Donuts: Mavs Overcome 18-Point Hole At GS

DallasBasketball.com and FS Southwest partner up to bring you the ‘before,' ‘after' and ‘during' of Mavs 112, Warriors 106 – a win that allows 48-20 Dallas to knot itself with the Lakers for second in the West -- in Thursday Morning Mavs Donuts:

DONUT 1: We start at the start, with the FS Southwest "Mavs Live'' pregame show. Fish and Ric Renner offer up the dismal news of what is the Dallas Mavericks' eight-game losing streak against teams presented seeded in the top eight spots in the Western Conference playoff race. … break the news of Corey Brewer's surprising starting role … and beg for Roddy B to get just one more chance …

DONUT 2: OK, so Corey Brewer was something shy of a "star of the game.'' (He will not be receiving many votes for "The Dirkie.'' Though that is up to you, Dear Voter.) Indeed, very little of what Dallas did to start this game was effective.

The Warriors opened the game with a 10-0 run, which ended Brewer's first foray into the starting lineup rather quickly (as well as his night on the court), and the defense we saw … or didn't see … from Dallas against the Blazers was again prominently on display.

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For the opening quarter, the Warriors hit 15 of their 19 shot attempts, a devastating 78.9 percent. Only an 11-2 run by the Mavs to close the period, trimming an 18-point lead to nine, kept things somewhat reasonable.

DONUT 3: The second period would begin with more of the same as the deficit again climbed to 17. With 4:36 to go in the half Golden State led by 15 and had drained 25-of-35 shots (71.4 percent) … when the Dallas defense finally made its way to the court.

From that point on, the Warriors made 17-of-47 from the floor … a much more respectable 36.2 percent.

And you sensed that maybe the Mavs were done overlooking the Warriors (could they have possibly done so?), were done looking forward to the Spurs on Friday (would they dare), were done nursing their wounds from the previous night in Portland.

A "hangover,'' coach Rick Carlisle called it.

"We were sluggish to start the game, maybe a hangover from last night," Carlisle said. "Whatever it may be, maybe it's just a team that had us on our heels. Whatever the case, NBA games are long and you've got to keep playing. And we had to stay positive with our guys."

DONUT 4: Perhaps sensing that the team needed its leader to assert himself, to take the first step to allow others to follow, Dirk Nowitzki tattooed his will on the face of the game.

He finished with 32 points (including 10 in the fourth), going 12-of-12 from the free-throw line, 13 rebounds (including a season-high six offensive boards), two assists and a block.

This marked the third consecutive double-double from The UberMan, and marks the first time he has had a streak of three-or-more consecutively since early in the 2008-09 season.

We praise his offense with regularity, and feel the need to do the same for those six offensive boards. This was a star doing all he could to make sure his team didn't lose their third game in a row, or their fifth in seven.

Instead, he helped deliver the Mavs back into a tie with the Lakers in the standings.

DONUT 5: While the outcome of the fourth quarter is certainly a story here, its construct … and the decisions by Carlisle are equally relevant.

For the first time since his return, Roddy Beaubois found himself on the court for almost 10 meaningful minutes in the fourth quarter, including a handful manning the point guard position … and played well.

Roddy B finished with 18 points (a season high) on 7-of-11 shooting, four assists (which could have been more as he continually created open looks for teammates behind the three-point arc), four steals (a career high), two rebounds and only one turnover.

Due to the gambling nature at their core, steals never tell the entire story of a player's defensive effectiveness, but don't ignore the fact that Roddy B did a nice job of defending the explosive Monta Ellis.

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For sure, he's a great player, so it wasn't easy,'' Roddy B said. "But I just tried to use me length and I think I did a decent job on him, for sure."

For sure!

Ellis made his shots, but when he found himself matched up with Roddy, he continually found a hand held high to contest his attempts, or one tipping away his dribble. As well as Roddy B played on offense; he was equally impactful on defense.

Did Roddy B play so much and so well because "this was the right opponent for him''? Ridiculous. As we've said in this second season of FREE RODDY B yelling, he is at the very least a legitimate rotation player and should ALWAYS be given the opportunity to be so. If he obviously blows that opportunity (as was the case Saturday against the Lakers), pull back and regroup. But only AFTER a series of errors.

Not in anticipation of errors that – if you play the kid – so often end up being overcome by point-a-minute positives. We're with Dirk on this, though while he's talking one game, we're talking long-term:

"I actually give Roddy a lot of credit,'' Nowitzki said. "He really took the challenge of Monta. He was phenomenal tonight.''

DONUT 6: Standing beside Roddy B was Jason Terry with a nice bounce-back from a few less-than-stellar games.

Terry ended with 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including 3-of-4 behind the arc, six rebounds and six assists.

As with Roddy B, it's easy for some to explain the offensive performance by Jet (and whomever else) as products of a poor Golden State defense, which allowed 105.8 per game prior to the matchup with Dallas (ranking them as the third worst scoring defense in the NBA). Yet, it doesn't dismiss them entirely.

Jet didn't just match the opponent's scoring here. He filled the boxscore in ways that included a late-game scramble for a loose ball that lengthened a critical possession later stretched by a Dirk offensive board.

Terry had experienced five straight games in which he'd done nothing but score – and even at that, was a bucket-a-night off his expected pace. Nice to see Terry doing some of the little things that fall beneath the headlines. … but are instrumental in staying atop the standings.

DONUT 7: Back to Brewer for a sec. He went from zero minutes against the Blazers to starting against the Warriors, though he totaled only 5:41 of playing time.

Brewer may have not had time to leave his mark on the game, and was on the court as Dallas suffered through their horrid start, but his move into the starting lineup (which may be temporary; more in a moment) allowed other changes to settle in … changes that did have an impact.

Shawn Marion moved back to the bench to once again join Jason Terry as an imposing bench duo. While Carlisle hinted that Brewer getting the start was done to allow Marion (who played 38 minutes the night before in Portland) to get some extra rest, we see it as a device to help solidify a bench that suffered by the absence of The Matrix.

Marion is still going to get the bulk of the small forward minutes, and it is hard to imagine that other teams would mirror the start the Warriors leapt out to. So, why not try to keep what's been a significant weapon from the bench (Marion and Terry) intact?

The pair combined for 13-of-22 shooting, 10 rebounds, eight assists and 33 points. There simply aren't many benches that can match that double-barreled firepower.

DONUT 8: With Brendan Haywood once again missing with a sore back, Tyson Chandler was forced into big minutes (37:40) … though they came without the weight of having to deal with a player like LaMarcus Aldridge or Andrew Bynum.

Chandler finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and two steals.

We love Chandler, but it will be nice to get Haywood back to help keep those minutes at a more reasonable level … and draw away a bit of the apprehension found in each foul Chandler collects.

Which brings us to another quick point (or two).

With Haywood out, this was primed to be Ian Mahinmi's opportunity to step up. Instead, it seems as though he's taken a step back.

"The Ianimal'' played only 3:12 with zero stats other than one missed shot and one personal foul.

What happened to the energetic Mahinmi we saw for bursts earlier in the season, the player that entered the game with relentless hustle and forced something to happen? It wasn't always good, but you knew something would happen.

Recently, you're more likely to be aware that Mahinmi is in the game by noticing Chandler's absence than Mahinmi's presence.

Quick second point: Can we accept that it may have been a good idea to keep Haywood around?

DONUT 9: Prior to the contest with the Warriors, the Mavs had played 15 back-to-back games this season. On the second night, they had trailed eight times at the half … and were 4-4 in those games.

Of those eight occurrences, they had trailed by six or more points at the half four times … and were 1-3 in those games.

Against the Warriors, Dallas reversed this trend and began the process of exorcising the demons raised by the recent failure to close out tight games.

In consecutive games against the Lakers and Blazers there were clear issues with closing out games. With Golden State occupying the opposite bench, the game entered the fourth quarter tied at 81 … and the Mavs had their first 30-point quarter of the game to put away an inferior opponent.

Anyway, the Mavericks now have a 12-4 overall record on the second night of back-to-backs … (and thanks, Reader Baconbeard ... on FS Southwest, we discussed the end of the b2b's, but in fact, Dallas still has four left, including a trio of them on the next road trip.)


DONUT 10: Please join our Dallas Mavericks FISH Facebook Page ... prizes to be won, fun to be had, friends to be made! C'mon! I seem nice! We'll probably hit 500 friends today or tommorow, at which time somebody is going to win Mavs tickets on me. ... Take That Wit Chew and come aboard!

DONUT 11: Since the 2005-06 season, Dirk has had streaks of at least three straight double-doubles 10 times. The longest streak in that period was eight.

Golden State marked the fifth time this season that Dirk has gather more than a single offensive rebound, with the six he collected marking a new season high. His previous high was five against the Pistons back on Nov. 23.

And remember, he did all this on the second night of a b2b after having had that shoulder of his pounded on by Blazers, to the point where on Tuesday the assumption of the viewer might've been that Nowitzki was dragging around a separated shoulder.

But whatever. He rubs some dirt on it and is right back to performing like the MVP candidate he simply must be.

DONUT 12: Let's close it the right way: Fish and Ric Renner, back in the FS Southwest studios, wrapping up the win … and peeking forward to Friday's AAC visit from the San Antonio Spurs:

Hey, even Dirk is peeking. ...

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"A good test,''The UberMan says in anticipation of Spurs-at-Mavs. "They just came off a tough (30-point) loss against Miami. I read today somewhere that they had a three-hour practice for the first time all year, so you know they're gonna be fired up and ready to play ... It should be a fun game. Hopefully, the AAC will be rocking and it should be a fun game to be a part of."

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