Mavericks bench play is the key
DALLAS -- The Mavericks bench was dominant in the four-game sweep of the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals.
In Game 4, the Mavericks outscored the Lakers bench, 86-37. That's right, 86-37. In fact, the Mavs' bench equaled the Lakers' total scoring output for the game.
Jason Terry, J.J. Barea and Peja Stojakovic combined for 75 points off the bench. Terry led all scorers with 32 points. Barea's 22 points was a playoff career high.
The first time three bench players scored at least 20 points in a playoff game, according to ESPN Stats and Information.
Terry was amazing on Sunday afternoon. He tied an NBA postseason record for 3-pointers with nine. It was also a career-high in 3-pointers.
"He’s been doing that the whole playoffs," Jason Kidd said. "For some odd reason they were leaving him open this afternoon and he was doing what he does best, and that is catch and shoot, and he made quite a few of them. If it wasn't Jet, it was Peja, he went 6-6 [from 3-point range] and so you got two of your best guys going. It stretches the defense."
The bench point differencal was dramatic in the other three games, also.
Los Angeles was outscored, 112-52, from the bench in the first three games.
Dallas has more shooters, it seemed, in Terry and Stojakovic and was able to use Barea at times to get points inside. Barea's ability to drive the lane opened the door for others to hit buckets from the outside.
Los Angeles struggled to get anything positive from Lamar Odom, who finished Game 4 with 10 points, but the bench was shorthanded in Game 3 when Odom was moved into the starting lineup when Ron Artest was suspended.
Lakers backup guards Shannon Brown and Steve Blake failed to contain the Mavericks guards along the perimeter.
"We had a lot of guys play great," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Jet's shot-making was breathtaking, really. Nine of 10 from three, and then Stojakovic hit six out of six."
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast The Spurs had a championship in their hands, but melted down late in Game 6. Fitzsimmons & Durrett flash back to one of the most gut-wrenching moments in DFW sports history, Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, and compare it to San Antonio's meltdown.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Coop is staying true to his pick that the Spurs will win in six games and says that the Heat's legacy is on the line.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the NBA Finals, talks about the Nets' decision to hire Jason Kidd, the advice he'd give Kidd about being a head coach in the NBA and more.
Play Podcast ESPN's Scott Van Pelt joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to talk about the U.S. Open and the NBA Finals.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA insider Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Mavericks news, Jason Kidd's interest in coaching the Nets and the NBA Finals.
Play Podcast ESPN senior NBA analyst Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the NBA Finals and latest Mavericks news.
Play Podcast Dirk Nowitzki joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live in studio to discuss the moves he expects the Mavericks to make this summer, what his pitch would be to Dwight Howard and Chris Paul, and his upcoming Heroes Celebrity baseball game.
Play Podcast Hubie Brown joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss every angle of Game 7 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals and whether he would want Dwight Howard on his team.