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Game Recap: Kidd Powers Mavs Past Clippers, 106-96

Tonight's recap courtesy of LJRotter

Well, we’re back to try again. Last night, the Dallas Mavericks disappointed themselves and fans alike after abandoning stellar play in the first quarter to let the New Orleans Hornets run away with a win. The past two losses have had one major thing in common: too few trips to the free throw line. Tonight, as the Mavs take on the inferior Los Angeles Clippers, it will be a test to see if they can play hard all four quarters, and draw the contact that sends them to the line where they are so dangerous. In addition, the Mavericks have to get a grip, literally. Last night, they had an uncharacteristic 20 turnovers, which lead to 35 points for the Hornets. Tonight, as Jason Kidd celebrates his 37th birthday, veteran team Dallas will need to keep their legs fresh for a full 48 minutes. The Clippers have lost nine out of their last ten games. 

Will the Mavericks take advantage of the lopsided match-up, or will they lose focus and fail yet again? 

Game as a Whole:

What a difference a day makes. The Mavericks started with some solid play for the first half. Dirk got an uncharacteristic double-technical and was ejected from the game halfway through the second, and for the third quarter it looked as though Dallas would collapse yet again. With just over 5 minutes left in the third, the Mavericks lost the lead. Lo and behold, Carlisle took our advice and put Beaubois in the game. Roddy provided an immediate offensive spark, and he helped kick Kidd into super point guard mode. The 16-year veteran scored a season-high 26 points and added 12 assists to his line. 

Brendan Haywood got a double-double as well, and Terry provided a solid 14 points off the bench. He had a scary moment when he took a shot to the face, but ever the resilient player, he brushed himself off and continued the game. Thank goodness he was wearing his mask again! The story of tonight (for the fans, anyway) was the contribution of rookie Rodrigue Beaubois. In just under 15 minutes, he had 10 points, and he scored the last 8 points of the 3rd quarter. The extra candle on Kidd’s birthday cake? The Nuggets lost in New York. Tonight’s win ties them again, and the two teams will meet at the AAC on Monday for the final regular-season match-up.  

Let's Look at the Quarters...

1st Quarter:
  • Dampier gets the start at Center tonight.
  • Mavs win the tip.
  • 10:05, Dirk makes the first shot over former teammate Drew Gooden.
  • 8:59, Matrix plays aggressively and gets the score.
  • Dampier’s shot looks tentative and way off.
  • 6:22, Dirk takes the shot rather than trying to be unselfish and makes it.
  • 5:55, Kidd dishes to Dirk, who gets a long two.
  • Terry has his mask on again tonight.
  • 4:42, During JET’s free throws, Haywood comes in for Dampier.
  • 3:18, Happy birthday! Kidd with a three.
  • 2:22, And another. Kidd wants to prove he’s still young.
  • 1:28, Najera with a RESOUNDING dunk!
  • :50.5, Haywood scoops the ball under the basket for a score.
  • :32.4, Kidd fakes a three, passes it and gets it right back for a layin. He has 8.
  • :03.5, Marion scores, steals the inbounds, and gets a goal tend for the last basket! 
2nd Quarter:
  • Haywood starts the quarter with a steal.
  • 10:15, Barea dishes it inside to Haywood who gets fouled on the way up.
  • 9:57, Barea makes a three-point jumper.
  • 9:06, Haywood gets the follow dunk on a miss by Barea.
  • 7:45, Dirk is the first Maverick in double digits with his jump shot.
  • 7:08, JET goes left and gets a baseline jumper.
  • 6:47, The arena plays the Phantom of the Opera music as JET gets another jump shot.
  • 4:25, Dirk flexes his assist muscles on the sweet pass to Haywood for the score.
  • 2:18, JET gets the shooter’s bounce for a long two.
  • 1:29, Dirk gets one of his crazy shots to go in for the and-1. He’s giving Gooden all he can handle.
  • :51.9,Kidd takes a wide open three. He’s perfect from behind the arc!
  • :33.9,Dirk takes a three to join the party.
  • :04.9, JET finishes off the quarter with a lay-up.
3rd Quarter:
  • Stevenson comes in early in the 3rd for Butler.
  • 11:07, Dampier gets blocked on the way up for a dunk but gets it back and is fouled. He makes one of two.
  • 10:35, Dampier gets his first basket of the game. Kidd gets his 7th assist.
  • 9:16, Dirk argues a foul, gets called for a Technical 2 and is thrown out of the game.
  • 8:23, Marion misses his first shot but Dampier gets him the rebound and he makes his second.
  • 7:03, Marion has two baskets now because of Dampier’s efforts on the offensive boards.
  • Mavericks lose the lead with 5:45 to go.
  • 5:12, Kidd makes a close-range jump shot.
  • Not a whole lot to write about right now. Everything looks slightly askew.
  • 2:55, Beaubois comes in for Terry. He immediately provides a spark with the three.
  • 1:37, Kidd and Haywood with the aggressive double team on Blake. They knock it out of bounds again. On the resulting inbound, defense prevents the Clippers from getting a shot off in time.
  • 1:13, Roddy speeds into the lane for a quick score to put Dallas back up. 
4th Quarter:
  • 11:45, Kidd sends a beautiful alley-oop to Roddy B for the score!
  • 11:04, Kidd brings it down and handles business on his own, with the three-point basket.
  • 10:33, Haywood dunks and gets fouled for the and-1. He completes the three-point play.
  • 9:52, Suddenly the Mavs can’t miss! Butler for two.
  • 9:34, Kidd gets ANOTHER three, and he has a double/double!
  • 8:44, Kidd gets a layup on the fast break with the assist from Terry. What a turnaround!
  • 8:05, Kidd gets a rebound, an assist, and JET gets the bucket.
  • 7:19, The Kidd toe strikes again, but we’ll take it. Noticing a trend, here?
  • 6:41, I don’t mean to be redundant. But he scored again.
  • During an official timeout, what I thought was a two is in fact ruled a three. I’ll take it!
  • 5:03, Haywood goes to the line and gets one of two.
  • 3:12, JET contributes to the lead with a two. Of course, Kidd with his 12th assist.
  • :19.1, Haywood gets fouled and makes both his shots to put the Mavs up by 10. 

Some Choice Statistics (thanks, mavstats):

  • Jason Kidd scored 6 threes tonight, for the 9th time in his career. Not too shabby for a passing point guard. 
  • This is only the third time in Dirk’s career that he’s been ejected from a game. The last time was in 2008 against Utah. 
  • The Mavericks held the Clippers to just 23% shooting in the 4th quarter. In the previous four games, Dallas allowed their opponents to shoot 65% in the 4th

Closing Thought

The Mavericks have the 14th most difficult schedule to close out the regular season. Who has the hardest? Why, it’s the Denver Nuggets!