Jason Kidd Leads Mavericks in Victory Over Lakers, 109-100

The Dallas Mavericks were searching for focus and energy as they were trying to end their six-game losing streak and they found both as they defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, 109-100.  Jason Kidd had been in a terrible slump as he entered the game against the two-time defending champions, shooting a career-low 33.5% from the floor. The veteran point guard responded as he had a season-high 21 points on 8-12 shooting from the field and 5-8 from beyond the arc.  Kidd's previous season-high was 16 points. 

Jason Terry and Shawn Marion came off the bench and provided the team with 44 points combined (22 points each) and were a huge spark.  Sasha Pavlović was huge for the Mavericks as well.  He got his first start since 2008-2009, this was his 128 career start.

The Lakers led by 11 in the first half and were up by eight midway through the third quarter. Then the Mavericks got rolling on both ends of the court.  The three-point baskets weren't falling early for the Mavericks but they turned it around to get back into the game.  With "off nights" from Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler, the Mavericks needed other players to respond.  Jason Kidd led the charge, then Shawn Marion and Jason Terry took over to give the Mavericks a much-needed victory.

Dallas was able to avoid their first seven-game losing streak since February 9, 1999 to February 19, 1999.  That was the NBA's strike-shortened season.  It was also the rookie year for Dirk Nowitzki and the first year Steve Nash was on the Mavericks.  With the 109 points and the victory, Dallas improved to a league best 18-1 when scoring at least 100 points.

Did THAT Just Happen?!

- Sasha Pavlović got the surprise start and he did an incredible job for the situation he was placed in.  He hit jumpers in a variety of ways and he held his own on defense.  He did so with a broken nose and he broke it again on the very first play of the game.  For a guy who is playing to stay in the NBA, he has lived up to the bill and appears he will get rewarded with a second 10-day contract.  Really, who would start a player one night and then get rid of them the next day? **update** The Mavericks have offered Sasha another 10 day contract. After these ten days, they will have to either release him or keep him for the rest of the season.

- The Mavericks bench destroyed the Lakers bench as they won the battle of the second units, 57-31.  It helps when you have two players make 44 of those 57 points but that also shows that it was not just a two-man game.  JJ Barea was huge in the fourth quarter as he responded with back-to-back baskets to negate back-to-back baskets by Kobe Bryant.  The game easily could have turned if the Mavericks were unable to respond to those baskets.  Barea played under duress as he had to travel back to Dallas from Puerto Rico to attend a family funeral.   The back-up point guard had been away from the team for the past two days and he arrived back in Dallas around 3 pm.

- Tyson Chandler toughed out another game as he battled through the flu.  He was puking on the sidelines (with a trash can) and had to return to the locker room in the first half.  His return was questionable at halftime but he returned to start the second half and his patrolling of the paint was critical in holding the Lakers to only 44 second-half points

 

Box Score Revelations

- Nowitzki had an rough shooting night as he really could not get going, he shot 5-15 from the field and 0-3 from long.  Despite 21 points from Kobe Bryant, it took 18 shots to get those points.  Other than his stretch in the fourth quarter of back-to-back baskets, Bryant was not really the assassin we have seen over the years.  Pau Gasol was the focal point of the triangle offense.

- After starting 0-of-7, the Mavericks went 6-of-7 from 3-point range.  You usually die by the three-pointer but tonight, they were able to live off of the three-point line as they went 12-26 from long range.  Despite that total, they shot a season-high 55% from the field, their previous high mark was 54.7%

- DeShawn Stevenson has entered a rough patch after picking up the slack while Nowitzki was out.  He was the only Maverick that played to go scoreless on the evening, he shot 0-5 from the field and 0-4 from beyond the arc.  The swingman has gone scoreless in two out of the last three games.  It just appears the heavier minutes he logged during Nowitzki's absence have finally caught up to him.  Stevenson should be able to bounce back as the minutes start the go back to normal.

 

Tweetings From the Mavs Universe

"Kidd proving that the reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated."

"Kidd giving his doubters a double-fisted middle finger."

- @kg_veteran

 

If You Don't Like What I Said, Read What They Said

"Everybody was so positive in the locker room, they stick together and that’s the key to get out of a slump…As long as we stay positive and stay together, we look like we can beat anybody." - Sasha Pavlović

Chandler on the Puke-and-Rally theory:  "Bill Russell use to throw up before big games.  So if I could have just a pinch of his success, I’ll do it every game."

Jason Kidd on shooting:  "The game of basketball can be cruel sometimes and also fun.  For me personally, I had some great looks this season and I just haven’t been making them.  I’ve got great teammates and a coaching staff that keep encouraging me to take the shots when I’m open and they finally started to fall for me tonight."

"J-Kidd was aggressive and he was going to be aggressive.  The thing you love about his game, the first couple of shots didn’t go down but he just stayed with it." - Coach Carlisle on Jason Kidd

The coach on Terry and Marion:  "I felt that we played our best as a team when those two guys were in that role.  We don't have a sixth man, we have two sixth men, really. Those two guys come in the game the same time virtually every night, and they complement each other."

"It’s just one of those times where persistence is going to carry the day and the persistence was what got it done for us tonight." - Carlisle on what led to the victory

Carlisle on what he learned about his team after the game:  "They’re pissed.  They fought back the way I believed that they would."

 

Despite the recent rough patch, the Mavericks have the exact same record at the midway point of the season as they did last year, 27-14.  The team will have very little time to celebrate the impressive victory as they travel to Chicago to play the Bulls on Thursday night.

Twitter?  I don't even know her!  Oh......

You can stay connected with all things Dallas Mavericks by following Bryan Gutierrez on twitter @BallinWithBryan

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