LOS ANGELES – The most disappointing thing about Wednesday night’s fourth quarter for the Mavericks was that Jason Kidd participated in it.
The old man should have been done for the night once the Mavs opened up a 16-point lead over the Clippers midway through the quarter. That, however, was not the case.
“I was hoping,” Kidd said with a smile as he iced his 38-year-old knees and feet in front of his locker. “Once I saw the game was under control, I wanted to get out of there. It would have been nice to have the whole fourth off.”
Rick Carlisle couldn’t resist the urge to put his point guard on the floor after the Clippers ran off 11 consecutive points to trim the Mavs’ lead to five.
It’s a priority to get Kidd as much rest as possible, which could include an entire game or two off down the stretch of the regular season. The Mavs want to make sure Kidd is as fresh as possible for the playoffs after he appeared ancient while struggling against the Spurs in last season’s one-and-done postseason appearance.
But it’s a bigger priority to win games, which is why Kidd checked in with 3:19 remaining.
Fortunately for the Mavs, J.J. Barea immediately went on an individual 5-0 run, a continuation of the backup point guard carrying the Mavs throughout the quarter. Kidd played only 2:27 in the final frame, but he would have much preferred to get an early start on his ice routine with a date against the Lakers less than 24 hours away.
“I thought we could get it done, but had to go back with him,” Carlisle said. “But it was only for a couple of minutes. It’s not that big of a deal now, but whenever possible, we’d like to be able to finish and let him sit over there and rest.”