Over the next couple of weeks, Mavs Moneyball is trying to determine the best Mavericks playoff game since 2000. Here's our homepage, with every game, seed and matchup. Your votes are being recorded below!
(4) 2011 semifinals, Game 4 vs. Lakers
On that night in Dallas, with Phil Jackson coaching his final game and Kobe Bryant making his final trip past the first round, with a threepeat Lakers dynasty one loss away from it all falling off, Jason Terry and Peja Stojakovic could have been Los Angeles singlehandedly.
They hit FIFTEEN of SIXTEEN three-pointers in the blowout win that was over in the second quarter. DeShawn Stevenson, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, J.J. Barea and Brian Cardinal each added one more to total 20 makes for the game. That tied an NBA record, which is all sorts of absurd.
The greatest part was the "hey, hey, hey, goodbye," chants as the clock hit 1:00 -- deserved after two flagrant fouls from Los Angeles in the second half -- and then deafening cheers as the final seconds ticked off.
(13) 2003 semifinals, Game 7 vs. Kings
"Let's just keep this going. Let's go until 2 a.m.," says the ESPN announcer at one point in the second overtime when both sides are still scoring at will. Watch that sequence. The defense isn't great but the offense is otherworldly on both sides. Passes are on targets and shots don't miss. It's a calamity of shotmaking running together in a strange blur of realization that what you are watching is something legendary and unrepeatable.
Nick Van Exel hit his peak with a 40-point performance. Peja Stojakovic had a career game of 39 points. Walt Williams hit four enormous shots in the final 12 minutes or so. Vlade Divac was as predictable as you'd expect. Dirk had 25 points and 20 rebounds without ever subbing out of the game -- that's right, 58 minutes for the Mavericks' bonafide star.
In retrospect, Game 3 almost seems like a fever dream, but that was just how those two teams played. The Mavericks would eventually win the series in a not-so-tightly-contested Game 7, but without this Game 3 win, who knows if it would have ended much sooner.