Jason Terry returns for the 45-22 Dallas Mavericks as they welcome the Chicago Bulls to the American Airlines Center. The Mavericks are getting completely healthy for the home stretch and are looking to gain some momentum going into the playoffs. The Chicago Bulls, at 31-36, are currently on the outside looking in at the Eastern conference playoff race with an 8 game skid.
Does Dallas start a new streak or will the Bulls finally taste victory?
Games as a Whole:
Even though the Bulls were wearing the green jerseys, the luck of the Irish must have been squarely with the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas survived a late third/early fourth quarter surge to capture their 46th win of the season (50 wins, here we come). While it would have been nice to see the Mavericks not give up a big run to end the game, I am sure they will take the win and start to prepare for a stretch of 3 games in 4 nights.
Butler and Barea both responded at different times tonight and it really helped the Mavericks bring home the game. Butler had a season-high 26 for Dallas and provided early energy in each quarter. Barea had an offensive explosion in the 4th quarter going 4 of 5 with two three-pointers. The Dallas Mavericks have different guys surging at different times, so this is a true team in the sense that it isn’t on any one guy’s shoulders to win the game (anymore). Anybody can step up and be the hero, and tonight was Barea’s night.
Let’s not forget that Nowitzki also kicked off the whole night by hitting 7 of 9 in the first two quarters, leading by example.
Let’s look at the quarters…
- Bulls with the green jerseys, they look pretty good. Sad that the Mavericks didn’t get to wear some form of green as well.
- Mavs start 2 for 2, from Caron and Shawn, Dirk gets first miss then loses the ball out of bounds.
- 8:22, Dirk nails a fade away jumper.
- 7:00, Steal results in a failed fast break.
- 6:44, Another fast break, this time Butler gets fouled and makes both.
- 5:55, Dampier muscles in a shot under the basket.
- 5:35, Butler hits a nice jumpshot with the assist from Kidd.
- 4:40, Dirk is looking much more like himself with another jumper. He then hustles on the other end by knocking the ball out of bounds off the Bulls after a Dampier block.
- The AAC plays Phantom of the Opera music as Jet enters the game with his mask.
- 3:20, Jet makes his first shot back, meaning he’ll continue to wear his mask.
- 1:57, Kidd dishes to Terry for a three-pointer off a fast break.
- Defense looks much more active tonight.
- Stevenson enters the game with a minute and a half left.
- :50.9, Jet goes three for three!
- :29.8, Dampier with the finish and the foul, thanks to a gorgeous behind the back bounce pass from Kidd.
- :05, Terry blocks a shot on the outside. He’s back with a vengeance!
- Terry doesn’t seem to be bothered at all by the mask. Is Terry the next Rip?
- Barea is in to start the 2nd quarter for Kidd.
- 11:34, Dirk with the awkward scoop shot. Guess it doesn’t matter as long as it goes in (right Marion?).
- 10:50, Terry Hits his 4th shot in a row. When is a player officially "on fire"?
- 7:29, Beaubois comes in at the timeout, let’s see if he can turn up the heat on the Bulls and match his scoring output from their last meeting.
- 6:01, Haywood comes in and gets a block, that’s another Dallas possession.
- Nowitzki is currently 6 out of 8 from the floor. Maybe a loss every once in awhile is motivating?
- Will we see the three-headed dragon in Kidd, Barea, and Beaubois tonight?
- Kidd has already gotten about seven minutes of rest tonight. Nice to give one of your stars a bunch of rest, but we don’t want him to go cold.
- 4:36, Nowitzki pulls the shot fake out of his bag of tricks and scores.
- 3:43, Butler with the killer instinct and a great leak out for a really easy basket. Some would call it "cherry picking".
- 3:02, Beaubois looks effortless running the floor. Haywood block leads to the coast-to-coast for Beaubois.
- Hinrich is currently 1 for 5, I think he likes the red and black uniforms better.
- 1:55, Barea hits a three but Dallas gives up it’s first three of the game, net gain 0.
- 1:00, Beaubois gets the follow dunk with Haywood in the vicinity.
- :.09, Beaubois earns two free throws with almost no time left.
- 11:35, Caron Butler starts his third quarter with a three pointer.
- 10:45, Butler now at the line, Brad Miller picks up his third foul on the play.
- 10:00, Kidd misses back-to-back threes and is shooting a goose egg from the floor.
- 9:47, Another trip to the line for Butler and he already has shot 10 free throws tonight.
- 9:20, Butler earns another trip to the line thanks to sharing the basketball.
- 8:32, The Butler quarter continues with a Caron steal but he fails to make the jumper.
- 7:43, Marion loses the ball but gathers for a "Marionesque" scoop shot. That pushes the lead back to 21 for Dallas.
- 6:16, Kidd is calling for the ball from Nowitzki but Dirk keeps it himself and gets fouled.
- 3:58, Terry comes back and Brad Miller picks up his fifth foul.
- 2:38, Terry almost gets the steal but he can’t keep control of the basketball. Mavericks look like they are on cruise control right now.
- 1:14, Marion shows off some pestering defense against Flip Murray. Shawn hits the up and under on the other end.
- Jason Kidd with a buzzer beater to end the quarter? Doesn’t count and Kidd is benched for it.
- Butler is leading the charge with 26 points. He has been the spark that has started off every quarter strong.
- 10:50, Nowitzki nails his first jumper after getting up off the bench.
- 9:34, Chicago is now only down 14. Mavericks are giving up a bit of ground to the Bulls.
- Where is Beaubois at? Can we get him some more playing time? Seems kind of criminal to give him 8 minutes when he has already gone 3-4.
- 8:42, Dampier rolls to the basket but can’t tip in his own miss. Dampier picks up his fifth foul on the defensive end.
- 8:16, Crisp ball movement gets Dampier an easy dunk. Every Mav touched the ball on that possession.
- 7:09, Chicago climbs to within ten, which Maverick steps up to build the lead back up?
- 6:48, Haywood picks up his 2nd foul on an over the back. Marion misses a rare three pointer.
- Chicago is doing everything in the paint at present.
- 5:58, Barea helps push the Dallas lead back up to ten. Finally someone makes a shot.
- Barea is keeping Dallas in the lead this quarter. Rick Carlisle is probably keeping Kidd on the bench due to Barea having the hot hand.
- 4:10, Marion secures a second possession for the Mavericks, Barea converts.
- 3:49, Barea draws the offensive foul, he has been in the right place at the right time the whole 4th quarter.
- 3:12, Barea tips out a rebound off of his own missed shot.
- 2:05, Hinrich gives Dirk a little shove after the play and picks up a technical (was a loose ball foul called on Nowitzki).
- 1:35, Marion with the put back off the Terry miss.
- Butler picks up two more foul shots for the night.
- Beaubois finally gets to come back in at the 22-second mark.
Some Choice Statistics:
- Kidd only plays in the 1st and 3rd quarters of tonight’s game.
- Chicago has now lost 9 games straight.
- Caron’s all time high in points: 40 against versus Milwaukee.
Everyone on this Dallas team looks like they are competing against one another fighting to show that they are deserving of playing time and worthy of trust when their number is called. You have to like how the Mavericks are playing.