Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Mike James has been hitting all kinds of three pointers, but Dirk has only scored six points, so the Mavs are down three at halftime.
The first five minutes of the game looked weird on both ends. Chris Kaman was taking all of the shots, and the Rockets were committing stupid turnovers (stepping out of bounds and traveling on successive possessions). The Mavericks played solid defense for an entire shot clock... and then fell asleep on the defensive rebound and the Rockets got another possession. Fortunately both teams got their feet under them and started running real plays and taking real shots.
Early on, O.J. Mayo's shot looked buttery smooth, and even Shawn Marion took a Tyrannosaurus Three. But they were letting James Harden and Chandler Parsons hit threes, too, so it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. Seriously... everyone was hitting from long. Even Darren Collison made one, and it wasn't a bizarre buzzer beater, either. The problem the Mavericks have when they are successful from beyond the arc... is that they start to rely on the three 100%. And we all know that never works. To be fair, though, Mike James DID get in on the three-ball action to close the quarter up two.
The second quarter saw the Mavericks pick up with the same kind of energy. Mike James hit like nine more threes (ok not nine but it felt like nine) and then Jae Crowder hit a three and I just couldn't think of anyone to be mad at anymore. Dirk Nowitzki, not to be overshadowed, got a pretty manly block in, then used those man hands to break up a pass and force a turnover, which of course turned into a Jae Crowder score. On the defensive end, there were more things to nitpick. For example, Shawn Marion defended like crazy and kept Jeremy Lin from doing anything with the ball. BUT then the rest of the defense fell asleep and as soon as Lin found Parsons, he scored.
With under a minute to play, the Mavericks struggled a bit and let Parsons pretty much do whatever he wanted. Then, Dirk got called for an offensive foul away from the ball despite having Harden draped all over him. He barked at the ref and subsequently got called for a technical. It wasn't the finest moment of the game. The only redeeming thing was Harden missing the technical free throw. It should be noted that Dirk scored six points in the entire first half, so he was clearly frustrated.