The Dallas Mavericks outlasted the Sacramento Kings 107-103 Friday night, in a wild game filled with huge point swings. Dirk Nowitzki had another massive night, scoring 34 points and grabbing five rebounds. Rudy Gay pushed Dallas to the brink, scoring 35 points of his own, while grabbing 12 rebounds and dishing out five assists.
Look, there are two ways to look at this game:
- A thrilling, come from behind victory
- A game where they needed a Herculean effort from their aging star to get a win over a bad team
I'm going to go with narrative one, because narrative two pisses me off and I'm tired of writing about how terrible the Dallas defense is and how really bad some of our players are. I'm sure I'll still talk about both, but for now, let's revel in Dirk's 35 point night with a little dancing.
dirk dirty timber (via Jeffrey Rozman)
I honestly can't say I was paying a ton of attention. Dirk lit Jason Thompson on fire a bit (that guy would make a solid Mav, in my opinion) but Rudy Gay did his thing on Jae Crowder, scoring the first 10 points for the Kings. I'm not really sure how, but Sacramento hung with Dallas for most of the quarter, trailing the Mavs by four, 20-24 to end the period. Baylor product Quincy Acy had some massive dunks and a wonderful beard.
The second was much more exciting. Yeah, sure Dirk had scored eight in the first quarter but with the way the offensive balance on this team trends, I certainly wasn't expecting 10 points from Dirk in the period. He some how did all of his damage early in the quarter, because Dallas didn't force the ball to him during the latter half of the period as Sacramento whittled down the Maverick lead to five points by halftime. Devin Harris played a hell of a quarter, pushing the ball on misses and making some great dishes. Monta was relatively quiet in the first half but he did find a cutting Vince Carter for great slam dunk. Dallas lead 54-49 at the half.
The third quarter was one of those where I threw things at the TV and cursed the world on Twitter. At one point, the Kings went on a 23-7 run, absolutely punishing Dallas on both ends of the floor. The Mavs seemed stuck in quicksand and it looked like another game where they'd let things slip away. It was maddening. But then, Monta Ellis drilled an outside jumper. He also snuck in to make a great steal from the Kings at the top of the key and dunked. These two plays woke up the Mavericks just enough. After being down by double digits, Monta and Dirk worked Dallas back to within six, trailing 75-81 heading into the final period.
Back to back "and-one" shots started the quarter for Dallas from Dirk and Brandan Wright. Things were trending the way of the Mavericks and it seemed like only a matter of time before the Kings collapsed in upon themselves. The Kings got into foul trouble very early and Dirk and Monta shot free throws to tie and give Dallas its first lead since halftime. From there, it was a matter of holding on. Neither team could defend the rim at all, at by the final two minutes it seemed to be a matter of who would get the ball last. Dirk and Ellis kept Dallas in the lead with free throws and jumpers. Rudy Gay managed to pull the Kings within two with 24 seconds remaining, but instead of fouling the Kings let Dallas in-bounds and tried to steal the ball. A failed attempt to double Dirk saw the ball swing from him to Vince to Monta, who got fouled making a lay up giving Dallas a five point lead. The Kings were able to hit a three to close the lead back to two, but Ellis calmly sank two free throws to effectively ice the game.
- I am finally with Andy on this one. Jae Crowder is not good at basketball. His box score tonight showed some stats, finally, but all of his makes were fast break layups. His five misses were all CLANGs or, in one case, a botched layup. Rudy Gay crapped all over Crowder's advanced defense, scoring at least 25 of his 35 points on the second year forward. I know Gay is good, but Crowder also committed some stupid fouls. He's not good. The Legends have better players on their roster right now. This isn't sarcasm.
- Jose Calderon looks like he either needs a drink, a smoke, a good night's sleep, or all three. So many bricks. In the comments for another article, someone mentioned that Calderon is a good trade possibility. I wish that were the case. He's pretty damn good at that very specific thing he does (shoot) but when he's not hitting, he's a gaping hole in the Dallas roster. But, seeing as the Mavericks always overvalue their own assets, he's ours for a long time.
- Brandan Wright! You can rebound you silly stick man, you. If only you didn't weight 205 pounds and could handle a back down.
- Quiet, sneaky good game from Monta. I'm glad. He needed it. Devin Harris and he need to be starting.
Anyway, I'm going to bed. Have a good night folks.