In Tuesday's 104-101 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Beaubois, rebounding from an awful game Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers, had 11 points at halftime and 16 by the 8:57 mark of the third quarter. He wouldn't score again. Beaubois sat down with about three minutes to go in the third and didn't return until the final minute of the game. Despite making 6-of-8 shots overall and 4-of-6 from beyond the arc, Beaubois was a fourth-quarter spectator.
Beaubois and the struggling Dallas Mavericks, losers of four of six, return to Oakland tonight. While Beaubois can't be expected to light it up for 40 (he made 9-of-11 from downtown in that game), the intrigue lies in when coach Rick Carlisle will find it necessary to go with the Beaubois in a pressure situation when he's got the hot hand.
Jason Terry continues to carry his coach's crunch-time confidence. The veteran did score 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting. He had seven points in the fourth quarter, but also three turnovers.
The fourth-quarter conundrum obviously dates back to Game 6 in last season's first-round playoff loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Beaubois single-handedly got the Mavs back in the game with 16 points, but Carlisle turned to the struggling Terry in the fourth quarter and everyone knows how that ended.
There's nothing wrong with sticking with Terry. He's been a clutch performer most of the season and he's a leading candidate for the league's Sixth Man of the Year award. But, at some point Beaubois is going to have to play crunch-time minutes if the Mavs want the second-year guard with just 13 games under his belt this season to be ready for the cauldron that is playoff basketball.
Against L.A., Beaubois was overmatched and looked nervous from the start. He didn't deserve to be on the floor. Against Portland, he was hitting his shot and getting into the lane (he had four assists). He made a strong case for fourth-quarter minutes.
When he did return in the final minute, he quickly returned to the bench in a possession-by-possession matchup. Then he was back in with 8.8 seconds to go and was asked to make the inbounds pass from the sideline with the Mavs needing a 3-pointer to tie. His pass was tipped by Wesley Matthews and the play became a mad scramble that still ended with Dirk Nowitzki getting a decent, but hurried look from the corner that missed. Jason Kidd typically handles the inbounds pass.
At some point, when the going's good, Beaubois is going to have to stay on the floor before he has a chance to cool off.