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Three things following the Maverick loss in Memphis, 99-90

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The Grizzlies lock up a playoff spot while Dallas falls to 13 games under .500

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Grizzlies in Memphis Friday night, 99-90. Mike Conley led a balanced attack, scoring 28 while dishing out 6 assists and grabbing 5 rebounds. Dirk Nowitzki scored 13 points and had 12 rebounds in defeat for the Mavericks.

The first half was a disaster for Dallas, with the team shooting an absurdly bad 22.9% from the field, while getting out-rebounded 28 to 18. A slow start picked up somewhat, with the Mavericks trailing by a single bucket after a quarter. But the second quarter got bad, quickly. An 11-0 run by Memphis to start the second blew the game wide open. The Grizzlies would continue to build on the lead before taking a massive 55-34 lead into the half.

But we know those scrappy Dallas Mavericks. And after such a terrible shooting half things had to turn around a little bit for the Mavericks, right? Dallas cut into Memphis' lead with a 16-4 run to bring the margin back down to single digits half way through the quarter. The run wouldn’t hold as Seth Curry injured his shoulder and Memphis went on a quick 5-0 run to push the lead back to 14. Dallas trailed 73-62 heading into the final quarter.

The Mavericks closed the lead to single digits to open the quarter. The Grizzlies rallied back to a 14 point lead when Vince Carter rudely blocked a Dirk Nowitzki spin move, which resulted Troy Daniel’s 7th three pointer of the game. But the Mavericks weren’t done. After Dirk missed his eleventh shot in the game, he subbed out and the Mavericks answered with a pair of threes from Barea and Matthews to cut the lead to nine again.

Dallas finally trimmed the nine point lead to eight on a desperation corner three from Yogi, but the Grizzlies kept answering with two point baskets. After pushing the lead to 13 again, the Mavericks got it down to 8 with a two minutes left on a Dirk three, then 5 on a J.J. Barea three in transition. Mike Conley answered with an incredible shot over Barea to give the Grizzlies a seven point lead but Wesley Matthews hit a crazy three of his own from the top of the key to bring it down to four points with a minute left. Vince Carter missed a wide open three to give the Mavericks one more chance, but Dirk badly missed a step back. The Grizzlies knocked down their free throws despite the Maverick attempt to extend the game. Memphis locked up a playoff spot with the 99-90 win.

The Maverick Tragic number is down to just 3.

What’s the tragic number? It’s the combination of wins and losses which will effectively put the Mavericks out of the playoff hunt. Technically, they are still in the race, despite only seven games remaining. With Denver losing and Dallas losing, it will still take some combination of three wins by the teams in front of them in the standings (who haven’t locked up a spot) or losses by the Mavericks*.

*at least I think this is right, tell me in the comments if I’m an idiot

Harrison Barnes had some spectacular drives!

Barnes only finished with four makes against a stout Memphis defense, but three of those makes were really solid drives to the basket. Hard to be mad at a move like this:

Of course, he still can’t draw contact to save his life, but that’s been covered enough already. That can be a worry for next year.

I miss Vince Carter

Vince’s first year with Dallas was incredible frustrating, or so I recall. But by his final season with the Mavericks, he’d evolved to the perfect bench veteran and his play has remained unchanged during his time in Memphis. He’s so good, still, at 40-years-old. Vince might have only hit one shot, but dishing out five assists and grabbing eight boards is a solid contribution.

But he’s never allowed to block Dirk again.