Dallas started off their game by missing a few chippies here and there, but they were strong on the boards and able to give themselves a few second chances. It took them a minute to get warmed up, but once they did the offense found a nice flow. Dirk Nowitzki, however, didn’t quite look like he had enough power behind his shots, missing quite a few off the front of the rim. The Sixers, not to be outdone, had a little run at the end of the quarter to take the lead, and the first period ended with the Mavs down 27-21.
To start the second quarter, the Mavericks simply could not buy a basket. The Sixers, however, were purchasing baskets with reckless abandon. They opened up a huge lead, and the Mavericks could find no way to stop them. Dirk’s shot was STILL off, and the only one providing any spark was Brandan Wright. Lamar Odom contributed his first score of the night on a nice three, but other than that and a cool spin move from Vince Carter, there wasn’t much to watch. The half ended with Dallas down 51-37.
The second half… well… let’s see. First Shawn Marion missed a fast-break dunk. Then he missed an open layup. Then I curled up in the fetal position and cried. But while I was rocking back and forth in agony, something magical happened. Dirk started taking… and making… shots. The Mavs closed out the lead on Dirk’s shoulders and made it a game again. They actually held the Sixers to eight points in the quarter and went into the final period with the lead, 61-59.
The fourth and final period was a bit of a roller coaster. The Mavericks kept making bad passes and turning the ball over. But they also managed to expand the lead a bit with Kidd on the floor running things. He even threw in a three for good measure. The Sixers, however, would not go quietly into the night, and the game got pretty tense with just under five minutes to play and a six-point lead for the Mavs. But hey, remember Dirk? He decided to go all out, and tied the Sixers' score in the second half, 24-24. All by himself. And then the Mavericks won.