Mavs Power Points: OT Breaks At Sacto
Rajon Rondo said the fact Dallas "stayed the course'' keyed this 108-104 Dallas MavericksOT win at Sacramento on Tuesday night. But if you saw the first half, you know Dallas couldn't possibly want to stay that course.
By halftime, DeMarcus Cousins had already had a game-full of numbers. He had 20 points and six boards. He had made 7-of-9 shots. And his team was shooting 63 percent while at the same time shooting 0-of-7 from three ... so while the score was close, you were getting pounded.
What do you do?
1) You get to double-teaming Cousins .. Drop-down, on the wing, sneak from the backside .. Because he's even more of an assassin than Kurt Busch's ex-girlfriend and he must be stopped.
2) You get your stealers (Monta and Rondo) to start stealing, and Dallas' backcourt assembled a flurry of those midway through the third to pull this thing out of the Ditch.
3) you get a little lucky, as when Rondo tossed an oop pass toward the rim that went through the net with more accuracy than his actual jumper. (Just kidding but not really.)
Those three things allow you to overcome the first half, to survive the third period, and to position yourself to beat a team that lost Rudy Gay to injury during the game and then lost Cousins to foul-out late ... another fortuitous act because his forearm barely grazed a flopping Tyson Chandler, and away the dangerous Boogie went with 32 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists (and that sixth foul) for the Kings.
Here, see for yourself:
And then, hey, why not get lucky again when Rondo gets to 21 points on a late-shot-clock 3-pointer with a minute left, giving Dallas the lead for good at 104-102?
"My confidence is always high, but I try to keep it not to high or too low, just on an even keel ... "I shot the ball with confidence and it went in,'' said Rajon, with a quote as complex as some of his passes.
The Mavs escaped but they were dominated down low once again. Even though Tyson Chandler had 17 rebounds, he was the only Maverick in double figures. In fact, aside from Chandler Parsons' seven rebounds, no other Maverick even had more than five rebounds.
On the other side, DeMarcus Cousins had those 16 rebounds and he only played in regulation. Aside from him, the Kings had a couple of players with 10 rebounds each and then a couple of players with seven rebounds each. Overall, the Kings out-rebounded the Mavs 59-44, making it the fifth straight time the Mavs have lost the rebounding battle.
Rajon Rondo had a very efficient game, with his typical gorgeous cross-court passes and some timely shots, no shot more important than his 3-pointer in overtime.
Rondo finished with 21 points on 10 of 16 shooting. His assists and rebounds were a little down by his standards, finishing with seven assists and just five rebounds. He also contributed on defense with four steals.
Monta Ellis, arguably among the greatest closers in the NBA, once again put the icing on the cake. Though it probably shocked most people he didn't hit his last shot in regulation to prevent overtime, he made up for it in overtime. Ellis made a jumpshot to start the period and then scored the final four points for the Mavs by calmly knocking in four free throws to end the game.
Both get big play in the highlight reel:
Ellis finished with a team-high 28 points on 11 of 23 shooting, dished out 10 assists, and had four rebounds and steals. Worth noting: His backcourt buddy got substituted for on the offensive end in the late going, with Devin coming in to replace Rondo.
The Mavs lost two of the three stat lines with the Kings shooting slightly better at 44.2 percent to the Mavs' 43 percent and the Kings shooting 79.4 percent to the Mavs 69.6 percent.
But it's probably the one stat line the Mavs won which played a big part in them winning the game. The Mavs shot 25 percent from beyond the arc to the Kings' absolutely putrid 5.6 percent. The Kings only made one 3-pointer all game (out of 18 attempts). ... while the Mavs made that one 3-pointer that really mattered.
It was an extremely starter-heavy game for the Mavs. Chandler Parsons played the least of the starters and still logged nearly 37 minutes while Dirk and Rondo had 38 minutes each. Monta Ellis played 40 minutes and Tyson Chandler just barely missed the 44-minute mark. Other than sixth man Devin Harris getting 22 minutes and Richard Jefferson logging 13 minutes, nobody else on the bench even got double-digit minutes in this overtime affair.
And note that all this was done with TY injuring his ankle late in the game, limping to the line to make two freebies, and then playing the entire OT with the injury.
Who Deserves 'The Dirkie'? Vote here on DB.com Boards for Player of the Game! But hurry, because there's a what's-up-next turnaround coming ... The Mavs close out their three-game road trip in Denver on Wednesday against the Nuggets at 8 p.m. ("Mavs Live'' at 7:30 on FOX Sports Southwest.) The 27-12 Mavs are 1-1 so far on the road trip and will face the Nuggets twice consecutively, first on the road, then at home.
"We hate losing, and you've got to hate losing more than you love winning." - Chandler Parsons.
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