Friday, April 13, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Mavs 112, Warriors 103
By Jeff Caplan
How it happened:Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle called a 20-second timeout less than two minutes into the game. The Golden State Warriors had a 4-0 lead and scored on a putback and fastbreak dunk.
If Carlisle had to remind his troops of the imperative nature of this first of four consecutive road games, then his message sunk in. The Mavs scored the next six points and were pretty much off and running against a Warriors team that traded Monta Ellis and is without injured guard Stephen Curry.
Oh, you weren't particularly thrilled that the Mavs' 19-point lead was whittled all the way down to 91-88 in the fourth quarter? Neither was Carlisle, who called for Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd to hop off the bench with 10:10 left to go in the game. Kidd had already played his 23 minutes and surely Carlisle was hoping Kidd could again take the entire fourth quarter off with a game at Portland on Friday night.
Kidd went to Nowitzki on consecutive possessions and the 7-footer, despite being just 6-of-16 from the floor at the time, drained a one-legged fallaway and then curled around his man and softly put in the finger roll to jump-start a 10-2 run and effectively put the game away.
The disappointing aspect for Carlisle is that he had to go with Nowitzki for nearly 37 minutes and Kidd logged 33. That's not the best way to start a back-to-back and four games in five nights.
Dallas got a big-time first half from former Warriors lottery pick Brandan Wright. He had 12 points and five assists in his first 11 minutes of the first half and finished with 16 points and nine boards. And Rodrigue Beaubois (11 points, five assists) had a nice first half as well, including a couple of highlight-reel plays with a swooping reverse layup and an alley-oop.
Kidd, in his second game back from a right groin strain, fell one point shy of his 108th career triple-double. He had nine points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds. Nowitzki finished with 27 points on 10-of-23 shooting and Shawn Marion collected double-digit rebounds (12 with seven points) for a fifth consecutive game.
The Mavs' bench poured in 57 points as Jason Terry matched Wright's 16 points.
Last month, the Mavs lost to Sacramento and Golden State in consecutive games. This time around, they've taken care of both, averaging 111 points in the process.
What it means: The Mavs recorded consecutive victories for the first time since the two-game sweep of the Rockets on March 24 and 27 when Carlisle declared it the start of the playoffs. The win moves Dallas to 33-26 and gives the Mavs sole possession of the sixth seed, one-half game ahead of idle Denver and Houston, and 1 1/2 games behind fifth-seeded Memphis.
Bold play of the game: With 2:16 to go in the first half, Kidd lofted an alley-oop pass that Beaubois went high to grab and threw it down with flair, using the right hand from the left side of the bucket for a 58-41 lead.
Stat of the game: The Mavs didn't commit their first turnover until the 5:13 mark of the second quarter and had just three in the first half.