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That feels much better.

I felt good about the Mavs winning their homes games in this series, so while the Mavs do have to win a road game eventually I'll just enjoy last night for now.

It was nice to see that the Mavs did have something left, and Marc Stein was particularly impressed.

After a Game 2 surrender that suggested -- loudly -- that this team is no longer scrapping for/responding to Johnson, Dallas didn't buckle on an evening it had ample opportunity to blame a lack of focus on off-court distractions.

Stein also says in this article that he thinks Avery is in trouble regardless of what happens in this series, but we'll worry about that later.

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After three games this is the Mavs best lineup in terms of +/-.

1 2 3 4 5 + - +/-
J. Kidd D. Nowitzki J. Terry Jo. Howard B. Bass 40 30 +10

That lineup has been on the court for 16 minutes total.

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You can alway depend on Dirk to be even-keeled.

"We're still down 2-1," Nowitzki, ever the realist, noted. "We wanted to get on the board. It was a tough game. We had them down early, but they just keep coming, that's how good of a team they are. They're going to keep coming. They're going to do the same in Game 4."

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Randy Galloway praises Jason Terry for his defense on Paul and the spark he provided.  Oddly, he doesn't give Avery any credit for putting Terry in the starting lineup.

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Keith Whitmire takes allot at how much better Dirk has been the postseason compared to last.

"This year was a lot different," Nowitzki said. "I feel like I had a good rhythm over the last couple of weeks, since I got back [from an ankle injury]. I'm just trying to play hard every game and be in attack mode."

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Kelly Dwyer thinks Dirk has been the better than everyone else in the playoffs so far.

Kobe was so-so for one game, and brilliant for the next. LeBron was on top of things for two games, and pedestrian for the third. Paul failed tonight. Dirk is averaging 30 points, 11 boards, and about five assists per game in this postseason. That's your winner, so far.

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Ray Buck points that assistant coach Mario Elie has been in this situation before.   The 94 Rockets went down 0-2 gainst Phoenix only to rally and win it all.   That would be nice.

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David Moore was big fan of the adjustments made from the first two games.

Dampier, meanwhile, was much more physical with West than Nowitzki was in the first two games. The move allowed Nowitzki an easier defensive matchup and put him closer to the basket, which helps explain his 19 rebounds.

The bottom line: Paul and West combined for 30 points and shot 26.3 percent from the field.

This plan didn't hurt either.

"Our first play was to drive to the basket and whatever happened, happened," Avery Johnson said. "We weren't going to come out of the locker room today and shoot five jump shots."

Dallas scored 28 points in the paint and had 38 FTA's. 

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Mike Fisher breaks down why the Mavs won.

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This Day in Mavs History

1984 Moody Madness. The game was played at Moody Coliseum due to a scheduling conflict. In the first round of the playoffs, Dallas defeated Seattle 105-104 in overtime to take the series 3-2 and advance to the second round. It was Dallas' first ever playoff series win.