Mavs Power Points: Dallas 111, Blazers 101
The Mavs began their three-game pre-All-Star-Break home stretch in style. Down to Portland by 11 with under two minutes to go at the AAC on Saturday, the Mavs put together a clutch performance that may be seen as a turning point down the road. Devin Harris started it off with a 3-pointer with 1:55 remaining. After that, it was The Chandler Parsons Show with Dirk Nowitzki providing an important cameo.
Of the final 25 points the Dallas Mavericks scored from 1:43 remaining in the fourth quarter until the end of overtime, Parsons had 13 of them, a mixture of 3-pointers, free throws and a variety of other shots. This is what the Mavs paid him to be. Oh, and the guy that took a paycut to allow a guy like Parsons to come to Big D? Yeah, that would be Dirk, who hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in regulation and led all Mavs scorers with 25 points.
It is reassuring to see The UberMan in charge in clutch situations (5-of-8 in the fourth quarter for a total of 11 points)? Given the fact that coming into Saturday, in his last eight fourth quarters, Nowitzki was averaging 3.4 points on 33.3-percent shooting and 9.1 percent from three-point range?
Yes. Reassuring. And something more, for all involved. ...
"Earning that win is one of the best wins we've had in the seven years I've been here, if you look at all the circumstances of the game," coach Rick Carlisle said, calling Portland a 'heavyweight'' ... and we like to infer that it means Dallas can be one, too.
As mentioned already, Chandler Parsons had one of the most clutch games of his career. But Dirk and Monta Ellis also had high-profile games, with Dirk's game-tying 3-pointer at the end of the fourth and Monta putting in the dagger 3-pointer that put the Mavs up by seven. All three finished with at least 20 points.
Tyson Chandler just completed his 23rd double-double of the season, finishing 11 points and 13 rebounds. The four centerpiece starters played big-time games and the team -- seemingly out of it facing a fourth-quarter deficit against a quality West foe -- needed every bit of it.
This sort of win -- propelling Dallas to 35-18 and causing a wonderful knot in the standings where Dallas is now in a virtual tie with Portland and just 1.5 games out of third -- is encouraging in part because it's being done with no Rondo (and as we work toward official word on the extent of his facial injuries) ... and it's being done with so many different guys contributing in ways that give you so many candidates for who deserves "The Dirkie.'' Vote for your Player of the Game here on DB.com Boards!
"To be the team that we want to be, we need to have wins like this. .. This was big for us moving forward." - Chandler Parsons.
Big men Dwight Powell and Greg Smith didn't even touch the floor here, even a game that went even beyond the standard four quarters. It could mean many things, and one thing specifically it could mean is that Carlisle isn't particularly comfortable how the team flows with them in the game, nor their production. Which is why DB.com is bringing you breaking stories on the team's thoughts on Jermaine O'Neal ... Amar'e Stoudemire ... Andray Blatche ... and Fish now tells me he's doing research on China's Eli Holman, too. Check DB.com's News Archives for all the latest scoop.
Seven guys logged at least 30 minutes in the game: all five starters and Al-Farouq Aminu and Devin Harris. Monta led the way with an astounding 43 minutes played, Parsons played 40, Tyson a little over 38, Dirk 35 and J.J. Barea, who started at point, logged 33 minutes. Aminu played 31 minutes and Harris shared the point guard load with Barea and played 30 minutes.
If it wasn't for Parsons' extraordinary clutch performance, the stats really point to a loss for the Mavs. The Blazers shot 41.6 percent to the Mavs 41 percent. The Mavs did edge the Blazers from downtown, shooting 38.9 percent to the Blazers 31.2 percent but the Blazers shot better from the free-throw line, 70.8 to the Mavs 68.8 percent. And once again, the Mavs were out-rebounded, 58-55, but only slightly.
The difference? Mavs DOMINATED clutch-time basketball with that 13-2 rush in regulation and then that 41-18 flood in the fourth and OT combined.
One more stst: Weirdly, LaMarcus Aldridge, the fine Blazer who is a DFW native and long-coveted around here, is now 2-7 lifetime in his games in Dallas.
"We outplayed them for all but two minutes,'' said LA, who scored 25. "And those two minutes were the most important two minutes."
“Well, I wouldn’t have drawn it up quite like this. And when you’re down 16 and getting your ass kicked, it’s not feeling like one of those nights at all. But the key thing in sport is just to keep fighting, stay persistent and keep believing in each other, and that’s what our guys did.'' - Mavs coach Rick Carlisle.
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