For those of you who went to bed around 11:00 central time because the Dallas Mavericks (8-4) were getting blown out by the Houston Rockets (8-5), you may be kicking yourself today. Dallas capped off an unbelievable comeback as they knocked off their Interstate Rivals.
How it went down: The Mavericks got bombarded in the first quarter of the game against the Rockets as they came out on fire. Four minutes into the game and Houston had 20 points already. Houston would wind up with 40 points in the first quarter and a 40-29 lead.
The second frame was a little more Dallas speed as they outscored Houston 32-28 and only trailed by seven going into the break. After three, Houston led by 14 and the Mavericks looked dead in the water. They had trailed by as much as 18 in the game and seemed to not be able to stop the Rockets from doing anything.
This is when everything changed. Somehow, the defense picked up and Dallas was converting on the other end of the floor. The final quarter saw Dallas erase the lead completely as Shawn Marion knocked down a three-pointer with about 45 seconds left to go in the game. Dallas took a 121-119 lead at that point and it was their first lead since 4-2 in the first quarter. James Harden was fouled and only made one of his free throws. Dallas would knock down a couple more free throws to secure the 123-120 win over Houston.
The AAC was quite ecstatic at what had just happened. Dallas, even with all the new faces, showed what they can do when the pull together as a team. During the 2011 championship run, Dallas had six fourth quarter comebacks in the playoffs. This is one of those games that could go a long way in deciding this teams’ fate in the future.
Inside the Numbers:
After Houston shot a staggering 64.9% in the first three quarters, Dallas held them to only 26.3% in the final quarter. Dallas outscored them 36-19 in the frame too.
Despite being turned down by Dwight Howard in the offseason, Dallas managed to out-rebound Houston 36-30.
For the second game in a row, Dallas was outscored in the paint by a huge margin (56-36 against Houston), yet Dallas managed to win both games.
Impact Play of the Game: Trailing by 14 going into the fourth quarter, Dirk Nowitzki opened up the fourth quarter with six straight points to pull them within eight of Houston. Dallas would go on a 14-3 run to open the quarter before eventually overtaking Houston.
Step-Up Mav of the Night: Dirk Nowitzki
Monta Ellis led the team in scoring with 37 but it was Dirk’s fourth quarter run that ignited the team and sparked the comeback. Dirk finished the night with 35 points and he also passed Reggie Miller for 15th place on the NBA all-time scoring list. Dirk trails Kevin Garnett by 42 currently for 14th place.
“They were on pace for a 60-point quarter at the eight-minute mark, and we knew they weren’t going to keep shooting it that way, But we also knew we had to step it up and make them feel us more than they were defensively. Gradually, we were able to do it.” – Rick Carlisle speaking about the first quarter explosion Houston had.
“We made some runs there in the third and in the fourth, but it seemed like they had an answer every time. You know, somebody would hit a big three … and it seemed like they had an answer every time. But we stuck together and we talked about it in the huddle and kept fighting. And you know, anything is possible.” – Dirk Nowitzki
Dallas will finish their three-game home stand Friday night against the Utah Jazz. The game can be seen on FSSW starting at 7:30.