Mavericks Gnarly in Victory Over the Nets, 87-86

The Dallas Mavericks did just enough at the end of the game and that led to an 87-86 victory over the New Jersey Nets.  "We’ve got to be a true team.  We’ve got to be tough, persistent, gnarly on defense," Carlisle said.  "Gnarly means, my definition, is aggressive.  It just means you’re getting dirty and you’re finding ways to be resourceful.  That’s really what it’s all about."  The Mavericks had two key stretches to end both halves to hold the Nets without key baskets and that was the difference.

After matching their victory total from last season, the Nets were looking to win three in a row for the first time in almost two years on Saturday night.  After winning back-to-back games once in 2009-10, the Nets have done it three times this season. New Jersey has not won three straight since a four-game run January 31-February 7, 2009.  With the loss, they are back to square one.

Now, the Mavericks have five straight wins against the Nets, including 19 of the last 22 meetings with the Nets.  Dallas has won eight of the last 11 games played in New Jersey.  Before that, the Mavericks lost nine straight to the Nets on the road.

Dirk Nowitzki struggled from the field throughout the game but found a way to come through in the clutch.  With less than 20 seconds to go, Nowitzki worked over the Nets defense and hit a shot that hit just about every part of the rim to give the Mavericks the lead and the win.  It was not a pretty win but it is a win you'll take.

Did THAT Just Happen?!

- The Mavericks were hoping for a better defensive effort and as previously mentioned, they had critical stretches to end the halves where they did not allow the Nets to make a field goal.

- Tyson Chandler appears to be back and healthy.  In the first half, he went 5-5 from the field and scored 14 points in 14 minutes of action.  He finished tying his season-high in point production with 19 points.  Jason Kidd set the table nicely for Chandler as he had multiple alley-oops.

- Dallas did a lot of their damage from the free throw line as they were 27-29 from the line.  Ironically, Nowitzki and Chandler were the two Mavericks who missed free throws.

- There was the rare four-point play.  At the 9:07 mark of the third quarter, DeShawn Stevenson hit a three-point basket while he was fouled by Brook Lopez.  The situation gave the Mavericks a 53-49 lead over the Nets.  That basket was Stevenson's only made field goal. 

- "The Little General" was at it again on Saturday night.  Nowitzki missed a lay-up with 1:08 left in the game that would have given them the 86-85 lead and the Nets began to run up the court and Avery Johnson wanted a timeout.  Why he wanted one will continue to baffle me.  They had time to run down the clock or attack the Mavericks defense.  Instead, they allowed the Mavericks to set up on defense. 

- Devin Harris was less than perfect as a point guard to finish the game for the Nets.  Following that timeout by Johnson, he missed one of two free throws, took an incredibly tough jumper (which he air-balled), nearly dribbled out the clock before he executed a poor pass which forced Jordan Farmar into a tough 26-foot shot that was missed.  A tweet further down in the recap will sum up Harris' evening quite nicely.

- A lot of the focus went on the celebrities in the house as Kim Kardashian and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of "Jersey Shore" were in attendance to watch the Nets.  When you are 12-32, you have to hang your hat on something.

 

Box Score Revelations

- The Mavericks shot poorly from the field for the second consecutive game.  In the game against the Nets, they shot 34.7% from the field.  It's only the 9th win in team history when shooting below 35%.  They went 26-75 from the field against the Nets.  In their previous game against the Chicago Bulls, they went 26-73 from the field.

- Brendan Haywood went 2-2 from the free throw line in just five minutes of action.  It was the fourth game of the year in which he hit both free throws in one trip.  He did so in the game against the Portland Trail Blazers (12/15), the Toronto Raptors (12/28) and the Detroit Pistons (1/17).

- Nowitzki's shooting woes continued as he shot 7-24 from the field in the victory.  It should be noted that Nowitzki was shooting well above 50% from the field prior to his injury.  Rust and a natural shooting dip should be taking into consideration when jumping the gun on calling him out.

- JJ Barea had 8 points on 3-6 shooting from the field (2-3 from beyond the arc).  All eight of his points came in the final quarter of the game.

- The Mavericks and Nets both had 39 rebounds.  Dallas has now gone eight straight games where they have been unable to win the battle of the boards.

- Another consistent struggle is the Mavericks inability to get points in the paint.  Coming in to the game against the Nets, the Mavericks averaged an NBA-Worst 33.7 points in the paint.  Tonight, Dallas scored 24 points in the paint and the Nets had 40.

- The "Dual 6th Men" had a rough night at the office.  Combined, Jason Terry and Shawn Marion went 6-24 from the field.

 

Tweetings From the Mavs Universe

-"Mavs are the only team to beat all 4 NBA teams that have 30 or more wins (BOS, LAL, MIA & SA)."

@mavstats

 

- "Chandler has Brook Lopez completely out of his game early."

@EKS_MavsNBA

 

- "Cmon defense. Get "gnarly"

@berrywilliams

 

- "Haywood  just made both his free throws. I'm shocked"

@ashleyxjae

 

- "Harris played to the level of his mustache."

@SportsWookiee

 

 

The Mavericks will have Monday off to recharge their battery as they go prepare to battle "Mr. 20-10" also know as Rookie of the Year candidate Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday night at the American Airlines Center.  That will mark the beginning of a four game stretch where all of their games will be at home to finish out the month of January.  The game against the Clippers will tip-off at 7:30 pm CST.

 

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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