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Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks Overcome Awful Start To Defeat Raptors 114-96

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The Mavericks overcame an absolutely dismal start to their game against the Raptors by pulling away in the second half and finishing with a win, 114-96. If Dirk Nowitzki hadn’t dropped 31 points and pulled in 13 rebounds, this would have been a VERY different game. Dirk was definitely the MVP, scoring 16 of his points in the second quarter alone. Just looking at the final score, you would not have been surprised, but if you watched the game, you’d realize just how impressive this 18-point win really is.

Best supporting player (it is Oscar night, after all) goes to Shawn Marion and his bench ensemble for getting the Mavs through their terrible first quarter during which they allowed an 18-0 run from Toronto and fell behind by as many as 19 points. When the second unit came in, the offense picked up considerably, and Dallas was able to pull within 6 by halftime. As the Mavericks entered the tunnel to head to the locker room, a frustrated Nowitzki grabbed a black curtain at the entrance and yanked it angrily. We can only assume that his frustration was voiced to the rest of the team.

In this tale of two halves, the Mavericks came out after halftime with a fire lit underneath them and early in the third they took the lead on a big dunk from Marion. They were able to orchestrate a 10-0 run in the third to increase the cushion, and stayed ahead for the rest of the game. Their largest lead was 23 points, providing a nice 42-point swing. In fact, 19 points is the largest deficit that the Mavericks have faced and come back from to win the game.

That Just Happened

  • Tonight’s double-double marked the 10th this season for Dirk Nowitzki. In every single one of those games in which he has done so, the Mavericks have won.
  • Four of the Mavericks who came off of the bench scored in double figures. Shawn Marion registered 20 points, Jason Terry was just behind him with 19, Ian Mahinmi came in as the backup center and notched 13 points, and NBA Star Jose Barea logged 12 points and nine assists.
  • Jason Kidd only played 26 minutes, scored six points and dished out 7 assists. Thanks to Barea’s newfound ability to orchestrate the offense, Kidd was able to rest for the entire fourth quarter. On the second night of a back-to-back, that kind of rest is huge for the veteran point guard.
  • Dallas fans finally got to see what we’ve been waiting for this entire season. At the start of the third quarter, Rodrigue Beaubois passed to Jason Kidd, and then ran through the back door where Kidd hit him for a soaring alley-oop. While RB3 only finished with five points, it was refreshing to see that the kid still has hops.
  • Brendan Haywood logged another DNP-Coaches Decision.

Box Score Notables

  • The Mavericks only turned the ball over six times in the entire game. That is some excellent ball control. Strangely enough, Dirk was the only player with more than one TO, and he only had two. Go figure.
  • The Mavericks had another game shooting sub-50%. They actually shot slightly worse than the Raptors, but they took so many more shots that it all evened out.
  • Tyson Chandler went from having a season-high scoring game in Washington to logging just three points in this game. He did pull in nine rebounds, however, and had one defensive sequence where he blocked back-to-back shots.
  • The Mavericks bench outscored the Raptor’s bench 64-25. Repeat after me… the Mavericks have depth.
  • Dirk Nowitzki was the only Maverick who played more than 30 minutes.
  • The Second Half: The Raptors only scored 39 points, the Mavericks shot 59%, they hit 13 of 15 free throws and out-rebounded the Raptors 19-13.

To find out what they said, check for DOH's PGQs tomorrow morning!

The Game Ball Goes To...

Uh, obviously, uh, the ball has to go to Dirk Nowitzki. He didn't like what was happening in the first quarter, and who would. But unlike most mortals, the Big German kicked it into another gear and dropped 16 points in the second quarter to spark the offense. He finished with his 10th double-double on 11-20 shooting, and led his team to their 43rd victory of the year.

Next, the Mavericks travel to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers on Tuesday, March 1st at 6:00pm CT. Let's hope Dallas roars into March like a lion and continues this win streak, now sitting at six.