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Game Recap: Mavericks Steal a Win in Boston, 99-90

The Dallas Mavericks are looking for a rebound game after an embarrassing 22-point loss to the Toronto Raptors, but they are in for a fight tonight.  Even without Kevin Garnett, the Boston Celtics still find a way to win with the squad that is available on game night (having Rasheed Wallace back will definitely help). 

Luckily for the Mavericks, tonight’s game is away from the American Airlines Center (Dallas is currently 13-7 on the road).  Hopefully Dallas can leave behind the sluggish defense and slow starts that plague the team whenever they play at home. 

The Mavericks know what they need to work on, how long until it clicks?   

Game as a Whole:

Finally the Mavericks get a feel-good game.  Although Dallas looked a bit shaky in the first half, they took control toward the end of the third quarter and never looked back.  Dirk Nowitzki took the reins for the Mavericks and poured in 37, but unlike some of the other games, his teammates helped fill in the gaps. 

As Jason Terry and Josh Howard combined to go 4 of 17, Drew Gooden and Erick Dampier shouldered the scoring load at different times to help lead the Mavericks to victory.  Drew Gooden kept the game within reach during the second quarter after Dampier hadn’t been able to do much of anything against Perkins in the first.  Who knows what happened to Dampier on the bench, but he came in during the third and gave the Mavericks a lift to help put them over the top.

This might be just the game the Mavericks needed. 

Let’s look at the quarters…

1st Quarter:
  • The Mavericks game has started but the Grizzlies and Suns refuse to stop playing.  The Suns think they are playing college basketball right now. 
  • 6:52, Josh Howard pads his rebounding stats but adds no points for the Mavericks.  Rondo hits the floor extremely hard. 
  • 6:25, Jason Kidd gets the benefit of a nice bounce off the rim and rattles home a three.
  • 6:00, Even though the Mavericks have numbers, Shawn Marion fumbles a pass from Kidd.
  • 4:23, Dirk is called a "great shooter" on TNT after he makes a falling jumper.  They are now talking about who would win a shooting contest between Larry Bird and Dirk Nowitzki.
  • 3:50, Jason Terry seems a bit hesitant to shoot the ball.  His first shot looked really rough. 
  • 3:16, Paul Pierce is on fire and Marion’s mojo is not slowing him down (he is 3 of 5). 
  • 2:58, Kidd takes Rondo hard to the basket after a post up.  He needs to continue to make Rondo work on the offensive end. 
  •  2:27, Gooden drops his first basket in, gives the Mavericks their first lead.  Gooden seems to be due for a big scoring night. 
  • 1:51, Nowtizki lets Pierce blow by him and then nails and open lay up.  Mavericks had a little bit of a fast break on the score. 
  • 1:14, Kidd tries to shoot a jump shot over Rondo; it was a bad choice.
  • :52.4, the "spark plug" (Barea) comes in with a nice pass but Gooden can’t finish at the rim.  Barea needs to bring some points to the contest tonight. 
  • The Mavericks are only down 5 at the end of one.  They seemed to hold their own but Boston closes the quarter on an 8-0 run.
2nd Quarter:
  • 11:45, Barea gets a deflection, which leads to a bad pass and a turnover for the Celtics. 
  • 11:31, Dirk starts the quarter off with some free throws. He only makes 1 of 2.
  • 10:52, Drew Gooden uses the up and under for a basket.  He is being extremely decisive on offense tonight.
  • 10:28, Wallace spends more time arguing at the other end than playing defense.  Barea drives strong to the rim and draws a foul.
  • Terry looks like he is really frustrating Ray Allen tonight.
  • 9:13, Gooden doesn’t look at the shot clock and it leads to a Dallas turnover.
  • 8:35, Howard gets his first basket on a reverse lay up.
  • 7:37, Eddie House gets back-to-back baskets.  Never want to let a streaky shooter get started.
  • 7:11, Drew Gooden hits a long two-point jumper.  He is really giving the Mavericks a lot tonight. 
  • 6:28, Scalabrine cannot guard Nowitzki, he should post up a bit more. 
  • 5:49, No call on a very clear foul.  Rick Carlisle picks up the technical as he argues for Dirk.
  • 5:38, Dallas looks a little flustered now as the Celtics are up 8. 
  • 4:31, Another active play for Gooden denying a pass to Rasheed Wallace in the post.  Leads to a Marion score at the other end. 
  • 4:13, Terry tries to come down and answer a Ray Allen three (even though he has a hand in his face). 
  • 2:53, Mavericks go to a zone and force a Celtics miss.  Is the zone the Mavericks go-to defensive scheme when they need a stop?
  • 1:55, Gooden is keeping Dampier on the bench tonight, he just scored another basket. 
  • 1:15, Half of the Mavericks team didn’t run back on defense (even though it was a fast break).  Marion, who threw the bad pass, completely gives up on the play. 
  • :58.7, Jason Terry can only get one free throw to go down in 24 minutes of action.  It may be time to bench Terry. 
  • :22.4, Gooden commits his third foul and has to go to the bench.  It’s unfortunate as we are going to need him in the third. 


3rd Quarter:
  • 11:28, Two Celtics fumble the ball and Boston still ends up getting a basket on a Paul Pierce prayer. 
  • 10:55, Shawn Marion takes it himself and throws up a running one hander.  Don’t actually know how to name that shot- it defies definition. 
  • 9:49, Dampier forces Perkins into a shot clock violation.  Dirk comes back and scores on the other end.
  • 9:10, Dampier is given an open jump shot and he makes it.  Funny, the Celtics didn’t even challenge it.
  • 8:28, Shawn Marion goes right back into the paint for his second basket. 
  • 7:54, Perkins and Dampier are trading baskets right now. That’s right, Dampier.
  • 7:22, Kidd muscles past Rondo.  The Mavericks and Celtics are trading baskets.
  • 6:50, Dampier has become a "force" inside.  You don’t hear that very often.  Rondo gave him one of the softest fouls I have seen.
  • 6:05, Perkins throws the ball right between Carlisle legs.  The battle between Perkins and Dampier continues. 
  • 5:16, After a Dirk two, the Mavericks are slowly starting to work their way back into the game.  Credit that to a 19-10 run. 
  • 4:32, In an attempt to slow down Dampier, Wallace gets the assignment.  He gets taken to the hole just as easily as Perkins. 
  • 3:16, Frustration foul for Rondo (while trying to grab a rebound from Dirk).  Dallas is working hard on the defensive glass.
  • 2:49, Dirk makes the technical basket and a two pointer to bring the Mavericks even.  
  •  2:08, Nowitzki goes around Scalabrine again.
  • 1:42, Dirk with another basket.  That makes 11 points in the third. 
  • 1:02, Make that 13 points in the third quarter for Nowitzki. 
  • :30, Marion gets back to back buckets, second of which is a fast break. 


4th Quarter:
  • 11:00, Nowitzki starts the quarter by drawing a foul. 
  • 10:47, Mavericks give up a basket to Paul Pierce on their first possession on defense.  Not a great way to start the quarter defensively. 
  • 10:23, Nowitzki is currently carrying the Mavericks, as per usual.
  • 9:38, Dallas is shooting 78% in the second half.  You can tell the Celtics need Kevin Garnett. 
  • 9:14, Marion catches the Celtics sleeping as he knifes into the paint.
  • 8:33, Kidd hits his second three to put Dallas up by 11.  What a turnaround for the Mavericks. 
  • 8:02, Terry gets his first three of the night to go and that spells trouble for the Celtics. 
  • It’s like someone flipped the "on" switch for the Mavericks scoring.  The team can’t miss.
  • 7:28, Terry with back-to-back buckets.  Glad to see them not take their feet off the gas.
  • 4:55, Mavericks give up a bit of their lead and Dirk slows down.  Dallas still has a comfortable lead but it could evaporate quickly.
  • 3:27, Dirk is now at 36 points.  Drew Gooden should get an assist on the play for the offensive rebound.  
  • 2:22, Terry doesn’t look like he is in a rush anymore.  Great to see him get another basket. 


Some Choice Statistics:

  • Mavericks give up 5 turnovers in the 1st quarter. 
  • Josh Howard and Jason Terry combined for 1-11 shooting in the first half.  
  • Marion has not made a three pointer yet this season.


Closing Thoughts:

Without Kevin Garnett the Boston Celtics are a completely different team, however it doesn’t invalidate a hard-fought victory.  The Mavericks shouldn’t rest on their laurels after this game and need to hold onto the things that helped them gut out the win tonight.