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Mavericks Fall Late to Portland, Lose 85-81

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After collecting a win from the Cleveland Cavaliers without the help of the Dirk Nowitzki, the 20-8 Dallas Mavericks see Nowitzki return to the starting line-up for tonight’s game against the Portland Trailblazers. 

Portland currently sits at 17-12 in the Northwest division, and at 7-8 on the road.  To take control of the game the Mavericks will need to limit Brandon Roy’s impact by forcing the ball out of his hands early and often.  The fast break of the Blazers will also be a real test for the Mavericks transition defense.  

Does the Dallas defense continue to shine? 

Game as a Whole:

After all my talk of how the Mavericks have become a team that closes out the fourth quarter strong they blow what could have been a tying basket in the fourth quarter due to two bad decisions (noted below).  I can understand why Jason Terry thought it was a good idea to push the ball up the floor and try to catch Portland sleeping but with a loss on the books it obviously was a gamble Dallas shouldn’t have taken. 

Both teams came out in the first quarter with atrocious shooting but things quickly picked up in the 2nd quarter for the Blazers while the Mavericks continued to sputter.  Give the coaching staff credit here as the Mavericks stay motivated coming into the second half even when they are down.  A furious 3rd quarter barrage of baskets and tough defense put Dallas in a position to win but they couldn’t capitalize.

Should Dallas have been in this situation?  Do you get a better look at the basket if you take a timeout in that instance?  These are the types of questions Dallas inevitably tries to answer as they prepare for their game on Saturday. 

Let’s look at the quarters…

1st Quarter:
  • After two jump balls Mavericks steal the opening tip, ball goes to the Blazers.  
  • 11:12, Barea opens the game with a three pointer. Seems that Rick Carlisle likes to start games with this play? 
  • 10:26, Erick Dampier is padding his rebound stats early.  He misses two put-backs in close.  Have to capitalize on all the easy baskets. 
  • 9:42, Dirk gets a short baseline jumper after he gets blocked on a put back.  Mavericks seem to be missing everything in close.  
  • 8:51, Marion has rushed a couple of shots early.  How is Portland’s defense bothering him that much? 
  • 7:58, Mr. Przybilla gets called for the flop.  No foul shots for Erick Dampier. 
  • 7:02, Shawn Marion waves goodbye to his teammates as he is banished to the bench due to his second foul.  Josh Howard comes in early, looks like he might play major minutes tonight. 
  • 6:16, Both teams are having a lot of trouble putting the ball in the basket.  Dirk tries to throw a fast break pass to Howard but commits a turnover instead. 
  • 5:27, Eric Dampier gets fouled as he tries to "cherry pick" a basket.  He misses it and goes to the line for two shots.  Erick Dampier says "no" to making either shot.
  • 4:53, Great ball movement leads to a short jumper from Dirk.  It was all thanks to Jason Terry and an aggressive drive to the basket. 
  • 3:45, Another short jumper from the elbow (yes, it’s fine, and that was a great tie in) for Dirk.  Again, Jason Terry aggressive drive leads to a basket. 
  • 3:12, Przybilla goes down while trying to grab an offensive rebound (Portland has been hexed).  Jason Terry capitalizes and makes a three at the other end.  Terry is being very productive at the beginning of this game. 
  • 2:21, Dampier is committed to getting some turnovers!  He throws it way too high for Terry for the backcourt violation. 
  • 1:02, Off the Dirk save, Jason Kidd hits a streaking Josh Howard for a fast break layup. 
  • :2.4, Bayless gets called for the push.  Mavericks will get one more shots.  
2nd Quarter:
  • 11:38, Mavericks shooting 25% after a Tim Thomas missed three.  
  • 10:58, After having a monster game on Sunday, Gooden cannot get anything to fall into the basket.  I think he could close his eyes and throw it up and it would have a better chance of falling in. 
  • 10:34, Barea hits another three. 
  • 9:47, Josh Howard ties the game with a 13-foot jumper coming off of a screen. 
  • 9:15, Gooden throws down a dunk and is given two points in exchange for his effort. 
  • 8:39, Portland has already rung up their fourth foul of the quarter.  Mavericks need to keep attacking the basket. 
  • 7:53, Gooden throws a touchdown pass to Josh Howard.  Howard makes his second fast break layup of the game.  Why isn’t he dunking the ball? 
  • 7:12, Barea looks like whirling dervish in the lane.  He hits a spinning layup.  
  • 6:52, That’s another fast break layup for Josh Howard.  He is running the floor really well.  Seems like someone turned the heat up on the Mavericks. 
  • 6:38, Drew Gooden block and he then runs the floor and gets the ball right back for a layup. 
  • (Note: Didn’t know that the Mavericks lead the league in blocked shots.  Good to know.  Defense wins championships.) 
  • 3:29, The Mavericks of the first quarter are back.
  • 3:09, Terry snakes into the lane for a 2-point layup.
  • 2:37, Erick Dampier gets fouled on the pass but the Blazers are in the penalty.  Two shots come Dampier’s way (he only makes 1 of 2). 
  • 1:32, Defensive three second violation on the Blazers.  Even though we need easy buckets, Dirk misses.  
  • Mavericks do not close the quarter on a positive note.  How is it Dampier who is taking a three pointer at the end of the quarter?  

3rd Quarter:
  • 11:44 early Dirk jumper.  Mavericks are ready to make some baskets. 
  • 10:53, Barea starts his quarter with a runner instead of a three. Still counts. 
  • 10:07, Marion misses another shot in the lane.  Erick Dampier is the garbage man on the play. 
  • 9:35, Erick Dampier pulls out his Windex to cleanup the glass.  Gets fouled on an attempted put back.  Makes 1 of 2. 
  • 9:02, Lob to Dampier for the score.  The Mavericks are attacking the Portland small lineup with Erick Dampier. 
  • 8:25, Even when Marion isn’t having a goodnight he still keeps up the defensive intensity.  Offensive foul is charged to Lamarcus Aldridge. 
  • 7:58, Jason Kidd for three with no toes on the line.  
  • 7:30, Serious dish to Erick Dampier in the paint from Kidd.  Add another easy layup to Erick Dampier’s stat sheet. 
  • 7:11, Portland asks for another offensive foul and the refs are generous enough to give it to Martell Webster.
  • 6:55, Barea miraculously flips a layup toward the cup and it falls in. 
  • 5:47, Dirk bails out Barea with a midrange jumper.  Barea had nowhere to go on the play. 
  • 4:59, Back-to-back baskets by Dirk.  Will the next play be a Dirk pull up three? 
  • 4:31, The Mavericks are now doing better than the federal government (they have erased their deficit.)  The lead is now 1 for Dallas. 
  • 4:01, The lane is open for Barea and he keeps attacking it.  Juwan Howard gets called for a flagrant on the play when he goes headhunting and Barea hits the technical.  Dampier immediately gets fouled 
  • 3:30, The Blazers are on lockdown right now.  Shot clock violation for the Blazers. 
  • 3:19, Barea hits another basket in the lane.  All of his shots are gold.  
  • 1:33, Steve Blake pokes Dirk in the eye on a play.  Dirk gets free throws for it. Thankfully, no pieces of the finger are left behind. 
  • :47.8, There is the trailing Dirk three I mentioned earlier.

4th Quarter:
  • 10:50, Gooden turns down an open jump shot for an aggressive drive to the rum.  He makes one of two free throws.
  • 10:37, Steve Blake picks up an early holiday gift (offensive foul) special wrapped by Jose  Juan Barea.
  • 9:19, Dirk gathers his own miss for a put back 2-pointer.  Who is playing the five on the floor right now Dirk or Drew Gooden?
  • 6:41, Barea shoots a three instead of taking it into the lane.  I don’t know where the scoring went all of a sudden.
  • 6:08, Luckily Barea makes a three.  Mavericks still need to take it into the lane and force the issue. 
  • 3:16, Barea stops what would have been a dagger basket.  He picks up the charge on Bayless.
  • 2:02, Dirk draws the foul on Aldridge.  Dirk goes to the line and misses his first shot. 
  • Mavericks broadcast totally miss the out of bounds call on Roy.  Glad that they aren’t paid to be refs.  
  • 1:16, Dirk steps into a three from Jason Kidd.  This is gong to be a tense minute. 
  • :53.1, Jason Kidd forces Brandon Roy to step out of bounds.  Dirk misses the game tying shot. 
  • Bad decision by Terry to try and drive the ball all the way to the cup instead of passing it off to Dirk (trailing the play).  Second bad decision goes to Rick Carlisle who needs to take a timeout. 
  • Mavs can’t pull out the last-minute win.

Some Choice Statistics:

  • Dallas only scored 14 points in the first quarter.  That is the lowest point total for a first quarter this year.  The lowest point total scored in any quarter by the Dallas Mavericks is 2, which came against the Lakers (April 6th, 1997).
  • In their history the Mavericks are 68-80 in the playoffs.  That’s a winning percentage of 45%. 
  • The Mavericks only have two numbers retired in their history.  They are #15 Brad Davis and #22 Rolando Blackman. 

Closing Thoughts:

ne bad choice is all it takes to blow a game.