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Game Recap: Mavericks Fight Past Bucks, 108-107

The 29-15 Dallas Mavericks had the feel-good game of the century after torching the New York Knicks at Madison Square Gardens. The high scoring Milwaukee Bucks come to the American Airlines Center with a young point guard in Brandon Jennings and a team that can play much better than their record actually shows.

Does a 50-point win over an "okay" Knicks team help the Mavericks re-discover their stellar play or do they take a step back tonight with the Bucks? 

Game as a Whole:

The two-man game between Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki returned to the American Airlines Center tonight.  Terry goes 8-15 for 21 points while Nowitzki pours in 28 on 11-25 shooting, and the Mavericks almost felt normal for a few minutes.  Even as Nowitzki and Terry turned up the scoring the defense still seemed to be a suspect.  

The Bucks gave the Mavericks all they could possibly handle and held the Mavericks scoreless for over 2 minutes at the end of the game to pull within one.  The Mavericks were close to losing the game late due to a Nowitzki turnover but instead they get their 10th straight one point win.  It’s a heartbreaking loss for Milwaukee that speaks more to the Mavericks ability to execute in crunch time (nice to see this returning after a leave of absence).  

In the end this was a much better game to watch then the one I actually attended in person on Sunday!

 Let’s look at the quarters…

1st Quarter:
  • Mavs win tip 
  • 11:44, Marion starts off the game with a nice power move to the basket.
  • 11:15, Terry gets fouled by Bogut as he drives for a layup. He misses the first, makes the second.
  • 10:34, Kidd tries to throw up an alleyoop to Marion, who can’t finish.
  • 10:09, Terry buries a three from the corner. If he gets hot, I’ll be happy.
  • 8:54, After Kidd dives over a guy (and spills his beer) to save the ball, Dirk passes to Marion who throws down a nice little dunk. Followill’s quote "I always hate it when a beer goes down".
  • 7:06, Marion jumps over everyone under the basket to lay it in. He already has 6 points.
  • 6:37, Terry looks like a pro with the midrange jump shot. He puts the Mavs back on top.
  • 6:07, Dirk takes a quick jumper from Terry for his first points of the game.
  • Loving the effort for second chance opportunities. Offensive rebounds are key.
  • Stackhouse gets a nice round of applause from the Dallas fans as he enters the game for Milwaulke.
  • 4:47, Kidd knocks down a three, with the assist going to Dampier!
  • 3:48, Terry finds Dampier for a resounding dunk. That’s 8 assists on 8 baskets for the Mavericks. EXCELLENT teamwork.
  • 2:35, Barea finds Howard for a nice easy basket.
  • 1:36, Kidd makes a shot fake, a pass fake, then finds Marion for the score.
  • 1:03, Barea takes a mid-range J off of a nice screen from Dampier.
  • :22.6, Barea then gets an off-balance tear drop. The Mavericks look incredibly confident on offense- they just need some stops on the other end to pull away. 
2nd Quarter:
  • Roddy in for the start of the 2nd quarter.
  • 11:26, Roddy B steps into a three and drills it home. Man, that’s a purty shot.
  • 10:58, Dirk rattles one home to extend the Mavs lead to 6.
  • 10:34, Roddy gets a steal, then hustles to the basket and makes it with the assist from Barea.
  • 9:45, Howard threads the needle, and Gooden slams one home.
  • Mavericks currently shooting 62%.
  • 8:42, Dirk makes his signature catch and shoot with the assist from Barea. The team is really gelling and it’s a pleasure to watch. Just step up the defense a little, and we’ll be all right.
  • 8:10, Barea makes a three with an assist from Roddy. The Mavericks of the future!
  • 7:44, Gooden is a powerhouse. He makes the strong post move.
  • Stackhouse is looking fantastic on his new team.
  • 5:32, Roddy has such a beautiful three-point shot. I could watch him do it all night. And I hope he does it all night.
  • 4:40, Dirk drives incredibly hard to the basket and draws the foul for the and-1. It should be noted that it’s just the second team foul for the Bucks.
  • 3:59, Howard’s shot has been very short lately. He misses badly.
  • Bogut is 7 of 7 for 16 points. Maybe defend him a little better?
  • 3:15, Marion makes a quick move to the basket for a nice layup.
  • 1:27, Terry shoots a nice jumper with the assist from a hard-working Kidd.
3rd Quarter:
  • 11:20, Give Dirk 12 on the night.  Mavericks currently lead by 3 (after a nice assist from Jennings).
  • 10:33, Marion ends up saving the ball even though no one is around to grab the loose ball. 
  • 10:22, Maverick defensive fail, as the Bucks tie on two consecutive 3pts.
  • 10:10, Kidd comes back and nails a three followed up by a Terry three.  Are we at the 3pt-shooting contest? I thought that wasn’t for a few weeks.
  • Both teams are shooting over 50% for the night; Mavericks lead in the assist column.
  • 7:05, Kidd gets the coast-to-coast.  He can still turn on the jets when he has to.
  • 6:18, Nowitzki gets blocked twice on one trip down the floor.  Bad offense or awesome defense (it is hard to tell)?
  • 5:22, Both teams are now missing layups and furiously trying to get their shooting percentage below 50%.
  • 3:00, Bucks pull to within 1 and Dirk answers with a short jumper in the paint.  Just the "pick me up" the Mavericks needed.
  • 2:19, Dirk gets two free throws after a quick move to the basket. 
  • 1:57, Dirk hits again and the Mavericks are one point away from their largest lead (8 points).
  • 1:16, Gooden hits Howard on a back door cut for an easy layup.  Howard needs to continue to cut to the basket like that when he doesn’t have the ball.
  • :40.6, Howard scores against Stackhouse to give the Mavericks a 9 point lead. 
4th Quarter:
  • Beaubois has so much speed, excited to watch him develop. 
  • 10:59, Stackhouse didn’t look like he liked that turnover that Josh Howard forced him into.  
  • Bucks respond with a couple of good defensive sequences.  They are only down 3. 
  • 10:00, Dallas has turned the ball over on three consecutive trips on offense.  Way to let the Bucks back in the game. 
  • 8:30, Terry gives the Mavericks a little room with a short two-point jumper. 
  • 8:03, Howard takes it hard to the basket, gets the "and-1". 
  • 7:31, Terry answers a Bucks three with three of his own.
  • 6:42, Bucks tie the game at 93, this is going to be a fight.  Dirk grabs the lead back 20 seconds later.  
  • 5:18, Terry helps build the lead back up to four.  He is 7-13 from the floor tonight, great to see him get his touch back.  
  • 4:41, After running circles around Dampier (a la Globetrotters), Terry pulls up for an open jump shot.
  • 3:17, Dirk off glass for 26 points.  Bogut just broke his season and career high with 32.  Dirk answers with another short jumper. 
  • 2:06, Kidd makes a clutch three but Delfino answers with a three.  
  • 1:06, A rebound trickles to Dampier, that could secure the win.
  • :39.4, Dirk gets his first block of the night leading to a jump ball.  
  • With 3 seconds left, Nowitzki loses the ball.  Bucks can win the game now. Thankfully, some solid defense prevents the Bucks from stealing the win in the last seconds.

Some Choice Statistics:

  • In the 2007-2008 season Jason Terry played all 82 games. 
  • Jason Terry is currently sitting at 88 for "free throws in a season".  He made 172 with the Hawks in 2001-2002.
  • Dirk is currently number 15 on the list for career free throw shooting percentage (.8724).  First place, Mark Price (.9039).

Closing Thoughts:

Beaubois gets significant playing time (Barea only played 4 minutes more than him), Dirk/Terry score in bunches, and Howard goes 4 for 7 from the field.  The Mavericks looked like they were back up to par in this game, now lets see if they can maintain the momentum.