Thursday, March 17, 2011
Rapid reaction: Mavs 112, Warriors 106
By Jeff Caplan
How it happened: The Dallas Mavericks fell behind by 18 in the first quarter and looked to have no interest in playing defense. But Dallas gradually chipped away and the Golden State Warriors made enough mistakes and poor decisions to facilitate the massive comeback.
Eventually, the Mavs (48-20) took the lead in the third quarter and then pulled it out in the final seven minutes of the fourth with a 15-0 run led by Dirk Nowitzki's hot hand that took Dallas from 96-89 down to up 104-96.
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Nowitzki fashioned his third consecutive double-double with 34 points and 13 rebounds. Rodrigue Beaubois followed up his 16 points in 22 minutes in Tuesday's loss at Portland to score a season-best 18 points in a season-high 37 minutes.
Jason Terry, who played 38 minutes and often with Beaubois, came off the bench for 19 points. Shawn Marion, who returned to the bench, scored 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting in 28 minutes. Tyson Chandler and J.J. Barea each scored 10 points.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle opted to move Marion back to the bench and reunite the Marion-Terry duo. How long that will last is uncertain. Carlisle started Corey Brewer for the first time since he joined the Mavs and that experiment lasted three minutes as Brewer's defensive assignment, super-quick guard Monta Ellis, got off quickly and the Warriors led 10-0.
To start the second half, Carlisle started Terry along with Jason Kidd and Beaubois. That can work against the undersized Warriors, but it won't fly Friday against the San Antonio Spurs, so Carlisle might be forced to put Marion back in the starting lineup.
What it means: The Mavs stemmed a two-game losing skid and picked up a big come-from-behind win considering the well-rested Spurs are in town Friday. The Spurs haven't played since losing by 30 at Miami on Monday. The Mavs and Lakers are both 48-20 with 14 games left to determine the No. 2 seed.
Play of the game: Ellis tried to split Beaubois and Chandler on the screen at the top of the circle, a play he made successfully earlier in the game for a bucket, but this time Chandler squeezed in and Ellis lost his balance and the ball. Kidd picked it up and tossed it out to a streaking Beaubois for a finger roll and 98-96 lead with 4:30 to go.
Stat of the night: Former Texas A&M and Dallas Kimball star point guard Acie Law had a career night against his hometown team, finishing with 15 points (5-of-7 FGs) and six assists and a couple steals. Law's previous season-high was nine points and before Wednesday night, Law had scored 15 points combined in his past 22 games dating to Dec. 10.