Mavs In 2 OTs: 'Interesting, Meaningless' Win
With the seventh seed already clinched, Rick Carlisle and the Dallas Mavericks (now 48-31) inched closer to the goal of finishing with 50 wins on Friday night with a 144-143 nail-biter over the struggling but dangerous Nuggets.
“It was the most interesting, meaningless game I have ever seen,” Carlisle said after notching his 336th career victory as the Mavericks coach. (Three more wins and he ties Nellie in Mavs annals.)
Denver, which has now lost five out of its last six games, couldn’t quite keep the Mavericks in check defensively, allowing Dallas to shoot 52 percent from the field. On the other hand, Danilo Gallinari led the Nuggets with 47 points and was unstoppable ... except for the times when Ty Lawson (who contributed 19 points and 18 assists) inexplicably failed to pass the ball to his teammate down the stretch.
The Mavericks, meanwhile, were still without Chandler Parsons (who, as Fish showed on FOX Sports Southwest, did do some pregame work on his rehabbing swollen knee), decided to rest Rajon Rondo as well. Raymond Felton was inserted into the starting lineup in his place, with Richard Jefferson making another start for Parsons.
Despite the injuries, Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks looked to be in top form offensively, and showed the depth of their bench. Dallas was able to get solid contributions from Devin Harris, Richard Jefferson, and perhaps most notably, Raymond Felton, the latter proving to be the hero late, hitting the game winning layup with 1.4 seconds left in the game.
Although the game was on track to be a blowout after Jefferson again turned back the time machine and threw down a thunderous dunk over Jusuf Nurkich in the second quarter, the Nuggets forged a second-half run that made the Mavericks' 23-point lead evaporate ... taking the lead late on a Kenneth Faried dunk, and eventually taking the game into two overtimes. Dallas, however, showed its veteran colors, withstanding the Nuggets second-half barrage.
Rondo left a glaring hole defensively on the perimeter. But again, the Mavericks offense looked healthy. Dirk Nowitzki led the way for Dallas with 25 points and nine rebounds. Amare Stoudemire also had a strong showing, contributing 15 points off the bench, while Monta Ellis notched 19 points on 53-percent shooting.
Now, Dallas is looking to finish strong as they head into a roadie back-to-back where they will be facing Lakers and Jazz before coming home to face the Portland Trailblazers in the regular-season finale. ... still eyeballing a chance at 50.
Below, Saad Yousef's Power Points ...
Take a look at the box score and you see a double-overtime thriller in which a completely unexpected hero emerged at the end to make the game-winning shot to win by a point. But make no mistake, this game won't be confused with the double-overtime thriller against the Bulls earlier this season.
Regarding the game itself, the Mavs not only blew the aforementioned 23-point lead, they also forced the older guys to play a lot more minutes than head coach Rick Carlisle would have liked. The game had about as much importance as a preseason game and on the eve of the playoffs with the seventh seed locked in, one of the names of the game is "rest.''
In addition to blowing a lead and not getting rest, a game going on down south in Texas didn't exactly go in the Mavs' favor either. ...
The Rockets lost by one point to the Spurs, which elevated the Spurs from sixth seed to the third seed and Memphis held off the Jazz by a point so they stay at the second seed, but just barely.
At the rate the Spurs have been playing and with them just being half-game behind Memphis for that second seed, it's very likely that the Mavs could be seeing the Spurs in the first round. There is also a good chance they could see Memphis, neither of which is the desired playoff matchup that Houston would be. ... and Houston is looking unlikely that they will capture the second seed.
*The Mavs and Nuggets combined for 287 points, the most two teams have combined for in over three years (Thunder and T'Wolves combined for 289 on March 23, 2012).
*Field-goal percentage: The Mavs held a decisive advantage from the field, shooting 52.3 percent, while the Nuggets shot 42.4 percent. For most of the game, the Mavs defense was decent. ... Except the third quarter in which the Mavs were outscored 37-20 and the Nuggets really climbed back in the game.
*Out-rebounded: The season theme was back again. The Mavs were handled on the boards, losing the rebounding battle 61-49.
Maybe the most important category for the remainder of the regular season. This may make some cringe, but Dirk led the team in playing time, tallying almost 38 minutes. Monta was close behind at 37 minutes (and didn't seem especially thrilled with not getting more). Jefferson played 31 minutes and recorded a season-high 24 points. Tyson Chandler played 32 minutes and Raymond Felton played 30 minutes. Off the bench, Aminu had 29 minutes as did Harris.
None of the Mavs regular starters played in the second overtime period, Rick finally opting to wave ... well, not the white flag, but the third-teamers flag.
You know the drill: The Mavs win the game, and Mavs fans like you choose the Player of the Game. Who deserves "The Dirkie''? Vote here!
And yes, it'd be fine and fun to give it to Ray.
“Being a veteran, a guy who’s played a lot of games, who’s played in this league for a while, its really just about understanding how to be to be professional and how to stay ready and wait for your opportunity.'' -- Ray Felton.
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