Well, that was a bummer.
On the second night of one of the toughest back-to-backs you'll see in the NBA, the Mavs traveled to Denver and rallied from down 17 to even the score and go ahead in the fourth. On a night where Dirk scored 27 and Monta had 25, they weren't quite able to pull off the game winner at the end.
The first quarter had the teams keeping it close for a majority of the quarter, with the starters trading shots. Calderon was active early, but Denver was even more active, hitting a few key threes and being pretty pesky on defense. Denver was up by 13 at the end of the first.
The second quarter saw the Mavs cut the lead to five at one point, but then give it back away for much of the period. Early in the second both teams had already played 10 guys, with 9 scoring for Denver. Rick Carlisle got ejected with about six minutes to go in the half, and the team did seem to find a little spark after that ejection. Monta Ellis' playmaking alone kept the Mavs within reach of the Nuggets. He had 19 points to lead all scorers at the half, though the Mavs were down 53-65 going into halftime.
The Mavs continued their sloppy play after the half - staying in the game but not picking up any ground, either, for the first part of the period at least. But then. Dirk took over, as he is wont to to, the defense got a few stops, Vince Carter hit three straight shots including 2 from downtown (and another trey later to boot), and just like that the Mavs were within three at one point. Vince would end the quarter with 11 points and the Mavs entered the fourth down by six. With that shooting quarter, VC passed Steve Nash for 10th place on the NBA all-time 3-point FGs made list.
Carter wasn't done yet. A key three after some feisty rebounding a few minutes into the fourth brought the Mavs to within one point, and Monta Ellis finally sunk a shot to give Dallas its first lead of the game with a little over seven minutes to go. Denver went quickly back ahead and the Mavs managed to keep it within a few on some clutch free throw shooting - and Ty Lawson MISSING some clutch FTs. Mavs went up by two on some beautiful Dirk FGs, but Denver went ahead AGAIN then a Blair foul of Faried and one free throw made and one missed and AAAAHHHH I CAN'T KEEP TRACK OF THE BACK AND FORTH.
The Mavs would have two opportunities in the last 13 seconds to tie or win, but ultimately couldn't get a good shot off. Sighhhhhhh.
Ultimately it wasn't a game I expected them to necessarily win, but it was certainly hard fought by a group of guys that has to be totally exhausted. The Mavs have a much needed off day tomorrow before the second game of the home and home series back at AAC, where they'll look to keep their perfect home court record alive.
In the meantime, pour out your feelings in the comments below.