The Dallas Mavericks (26-21) finished their season series with the Houston Rockets (31-17) on Wednesday night. The Mavs, playing the second-game of a four-game home stand, were unable to win the season series as they lost 117-115.
How it went down:
When the season is over, this could be a game that is looked at as the one that got away. This is a game that the Mavericks should have won and you have to know they feel that way. Houston’s leading scorere James Harden was sitting out his second game with a bruised thumb. Houston was playing the second night of a back-to-back and Dwight Howard had a mediocre game according to his standards. Howard only had five rebounds, one block shot and he had four turnovers as well.
For some reason, though, Dallas trailed pretty much the whole game. They were playing catch up for most of the game as Houston kept the offensive pressure up. Houston shot 55.4% from the field, including 42.9% from three-point land.
Dallas was able to stay in the game thanks to the offense of Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter. Dirk poured in 38 points and Vince had 22. The game looked over with 2:44 left. Houston had an 11-point lead 116-105. Dallas closed the gap to two with 22.2 seconds left when Dirk sank two-free throws.
Trailing 117-115, Jose Calderon forced a turnover as Aaron Brooks fumbled the ball out of bounds. With 19.9 seconds left, the Mavs had the ball and a chance to tie the game or even win. Trying to get the ball to Dirk for the final shot, he was double-teamed and so it was Calderon with the three-point try. His attempt came up short. He grabbed the rebound and tried again at the buzzer and it came up just short.
Inside the Numbers:
Dirk became the 13th player in NBA History to surpass the 26,000 plateau.
Dirk is on pace to pass John Havlicek next month for 12th place. There is a chance that he will pass Dominque Wilkins and Oscar Robertson this year as well, which will put him in the top 10 in scoring.
Step-Up Mav of the Night: Dirk Nowitzki
Dirk was the only starter to score in double-figures. He scored 38 and the rest of the starters scored 22 points combined. Dirk also grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds for Dallas.
“The defense was horrible all night. I mean, every time down somebody was in the paint, laying the ball up or in transition, drives or pick-and-roll plays. I mean, if you give up 117 at the house, you’re going to lose.”
– Dirk Nowitzki
“We kept fighting. We knew it was some tough plays. We couldn’t get a stop for one part of the fourth quarter, but we kept on fighting till the end. We got the shots at the end and we couldn’t make it, but we shouldn’t put ourselves in that situation. To be able to win this game, I think we made too many mistakes.”
– Jose Calderon
“We gave ourselves a chance, which was great, but the first 46 minutes or whatever it was were not good. It’s a lot of the same problem — keeping people in front of us and giving up too many layups. We’ve got to do better.”
– Rick Carlisle
The Mavs continue their home stand as they host the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. The Kings defeated Dallas in their lone meeting this far. The game airs on FSSW at 7:30 p.m. CT.