It doesn't really mean anything, but the Mavericks offense blistered the Kings Friday evening, as they move back to two games under .500. In the big picture, they trail the Lakers by three games with just six left in the season.
It didn't start off as a high scoring affair, as Dallas showed fatigue and looked out of sync in the first quarter, as a team playing its second game in two nights is apt to do. Kaman started and played eight minutes in the opening frame, doing his usual Kaman thing -- 6 touches, 5 shots and 4 misses. The Kings took a 27-18 lead into the second quarter, with Mavs fans everywhere muttering, "Here we go again."
Something clicked in the second quarter, as the Mavericks rattled off their highest scoring quarter this season. The 41 points were contributed by 8 different Mavericks, many of the baskets triggered by strong ball movement. 11 of the 15 made shots in the quarter were assisted.
To close out the half, Darren Collison drove into the lane and actually found an open Dirk above the three point line, who buried the triple as the buzzer sounded. Totally missing an open Dirk is a malady of this team, so it was nice to see Collison use his head.
The Mavs scored 33 in the third quarter and 25 in the fourth, rounding out to 99 points after the 1st. Between the 30 assists and 51% shooting, it was one of the better offensive performances of the year. At one point, I remember looking up and being absolutely shocked to realize the Mavericks had built a 15 point lead late in the 3rd. More good play from Collison and even some O.J. Mayo shot making showed up in the second half.
Although the Kings rallied to draw within four in the fourth after the Mavs lead by 15, Dallas always seemed in control of the game. The win broke the two-game losing streak.
The Matrix Revival - Marion led the team with 25 points, one shy of his season high, and 12 rebounds. Early on, he was one of the players who seemed energized, crashing the glass and making hustle plays. Even with the usual missed layup or two, he was able to show what the Matrix should be all about.
Wright here and now - Once again, Wright was virtually unstoppable when given the ball in his spots. He scored 20 points on 9-14 shooting -- and two of those were wild tip-ins that barely qualify as "attempts". He's averaging 11 points a game in 23 minutes a game in his last ten.
Passanity - Although Carter struggled with his shot, he found a way to impact the game with eight assists. He also became the 15th player in NBA history to top 22k points, 5k rebounds and 4k assists. Pretty ridiculous numbers, am I right? He connected with both Wright and Marion very well off the pick and roll, something which is always encouraging to see.
Collison calling the shots - Every so often, Collison will rip off a fantastic game that shows what he really could be capable of. Tonight, DC scored 18 points (7-8 on 2-pointers) while dishing 8 assists to a turnover. He pushed it at the right times and was almost totally under control, finding and hitting spot up opportunities from mid-range.