The Mavericks survive another furious Blazers comeback in the Garden, 96-91. Kaman led the Mavericks with 26 points, though ultimately on 21 shots, Marion chipped in 20 and some body named Will Barton went absolutely crazy, throwing up 22-13-6-3 for the Blazers.
When I wrote in my last recap that that game was the Most Mavs Game Ever, I had no idea that that title would IMMEDIATELY and I mean IMMEDIATELY be stolen by another game. The Mavs had a 20 point lead as late as 9:30 to go in the fourth. They would hit one more shot between then and 3:05 left.
And it wasn't just that they shot poorly, it was how they did it. Early in the shot clock, dumb shots, hero shots. It was pretty appalling. We're pretty hard on Kaman in this space, but here you got both sides of it. He absolutely ruled the first quarter, giving the Mavs the start of the great lead they didn't quite manage to fritter away. But is it possible that Kaman's incredible dedication to letting it fly left everyone else out in the cold? Since the other, non-Kaman or Marion starters finished the night a collective 5-23, why not. You don't get 21 shots with 1 assist for nothing. But the Mavs obviously would have lost by a million without him.
Whatever. At this point of the season, we all just want to get to .500 and go home, right? Still, it was no one's idea of fun to see that the Mavs are literally incapable of making a game easy. If Wes Matthews hadn't gotten injured, I bet you he makes that three at the end of regulation, instead of a Dame miss, followed by a Vince rebound, and up to Marion for the game-sealing layup.
We would like to see:
1) The Mavs make it to .500
2) Something exciting from some young player?
3) The season end some time soon.
The good news about this game is that my pre-game prediction that LMA would hit a game-winner didn't come true AND my in-game prediction that the 20 point lead the Mavs had in the fourth was probably three more than they needed (at best) only SORT of came true.
Last note: Dirk was apparently held out of the fourth because his foot was bothering him. You'll recall he stepped on Wright's foot some games ago and has struggled since. Obviously if this game was important, he probably would have played.