for an and-1 on the wrong end. Gooden comes in, and the Mavs lose the lead as a result.
- Spurs are on a 9-0 run halfway through the 1st.
- Tony Parker is on fire- that’s a problem.
- 4:35, Gooden is having problems with those ‘tip-ins’ again. Two missed ones, and then he doesn’t get the rebound.
- 4:13, DOES IT AGAIN. What is his deal?
- Mavericks are making nothing in the paint. Shooting 33% overall. They are lucky the Spurs aren’t doing much better.
- 3:20, Marion ends the shooting draught with his turnaround jumper close inside.
- 2:39, Terry drives to the basket, chickens out, and then loses the ball out of bounds.
- 2:10, Gooden makes a strong move to the basket over Duncan. He thought he got fouled but didn’t get a call.
- 1:35, Terry drives and actually follows through this time, resulting in an and-1, which he makes. Three points the hard way.
- 1:08, Ginobili fouls Howard away from the basket, but they are in the bonus so he goes to the line. Sadly, Howard misses both.
- :42.3, After Jefferson knocks down a three, Howard comes back and shoots one right at the Spurs.
- :21.9, Terry comes back and shoots another three, putting the Mavs ahead at the end of the quarter. He ALMOST makes the half court shot at the buzzer.
- Marion misses a shot, and Gooden FINALLY gets the tip in. The clock was missing thanks to stupid Spurs advertising. I think it was at 11:32.
- Uh oh, Gooden gets his finger caught in Ginobili’s jersey. He’s in the locker room. Thomas is in to replace him.
- 10:41, Howard makes a sweet jumper.
- We come back from a commercial during the San Antonio time out, and Popovich has been TOSSED from the game. Jet shoots the technicals and makes both.
- 9:31, Howard draws the foul from Jefferson (his first) on his drive to the basket, and the Spurs fans are displeased. As are the announcers.
- Ginobili is having his way with the Mavericks right now.
- 7:49, Thomas makes an up and under.
- 6:53, Thomas makes a turnaround jumper. Could he be a spark to open up the lead?
- 6:36, Mavs commit a defensive 3-seconds technical, and Mason misses the free throw.
- 5:39, Terry misses a jumper, Duncan gets fouled on the resulting offensive play from the Spurs. His free throws will give the Spurs back the lead. Thankfully, his sneak-attack shot goes astray on both.
- 5:07, Kidd comes in during the free throws and makes a wide-open three.
- As well as he can possibly defend Duncan, Gooden still just isn’t big enough.
- 4:28, After a wild rebound battle under the Mavs’ basket, Duncan fouls Howard. He makes them both.
- 3:47, Bogans tries to put a move on Dirk and runs right into Gooden, who draws the charge. First his finger gets hurt, then his chin opens up. He has to go BACK to the locker room.
- 3:36, Howard commits his 3rd foul. Damp also has 3, and Gooden has 2. Everyone needs to relax.
- 2:35, Parker ties the game when the lane empties and he strolls right in.
- 2:15, Marion takes the ugliest three I’ve ever seen, and misses. Duncan comes back and makes a two off the glass.
- 1:23, Terry breaks some ankles on his way to the lane and makes a nice jumper to tie it up.
- :55.2, Marion takes a pass from Thomas (who is on his knees) and makes the layup.
- Dear Mavericks: Please don’t leave Ginobili by himself behind the arc. Yours truly, Lisa.
- OHMIGOSH Kidd almost makes the half court shot. It literally rims out. Mavericks enter halftime down by 3, playing much of the quarter without Dirk.
- 11:26, Dirk passes to Dampier, but gets intercepted. Spurs score.
- 11:04 – 10:57, Two offensive rebounds are good, no points to show for it are bad.
- 10:03, Barea out and Beaubois in. If Roddy forces Parker to be a jump shooter he can be effective.
- 8:18-7:41, Look at Roddy go. Two short jumpers in a matter of seconds. He can definitely score when he wants to.
- 6:37, Fittingly, Nowitzki ties it with his signature jumper. 63 all.
- Marion has been going to work in this quarter. He has already given the Mavericks a huge boost in the paint with two clutch baskets to get the Mavericks back in the running.
- 5:57, Richard Jefferson got a piece of the ball but it helped Kidd’s basket go in. Mavericks are on an 11-2 run.
- Beaubois is playing big minutes in this game. I think this is Rick Carlisle’s attempt at shaking up the lineup. He must not like what he has been seeing recently.
- When did Dallas all of a sudden forget how to defend the three-point line?
- 4:17, Dirk gets denied by the rim and then his jumper rolls out. I guess the ball doesn’t lie.
- The Mavericks are ice cold at this point, and then Jason Kidd magnifies it by committing the foul. I don’t know who blew the coverage on George Hill.
- 2:42, I don’t question most of Kidd’s passes but throwing a bounce pass into a double team is not a good idea.
- Dallas has been held scoreless for 3 minutes and they currently are running around the court like chickens with their heads cut off.
- :20.3, Jason Terry with the trip on George Hill, okay I can laugh about that. You can’t come back and commit a foul on the other end though, especially on Blair.
- :06.5, Kidd forces the issue and picks up a foul.
- Mavericks have dug themselves a hole, but is it a grave?
- 11:56, Terry hits 12 points for the game after that basket.
- 11:13, Drew Gooden waited just long enough to throw that ball up. Two Spurs defenders go sailing. Great assist from Nowitzki.
- 10:34, Howard wisely passes up an open three and drives it into the paint for a foul.
- 9:57, Great ball fake leads to an uncontested jumper for Dirk.
- 8:55, Mavericks were rotating nicely but then they forgot where Richard Jefferson was.
- 8:41, After Jefferson knocks Dirk down on a play, Dirk gets the best revenge with an uncontested layup.
- 8:13, Jefferson picks up the foul while trying to flop on Dirk. Dirk spins and hits the shot over Jefferson on the next play.
- 7:39, I have never seen Dampier handle a bounce pass as nicely as he just took that one from Kidd. Dallas gets two points and the foul on the play.
- 7:01, After Terry blows a dunk (he gets blocked by Jefferson as he doesn’t go up strong with both hands), Nowitzki and Dampier get the job done with a tip play.
- 6:40, Spurs turnover but the Mavericks can’t capitalize. Nowitzki comes back with a foul against Duncan.
- 5:58, Dirk redeems himself by hitting a short jumper.
- 5:15, Kidd sets his feet and drills the open three. Mavericks best possession of the game as they use the entire clock and have crisp ball movement.
- 4:36, Terry for three. His shot is definitely back.
- 4:02, Nowitzki with the block and then the trailing three. That just took the wind out of the Spurs’ sails a bit. You have to love the Nowitzki jersey-pull.
- 3:50, The wily veteran (Kidd) picks up the offensive foul on Manu.
- 3:37, Nowitzki, deadly from short range. He is feeling it now.
- 2:30, Terry with the jump shot over Duncan. He is definitely in a groove. Terry says give me a double (second score on Duncan).
- 1:19, Bad choice by Dirk to take a quick shot instead of waiting.
- :51.0, Nowitzki fixes his initial play by hitting a three at the end of the clock. Game is officially over.
- Dampier puts the icing on the cake by hitting a three pointer at the end of the game. Shot looked great too. I am sure Dampier will be more than happy to sign that ball for the Spurs to hold on to.
Some Choice Statistics:
- Dirk has a 16-point 4th quarter to hand deliver a win for the Mavericks.
- The win gives Dallas a 3 game lead over San Antonio in the Southwest.
- Talk about a balanced attack, Dallas had 50 points in the paint.
The Mavericks have truly come into their own as a 4th quarter team (something that they weren’t for a long time). Veteran teams will always find a way to win even when a game is not going their way. Dallas outclassed San Antonio with a 42-23 4th quarter and made every clutch play without hesitation. They knew they could win and refused to get flustered even when they were down big. The team’s ability to keep their composure in crunch time earned them the win.