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Game Recap: Mavericks Can't Extinguish Blazers, 114-112

The Blazers have had their ups and downs this season.  Injury riddled and on a three game losing streak, Portland is looking for a shovel to help dig themselves out of the funk they are in.  Dallas comes into tonight's contest trying to prevent a one game losing streak from turning into two games but has had issues with both bench production and defense. 

The Mavericks are the second best in the West but are they waning? 

Game as a Whole:

It takes a career night from Andre Miller to hand the Mavericks only their third back-to-back loss of the seasons.  One can only hope that this game is the straw that breaks the camels back, forcing the Mavericks to wake up on the defensive end and start putting really getting upset about their lack of defensive acumen when the game is on the line.  

A couple of bright spots shone through tonight's heartbreaker.  Beaubois played extremely solid in the time he was given.  The bench stepped up and chipped in 44 points.  The ball was moving around a whole bunch in the offense (23 assists on the night).  Even with all of the praise, the Mavericks have looked clueless on defense for awhile now and it has become the 800 pound gorilla in the room.  

Let’s look at the quarters..

1st Quarter:
  • 11:11, Dirk scores quick against Juwan Howard whose defense really bothered Nowitzki in their last meeting.
  • Shawn Marion is looking to be extremely aggressive tonight (he already has 4 points) taking it hard to the rim on the break.
  • The Mavericks are racing the ball down the court on every possession.  They look like they have had a lot of rest.
  • Terry puts in the effort to get the lose ball to Kidd and then he gets it right back on his way to the basket.
  • 7:05, Blazers pay too much attention to Dirk leaving Marion open right under the basket.
  • Webster (didn’t know he was Jason Terry’s cousin) gets a steal; someone on the Mavericks should have called that out to Erick Dampier. 
  • 6:05, Kidd with a long two to tie the game.
  • Terry loses Bayless on a screen, which leads to an easy jump shot.  Terry usually has a problem closing out on his man. 
  • 3:13, Terry makes the first Mavericks three of the game. 
  • Even though the Blazers have had a lot of injuries they still have a ton of fight in them. 
  • 1:50, Drew Gooden sees his first action of the night. 
  • Barea give Steve Blake a nice crossover but couldn’t finish at the basket.  He still draws a charge at the other end even though he is the last man to get back on defense.
  • Drew Gooden gets a tip in to end the first quarter.  Rick Carlisle seemed to be searching for offense in the first quarter. 
2nd Quarter:
  • Beaubois is in Rick Carlisle good graces, gets to start the 2nd quarter with Barea. 
  • 10:03, Gooden doesn’t give up on the play after he gets blocked (could have been called for a charge), taking it strong to the basket for a dunk on his second attempt.
  • 9:06, Marion blows a dunk.  Go up with two hands Shawn.
  • After a Beaubois steal, Marion gets called for an offensive foul on his way to the basket.  Ball should have gone to Roddy on the play instead of Marion.
  • i believe Roddy is the Mavericks point guard of the future.  You can see the raw talent shine through every time he steps on the court. 
  • 8:18, Good decision by Beaubois of just laying it off the glass for the easy two points instead of trying to dunk.
  • 7:57, Najera gets a huge ovation as he steps on the court for the first time this season for the Mavericks. 
  • Josh Howard is completely out of sync on the offensive end, picks up an offensive foul. 
  • 7:24, The Mavericks bench is looking like the Suns bench the other night (bringing energy and pushing the team back into the game).
  • 6:42, Najera drills the first three he takes in a Mavericks uniform and gives Dallas the lead. 
  • Najera is now back on the bench in favor of Dirk.  Thanks for your service Ed.
  • 5:36, Howard finally makes his first bucket. 
  • 5:05, Howard gets his second bucket and the foul. 
  • Three back-to-back baskets for Howard, this should be good for his confidence. 
  •  Nowitzki is getting a quick double team every time he touches the ball.  The Blazers want anyone else to beat them. 
  • Howard is doing all of the scoring for the Mavericks in the 2nd.  This shows how much better the Mavericks can be when Howard plays to his potential.
3rd Quarter:
  • Mavericks kick off the third quarter by attacking the lane. 
  • Kidd is currently shooting 40% from three this year.  Terry on the other hand is shooting only 35%.
  • Andre Miller is on fire tonight.  Shawn Marion can’t seem to slow him down.
  • Dampier misses a dunk after a Kidd lob.  No offense from Dampier tonight. 
  • Both teams are having trouble scoring the basketball in this quarter.  They have combined for 27 points so far. 
  • 4:57, Nowitzki bites on the Aldridge pump fake and the Blazers take the lead.  Bayless is also continuing to attack the rim.  Where is Drew Gooden?
  • 3:02, Nice recovery by the Dallas defense not letting Portland get an easy basket. 
  • Dirk and Miller colliding looked like a train wreck.  You never want to see a seven footer hit the floor.
  • Nowitzki picks up a technical as he thought there should have been a foul on his last drive to the basket.  
  • :40.8, Drew Gooden makes a quick move to the basket for the score.  Mavericks have had a lot of trouble getting Dirk involved late in the game.
  • Barea with a three to end the quarter, the team needed a spark. 
4th Quarter:
  • Would be nice to see Beaubois come back into the game right now.  Don’t know why Carlisle wouldn’t go back to the lineup that was getting his team stops.
  • 9:57, Dallas gets its first chance at a fast break in the second half.  Terry can’t convert but the Blazers can’t secure the rebound and the Mavericks get a second chance. 
  • Dirk gets a quick basket and then the Mavericks get a stop, slowly clawing their way back into this. 
  • 8:24, Portland is about to be in the plenty thanks to a lose ball foul.  I can understand wanting to grab an offensive rebound but you can’t give away fouls. 
  • 8:08, Barea hits the circus shot, didn’t get a foul.  
  • 7:39, Dallas is shooting free throws the rest of the way, they are going to need it. 
  • The Mavericks are now playing like a team.  Howard hits a three and Gooden gets a tip in to pull the Mavericks to within two. 
  • Dallas has fixed their mistakes from the Phoenix game as Dirk has gotten involved in the offense during the fourth quarter.  
  • Look for Nowitzki to continue to exploit the Batum match up during this 4th quarter.  
  • Barea loses the ball but still scores. That will be on SportsCenter tonight. 
  • Dirk gives the Mavericks the lead with three minutes left. 
  • Kidd hits a three off the Barea assist (it will probably be reviewed). 
  • Terry ties the game with two free throws. 
  • Dirk hits Aldridge with a push, he shanks the first shot.  The second shot rims out. 
  • The franchise player says "not in my house" and the Mavericks take the lead.
  • Marion gets put in for one play and sends Andre Miller to the line on a questionable call.
  • More free throws for Dirk, does it seal the game? Apparently not.
  • Dallas goes to overtime, Najera needs to come back 
  • Miller hits his first basket and Terry answers with a two pointer.  The Blazers are just going to continue feeding Miller the ball. 
  • Nowitzki hits a two and doesn’t get the foul, Aldridge obviously bumped him on the play.
  • The Jet is on the runway after a nice three-point basket. 
  • 2:22, Kidd hits the follow to give the Mavericks a four point lead.  Nice pursuit on the rebound. 
  • Juwan Howard gets his first basket of the game to give the Blazers the lead.  I do not want to see these guys in the playoffs. 
  • Dirk misses shot to tie the game, game over.  

Some Choice Statistics:

  • The Dallas Mavericks have gone 23 consecutive seasons without a title.  Longest streak is the Sacramento Kings at 52 seasons.
  • Jason Kidd won the only rookie of the year award for the Dallas Mavericks in 1995.
  • The Mavericks had their worst season in ’92-’93 when they went 11-71.

Closing Thoughts:

Andre Miller, plain and simple, won the game.  When it really mattered, even the self-proclaimed best defender on the Mavericks couldn’t contain Miller.  If you give up over 90 points to a team, you are asking for trouble even when a role player goes for 50+. It would have been interesting to see if Beaubois could have slowed Miller with his quickness.