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Game Recap: Mavericks Conjure Up Last Minute Win Over Wizards, 94-93

Game recap courtesy of LJRotter tonight.  God, late nights at work suck.  

The Dallas Mavericks are still riding high off of their resounding victory over the Boston Celtics. They have been playing better on the road this season, with one more win in the away column than in the home column. The Wizards are coming off of a two game winning streak over the Kings and the Blazers, and they credit much of that to the return of Mike Miller (out for 25 games with a strained calf).

Dallas will start Jason Terry for Josh Howard, who is out with a stomach virus. Otherwise, both rosters are healthy, though the Wizards are without their infamous guard, Gilbert Arenas. The Mavericks lost their season opener in October at the American Airlines Center against the Wizards, falling 91-102.

After gaining some confidence from their game Monday, do the Mavericks have the stamina to finish out this game on top? 

Game as a Whole:

The Mavericks came out with a quickness and energy that they had been lacking in previous contests. They seemed like a more cohesive unit, not just settling for jump shots and racking up numbers in the assist column. The Mavs and the Wiz shot reasonably well, shooting 45.9% and 44.4% respectively. Some of the biggest differences came from points off of turnovers and fastbreaks. Dallas was able to capitalize off of some of Washington’s turnovers, and they had 12 fast-break points to Washington’s goose egg.

Drew Gooden had a monster game, with solid numbers across the stat sheet. Jason Kidd had another huge assist game, not topping his 17 at Boston, but coming close with a solid 15 dimes. Dirk Nowitzki had another high-scoring night, as did Jason Terry. The starters got a nice rest at the beginning of the second quarter, leaving them with fresh legs for the second half. They would need these legs, as the Wizards came out with more intensity in the third quarter and managed to keep the game close the rest of the way. The teams exchanged the lead several times in the final period, with the Mavericks sneaking by on a final defensive stop by Shawn Marion.

With back-to-back victories, the Mavericks may just be able to finish out this road trip strong.

Lets look at the quarters...

1st Quarter:
  • Mavericks win the toss (which wasn’t the best I’ve seen…) 
  • Kidd’s first shot bounces of the rim and hits the top of the backboard, killing the possession.
  • 10:42, Kidd steals, passes to Dirk who puts in a nice layup.
  • Lots of outside shots from the Mavericks, none are falling.
  • 9:02, Nowitzki gets a nice block to take the ball from the Wizards, but they can’t convert on the offensive end.
  • 8:39, Dirk makes a beautiful jumper from the top of the key. Nothing but net. Keep those going in! 
  • 7:51, Kidd makes a rare play at the basket, drawing the foul and getting the and-1! He makes it a 3-point play, like a true veteran. 
  • 7:23, Terry makes a three the easy way with some defensive help from Dampier. 
  • Mavericks are really hustling for defensive rebounds, and it’s paying off. They just need to take advantage of every possession. 
  • 5:49, Terry swipes the ball away, and Marion makes the runner. On the play, 3 Wizards don’t make it across the time line as DeShawn Stevenson argues with the ref, getting a technical foul. Nowitzki makes the resulting free throw. 
  • 4:19, Dirk makes another beautiful jumpshot. Man, that’s pretty to watch. 
  • 3:43, Terry connects with a nice baseline three. If he keeps making these, it’s gonna get ugly for D.C. 
  • 3:03, Uh Oh. Dirk makes a straight-on three.
  • 2:00, After first turning over on a steal, Barea then misses a three… I think he’s lost his early-season mojo.
  • 1:06, Barea takes another three, and misses yet again. 
  • :25.3, Kidd and Miller hustle for a loose ball, but Kidd turns it over out of bounds. Wizards are within 5. They can’t convert, committing a shot clock violation.
  • Gooden doesn’t even look at the basket on the inbound pass from Kidd as time runs out. It ALMOST goes in. That would have been awesome.
  • Kidd already has 5 assists in the first quarter.
2nd Quarter:
  • The starters, minus Jet, seem to be getting a break to start the 2nd quarter. Barea, Gooden, Singleton and Ross join him for the Mavericks.
  • 10:17, Singleton has back to back blocks. 
  • 9:42, Barea finally gets a shot to fall.
  • 9:08, Gooden makes a beautiful, long jumper from atop the key. 
  • 8:38, Gooden makes a slick pass to Singleton who dunks it home. 
  • 7:41, Gooden (yes, again) drives for the basket and draws the blocking foul. He makes both free throws. 
  • 7:29, Gooden (are you SERIOUS?) gets a perfect steal, giving Singleton a chance to score on the other end. 
  • 6:31, Gooden takes the lead to 14 points with an 8 foot hook. He is out of control.
  • 5:31, Finally someone other than Drew does something. Dirk adds 2 for the Mavericks. 
  • 5:17, Wow! Mr. Carroll has entered the game! Carlisle is having fun. 
  • 3:47, Nowitzki gets fouled by Caron Butler while trying to make a shot from the top of the key. He puts in both free throws. 
  • Only 3 of the 17 shots made by the team have come without assists. Kidd has 6 of those dimes. Loving the teamwork! 
  • 3:10, Marion makes 2 points in the paint with the assist from Terry. 
  • They’re calling Butler "CB3"? How unoriginal. 
  • 2:03, Dirk with the rare airball from behind the arc. 
  • :47.9, Kidd gets rocked on a pick, allowing for Randy Foye to make a long 2 (originally called a 3). 
  • :30.8, Dirk catches and shoots a quick jumper, impressing the Wizards’ announcers with his versatility. 
  • Barea misses a last-second three to end the half. 
3rd Quarter:
  • 11:09, Kidd with the short alleyoop to Dampier. 
  • 10:15 Kidd rattles home a three from the top of the arc. 
  • 8:33 Nice outside ball rotation is ruined by a missed three from Terry. 
  • 7:57 The Mavericks have a good, long possession, ending with a jumper from Gooden. 
  • 7:24 Gooden slams home a power-dunk, drawing the foul in the process. The extra point is good. 
  • 6:56 More excellent ball movement. Gooden finds Dirk under the basket, who gently puts it in. 
  • 5:46 Terry gets a simple jumper to go, with the assist from Marion. 
  • 21 assists on 26 field goals so far for the game. Amazing.
  • 4:21 Marion tips in the missed tip in by Gooden. 
  • 3:43 Matrix is on fire now, driving to the basket. 
  • 2:20 Gooden draws the perfect offensive foul: a charge from Jamison. 
  • 2:08 Dirk has now lost the ball on consecutive possessions. Calm down, man. 
  • 1:20 Barea is really hustling. He misses a runner, gets his own rebound, then gets the ball back and is fouled on his way up. No points as a result, but I like his spunk.
  • Wizards climb to within one with under a minute to go in the quarter. 
  • :01.8 Dirk gets fouled on the inbounds pass. He makes both free throws, bringing the lead back up to 3 for the end of the period.
4th Quarter
  • 11:37, Dirk starts the quarter off right with a quick score.
  • 10:50, Gooden gets the dunk on an assist from Dirk.
  • 9:12, Mike Miller gives the Wizards their first lead since they were up 2-0, sending the Washington crowd to its feet. This is looking like the Mavericks of old… letting the game slip away at the end. 
  • 8:28, Dirk with the signature turnaround jump shot to take the lead back. 
  • 7:28, Jason Terry with the midrange 2. The game is tied. 
  • 6:41, These two teams are really going at it. Great hustle by both teams, ending with a foul on Miller. Ross (taking only his 5th and 6th free throws of the season) goes one for two. 
  • 5:40, Nowitzki, with no one to pass to, decides to shoot a long jumper over Jamison. He connects, giving himself 28. 
  • 5:13, Terry makes a layup and gets the and-1. He makes the extra point, putting the Mavericks back up by 4. 
  • 4:48, OUCH!! Kidd with the excellent alleyoop to Dampier. That one hurt. Kidd is up to 14 assists. 
  • 3:16 Terry with the vital 9-footjumpshot. These ALL have to go in from here on out. 
  • 2:32, Marion with the soaring tip-in off of Terry’s miss. 
  • 1:59, Kidd with the laser pass to Terry under the basket. Terry is up to 21 points. 
  • 1:12, Kidd drives to the basket and tosses the ball up. Dampier "picks up the loose ends" and slams it home. 
  • :27.1, The Mavericks leave Mike Miller wide open at the top of the arc and he drills a three, making it a one-point game. The heat is on! Do they go for a two-for-one?
  • Side note: I haven’t decided which is worse- Miller with that nasty long hair, or Miller with the buzz cut and awkward facial hair. 
  • :06.7, Dirk drives to the basket and gets called for an offensive foul. Talk about bad timing. The Mavericks absolutely need to play the best defense they’ve played all season on this possession, as they don’t have a foul to give.
  • WOW, Marion blocks the shot, and Kidd recovers possession of the ball to save the game for the Mavericks. That was a heart-stopper.

Some Choice Statistics:

  • Jason Kidd finished with as many assists as the entire Wizards roster: 15.
  • Last season, the Mavericks swept the Wizards. The season before, the Wizards swept the Mavericks for the first time since the 1996/1997 season, when they were still the Bullets. 

Closing Thoughts:

The Mavericks came out strong, as they’ve been doing for the past several games. The difference in the last two games is that they were able to sustain that level of competitiveness throughout all four quarters. If they have any hope of meeting and subsequently beating the Lakers in the Western Conference finals, they will have to maintain this level of play for the game’s entirety and get rid of those pesky "bad" quarters in the middle.