Game Recap: Nets Can't Trap Mavs, 96-87

After a short vacation, the game recaps are back! 

The 7-56 New Jersey Nets arrive at the American Airlines Center looking to salvage any shred of respect they can from a truly abysmal season.  While it would take a miracle for the Nets to even sniff the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks are headed down a completely different path.  Dallas, at 44-21, is within striking distance of the Los Angeles Lakers for first place in the West and currently holds the longest active winning streak in the NBA. 

Will the Mavericks continue to roll or do they decide to take a night off?

Game as a Whole:

Sure the Mavericks looked absolutely awful in the first half and let the Nets run up a 16-point lead before storming back to get the victory, but a win is a win.  The Mavericks didn’t look out of control or even worried as the Nets kept scoring and that speaks directly to their maturity as a basketball team.  There was no need to have a knee jerk reaction and so the Mavericks began to slowly chip away, getting the lead to single digits by the half.

Everyone played his role to a T in notching tonight’s win.  Kidd was directing traffic and dropping in timely threes (he had 5 on the night).  Beaubois poured in 16 points in his 26 minutes of action while only giving up one turnover.  Shawn Marion finished plays and generally kept his defensive assignment in check. Finally, Butler stepped it up in the fourth quarter to help close out the game and seal the win.  The Mavericks are in a great place when their star can go 3 for 16 and still grab the W.

Let’s look at the quarters… 

1st Quarter:
  • Haywood gets the start at center tonight. 
  • 11:31, Kidd gets fouled right away, makes only his second free throw.
  • 10:05, Devin Harris takes a beautiful three. He got an ovation when he came in to the American Airlines Center. Nets lead 5-1 early.
  • The Mavericks look a bit too confident. If they try too hard to showboat, they could get in trouble. So far they are scoreless from the field, and Carlisle is wise to take a time out.
  • 8:05, Caron Butler gets the Mavericks their first score with a smooth jumper.
  • 6:20, Shawn Marion takes a rebound coast to coast for an easy lay-in.
  • 4:58, Roddy Beaubois makes a steal and takes it down for a score.
  • 3:27, Beaubois is trying to get the Mavericks back in the game with some young energy.
  • 2:52, Kidd gets a rare close jumper to go in. Let’s hope Dallas is back in this.
  • With the Nets over the limit, Kidd shoots and makes a pair of free throws.
  • 1:33, Roddy gets a nice feed from Dirk and runs, undefended, to the basket.
  • :22.7, Dirk makes an angry dunk.
  • Mavs go into the 2nd quarter down 33-19. 
2nd Quarter:
  • Dirk gets fouled right off the bat, and he makes both.
  • Every single shot is going in for the Nets. It’s getting scary.
  • 10:12, Kidd misses a layup but Najera cleans it up. Mavs down 14.
  • Few things to talk about right now. The Mavericks forgot to show up for this game.
  • 7:36, Haywood gets his own rebound and pounds it in for the and-1. He is able to convert. 
  • 6:32, And 1 opportunity for Nowitzki, he ends up shanking the free throw. 
  • 5:50, Josh Boone tires to get physical with Nowitzki, ends up picking up his third foul.
  • Not going to win many games when your team is shooting only 32%.
  • 4:50, Courtney Lee misses a three badly which leads to Beaubois going coast to coast for the basket plus the foul.  Mavericks weren’t going to stay down forever.
  • Net’s announcer claims that Terrance Williams has one of the better "first steps" in the NBA.  Not so sure about that. 
  • 3:23, Jason Kidd goes into the stands hard for a loose ball and Marion benefits for the dunk.  It says a lot when your 36-year-old point guard is still charging for loose balls like it’s game seven of the Western Conference Finals.
  • 3:01, Devin Harris draws the offensive foul on Jason Kidd.  Weird to see Kidd try to take it himself instead of dishing it. 
  • 2:30, No resistance for Roddy at the cup.  He scores with ease.  I sense a career night for him. 
  • 1:55, Harris goes for the loose ball but comes up short.  Dallas gets another possession and it leads to a Beaubois turnover. 
  • Shawn Marion’s offense has disappeared.  Marion, come out to play. 
  • Carlisle needs to bring out his best motivational quotes for the 2nd half. 
3rd Quarter:
  • Mavericks start with a Nowitzki iso early.  He misses the shot.
  • 10:44, Boone can’t even play for a full two minutes before he picks up his fourth foul.
  • 10:30, Haywood shows a little range with the jump shot.
  • 9:17, Butler drives hard to the basket for the score.  Someone needs to shoulder the scoring load.
  • 8:52, Nowitzki drills a tough jumper. The Mavericks are only down four now.
  • 8:15, One would think that Kris Humphries wouldn’t fall for Nowitzki’s moves.  Lucky for Dallas that is not the case.
  • 7:30, Harris coughs up the ball and Butler is right there to feed Marion on the fast break.  Marion ties the game from the foul line.
  • 6:56, Nowitzki called for the moving screen, picks up his third foul. 
  • 6:22, Kidd hits the three to counter a Harris three. 
  • 5:56, Butler picks up his fourth foul, on the offensive end, as he clears out with the left arm.
  • The Mavericks are continuing to run the ball straight down the Nets throat.  Every missed shot Dallas is pushing the ball.
  • 5:33, Dallas finally reclaims the lead since leading at the 1-0 mark in the first quarter.
  • 4:56, Kidd calling from the ball and Dirk gives it up.  Great choice by Dirk as Kidd notches the three.
  • 4:06, Loose ball foul by the Nets leads to Dallas foul shots for Haywood.
  • 3:37, Kidd rewards the big man for running the floor.  One handed jam for Haywood.
  • 2:48, Marion slams home Kidd’s miss.  The Mavericks are starting to attack the glass on the offensive end.
  • 1:43, Haywood cuts off a Brooke Lopez spin off.  Lopez gets called for the travel.
  • Nets Announcer claims that DeShawn Stevenson has the greatest beard in NBA history. Now that is a fact I can get behind.
4th Quarter:
  • Stevenson gets his first points thanks to a goaltending call on the Nets.
  • 10:51, Beaubois hits a three bringing his total to 16 points for the night. 
  • 10:20, Kidd gives the Mavericks back-to-back threes.
  • 9:45, Another three for Kidd and I feel like I am at the three point shooting contest. 
  • Dallas, even with both centers available, is still running with Nowitzki at the 5 and Najera at the four. 
  • 8:02, New Jersey goes on an 11-3 run to cut the Maverick lead to three. 
  • 7:01, Even though Nowitzki is slow to a loose ball, he forces Humphries to pick up the offensive foul. 
  • 6:14, Beaubois picks up his fifth foul as if the Mavericks weren’t short on guards.
  • 5:52, Caron Butler chips in a two-point jumper.
  • The Mavericks have clawed their way to 42% shooting but have let the Nets back into the game.
  • 3:55, Off another Nowitzki miss, Butler gathers the offensive rebound and gets the put back.
  • 2:41, Dirk passes out of a double team for a clutch three from Kidd. 
  • 1:45, Butler seems really relaxed on offense.  Drops in a two after taking his time in getting to the position he wants.
  • 1:15, Haywood catches Butler in the nose, nothing looks to be broken but Butler took awhile to get up.
  • :50.0, Haywood flips in a little bank shot.  The catch in traffic was a sight to behold.

Some Choice Statistics:

  • Before tonight, Dirk Nowitzki had gone 13 games in a row scoring 20+ points.  Lebron James leads him by only three games.  
  • The Nets have not won a road game against the West this season and haven’t won a game against the Mavericks since 2000.
  • Nowitzki is now resting at number 30 on the NBA all time scoring list.

Final Thoughts:

The Mavericks looked comfortable and didn’t seem too worried even as shots weren’t falling. This Dallas squad showed a lot of poise tonight when they easily could have not cared about this game. 

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