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Mavericks Survive Against Rockets, 111-106

The Mavericks answered Coach Rick Carlisle's plea to start games stronger as they built a 25-point lead in the game.  Following a disappointing road-heavy stretch, the Mavericks began a four-game home-stand with their highest scoring output of the season against the Los Angeles Clippers.  They followed that up with an follow-up offensive outpouring against the Houston Rockets.  Despite the huge league, the Houston Rockets were able to chip away at the Mavericks lead and they pulled to 104-103 with 51.8 seconds left when Luis Scola completed a 12-2 run with a tip-in basket.  The Mavericks turned to JJ Barea and he responded with timely baskets and that allowed the Mavericks to take the win, 111-106.

JJ Barea and Tyson Chandler led the charge for the Mavericks, Chandler tied his season-high with 21 points and Barea added 19 points in the victory.  Those two players carried the team, but the Mavericks needed everyone in order to hold off a late-game charge by the Rockets, after the Dallas squad sprinted to a big lead before holding on with clutch plays down the stretch to leave the American Airlines Center with a win.

The win gave the Mavericks their 3rd consecutive win and ended a two-game winning streak for the Houston Rockets.  Currently, Dallas has won 16 of the last 21 meetings with Houston.  In addition, the Mavericks have gone 14-4 in their last 18 home meeings with the Rockets.  The Mavericks have scored over 100 points in both matchups against the Rockets this season, they scored 101 points in their victory over the Rockets in late November.  Dallas averaged 113.3 points/game against Houston in 2009-2010.

Did THAT Just Happen?!

- Tyson Chandler has emerged as a scoring machine as of late.  He had 19 points versus the Nets on Saturday, then bested that with 21 in 17 minutes on Tuesday versus Clippers and had 21 points on the evening against the Rockets.  Chandler has set or tied season-high in three straight games.  In addition to the 21 points, the center added 15 rebounds to record his 9th double-double of the season.  The man needs to be an All-Star, plain and simple. Western Conference Coaches, that is on you...

- Sasha Pavlović had a break-away dunk in the first quarter.  Mark Cuban commented before to the game that he has been pleased with what he has seen out of the 10-day contract player.  He also mentioned that nothing has been set in stone in regards to his future with the team, they will decide that when the time comes.  Saturday will be decision day for the Mavericks as his contract expires.  They will have let him go for the rest of the season or sign him for the rest of the season.

- There was a stretch in the early part of the game where the Rockets could not hold on to the basketball to save their lives.  At one point, the Rockets had more turnovers (9) than Field Goals made (8).

- The Mavericks had a balanced scoring attack as they had seven players score in double figures.  The last time they had seven players score in double figures was on January 24, 2010 against the New York Knicks.  That was a 128-78 victory for the Dallas Mavericks.

- The offense went through JJ Barea in the fourth quarter.  Carlisle mentioned that the only issue was going to be a matter of whom was going to set the screens to open things up for the point guard.  They needed all 10 fourth quarter points Barea gave them as Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry combined to shoot 0-10 from the field in the final quarter.


Box Score Revelations

- The Mavericks bench continued to be a major factor for the team as their bench outscored the Rockets bench, 48-14.  Dallas is now 22-7 when their bench outscores the opposing bench.  Besides Barea, Jason Terry added 15 points and Shawn Marion had 10 points in the victory.

- Dirk Nowitzki only had two rebounds.  Coach Carlisle and Nowitzki have said that will be a lengthy process to get is lift and explosion back into form.  There were instances were it looked like he did not have anything in the tank.  Carlisle mentioned after the game that Nowitzki was Superman for the first third of the season.  Sooner or later, the three-and-half weeks worth of rust will come off and Nowitzki will regain his mojo.

- Jason Kidd had a quiet double-double as he had 11 points and 10 rebounds on the evening.  The Mavericks are now 5-2 on the season when Kidd records a double-double.

- The Mavericks scored 64 points in the first half, a new season-high for points in a half (previous high was 58 in the second half in their last game against the Clippers).  That means over a stretch of four quarters, the Mavericks offense scored a total of 122 points.  Key players are struggling but it appears that the Mavericks are starting to find their groove on offense.

- Barea shot 8-10 from the field in the victory over the Rockets.  Over the last two games, the point guard has shot 17-22 from the floor and has averaged 22 points/game.  For the month of January, Barea has shot 45% from the field and 57% from beyond the arc.


Tweetings From the Mavs Universe

- "Alright Sasha with a three... can we get him going tonight"



- "Lovin how my mavs are playing so far tonight!"



- "Rockets all have Dampier-hands tonight."



- "Wow, Houston serving up some suck. I feel uncomfortable for them"



- "Brendan Haywood shot the 6-foot jump hook with great confidence. It went four feet."



- "Tyson Chandler should be the starting center for the Western Conference."



If You Don't Like What I Said, Read What They Said

- Rick Carlisle on the evening, "I thought that we played three good quarters of basketball and one quarter of subpar basketball.  So, I’m glad that we won.  I think that the other quarter from tonight is upside and we have to get over it … When you play Houston, the games tend to be high scoring.  Our balance was good offensively.  It’s just that there are 15-20 possessions where we need to be better.  It’s a fact, it’s reality and we’re going to keep working towards being better."

- Jason Kidd on his backup, ""(Barea) puts a lot of pressure on the opponent.  He’s a guy that can get to the basket, and we need him to do that on a consistent basis.  And you can see his confidence growing these last couple of games."

-  JJ Barea on his fourth quarter, "I came off the ball screen and I was looking for myself -- I'm not going to lie."

- Jason Terry on the balanced scoring attack, "We’re spreading the wealth, everybody’s getting involved and when we score over 100, you can check the record."  The Mavericks are 20-1 when they score over 100 points and 16-3 when they have 5+ Mavs scoring in double figures. 

- Dirk Nowitzki on his struggles while on the floor, "I’ve just got to keep on working. There’s nothing really else to say."

- Rick Carlisle on Nowitzki's situation, "Right now, it’s all about getting the right doses of minutes and just trying to work the conditioning back to where it needs to be.  He’s still hitting shots.  When he misses one or two here or there that we’re accustomed to him making every time, everybody overreacts."

- Carlisle on Barea's night, "It's not going to be Dirk and Jet every night or Dirk, Jet or Kidd every night, we have to have other guys do it….We have strong belief in the other guys, Barea has been a difference-maker for us."


BG's Baller of the Game:

JJ Barea reaches baller status for the second straight game.  As documented earlier, the shooting has been off the charts for the point guard and he has truly been a difference-maker for the team over the last several weeks.  "I don't want us to be in a position to ask him to do this every night.  That's really difficult," Carlisle said in regards to leaning on the backup point guard. "But, right now we've got to have 10, 11, 12 guys out there ready to do what they do well to help our collective cause.  Barea's a fighter.  He's a guy that if you follow his career at all, he's been a guy that's got a lot of guts and a lot heart.  He ain't afraid.  And I ain't afraid to give him the ball."


The Mavericks will be able to use Friday as a preparation day as they play the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday evening.  This will be the finale of the season series between the two teams.  The Mavericks won the game on November 20th in Atlanta, 98-93, on the second night of a back-to-back.  It will be the third game of the four game home-stand for the Mavericks and the game will tip off at 7:30 pm CST. 


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