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Mavs Need Win To Avoid Nightmare Matchup With Spurs

by Greg Higgins on April 16, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsTeam

The term “fighting for your playoff lives” takes on a new perspective tonight in Memphis, Tennessee. The Dallas Mavericks will face the Memphis Grizzlies in what seems like a must-win game. The teams each sit at 49-32 and have secured a playoff spot in the Western Conference thanks to both teams defeating the Phoenix Suns in each of their last games.

With both teams already in the playoffs, who would have thought game 82 would have such an impact, though? The winner of this game will have the seventh seed in the playoffs while the loser will have the eighth seed.

“What’s the difference?” you might be asking yourself.

There’s a big difference. The no. 8 seed has the daunting task of having to deal with the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. The seventh seed will have to face either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Oklahoma City Thunder.

 

San Antonio Spurs v Dallas MavericksThe Spurs have locked down the top seed but the No. 2 seed is yet to be determined. If the Clippers win and the Thunder lose on Wednesday night, LA will have that second seed. Otherwise OKC will have the advantage.

What does this mean for the Mavs? Dallas has lost nine straight to the Spurs. This year, the Mavs took the season series with the Thunder 2-1 and lost the series with the Clippers 3-1. However, the games against the Clippers were some of the most exciting games this season. The total points’ separating the teams in the four games was 21 total points. In the three games Dallas lost to LA, the Mavs held a double-digit lead at some point during the game.

I don’t know if they can beat the Clippers or Thunder in a seven-game series, but I like that matchup way better than I do the Spurs. So I repeat, “The Mavs are fighting for their playoff lives in Memphis tonight.”

 

Photo Credit: CBS-DFW

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A Waiting Game For the Mavericks

by Damian Jackson on April 14, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WaitingGame

The Dallas Mavericks were the only NBA team to have played 81 games when Saturday night concluded.

A playoff berth was clinched, but the seeding remains undetermined.

What we do know is that after the loss by Golden State in Portland and a Memphis win in Los Angeles, the Mavericks can land anywhere from 6th to 8th.

6th Seed – To steal the 6-spot, Dallas would need the Warriors to loss their last two games and win its last in Memphis. Likely opponent in first round – Los Angeles Clippers.

7th Seed – Either Memphis loss in its last two (@PHX & vs DAL) or Dallas win at Memphis. Likely opponent – Oklahoma City Thunder.

8th Seed – In order to land here the Mavericks would have to lose to Memphis and the Grizzlies win its final two. First round – San Antonio Spurs.

Since the Mavs don’t play until the last day of the regular season, it becomes a wait and see approach.

DALMEMPHX

The Phoenix Suns host the Grizzlies tonight. A Memphis victory would eliminate the Suns from playoff contention. If the Suns win, it would come down to the last night with Memphis holding the tiebreaker. Dallas would be guaranteed 7th with a Phoenix win.

Golden State returns home and welcome in the Minnesota Timberwolves Monday evening. Stephen Curry scored his season-high 47 points in the overtime loss last night. A Warriors win against the Wolves would end Dallas’ chances for 6th.

Dallas controls its own destiny. They may get help before Wednesday night, but for now Monday and Tuesday will be a waiting game.

 

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MGN: Mavs Aim to Continue California Success in Sacramento

by Marc Cashion on April 6, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightb288

The Dallas Mavericks (46-31) take on the out of playoff contention Sacramento Kings (27-49). Much like the game against the Lakers, this is one that the Mavs must take care of and handle their business. The Mavs again face a team with injury issues as point guard Isaiah Thomas (quad) doesn’t appear to be available for the game. Sacramento enters tonight on the heels of 102-69 loss the Golden State Warriors – a game where they got flat out embarrassed playing uninspired basketball.

The Game At Hand:

With every game essentially being a playoff game, the Mavs have not disappointed on this California road trip. Dallas logged wins against the Clippers and Lakers in STAPLES Center and has the Mavs’ confidence elevating at the right time. Thomas’ probable absence is huge for the Mavs as the emerging point guard is capable for explosive offensive nights any day of the week.

Although the Kings have talent they have underperformed immensely this year.  With the likes of Rudy Gay, Demarcus Cousins and Derrick Williams there is no denying their roster has potential. The mixture of bad chemistry, uninspired play and being in the West has prevented a skilled team from a good campaign. The Mavs should really have no problem taking care of business seeing as they have a playoff spot to fight for.

At A Glance:

- This marks the last of four meetings this season; Mavericks lead 2-1. Dallas won both games at home by a total of seven points. Kings defeated the Mavs 112-97 in Sacramento.

- The Mavericks sit alone in the 7th spot in the West.

- Memphis (at San Antonio) and Phoenix (vs Oklahoma City) each have big games tonight. Golden State hosts Utah.

Keys To The Game:

1. Guarding Rudy Gay

The defensive pressure is on Shawn Marion and Jae Crowder to contain Rudy Gay.  Gay has torched the Mavs in their last two meetings scoring 35 and 30 points. He’s done it by being aggressive and attacking the basket either getting to the free throw line or finishing around the rim.  If we can stop Gay from having a good game the Kings’ chance at a victory decrease. However, as shown in the past, that is easier said than done.

2. Winning The Battle Down Low

Besides attempting to contain Gay, the Mavs need to contain Demarcus Cousins and Reggie Evans down low. I expect to see Dalembert play a huge role in tonight’s game; keep the beast that Cousins is from totally controlling the game.  With Cousin’s size and strength Brandan Wright will have a tough time making the same impact that he did against the Lakers, meaning Dalembert will have to step up and be the good Dalembert that we have seen of late.

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Rudy Gay

The Kings have played the Mavericks tough this year and that is mainly the product of Rudy Gay’s great play. In late January, Dirk had 34 points while Rudy Gay had 35 in the second meeting. Sacramento will throw Evans and any big at their disposal on Dirk, but the 11th all-time NBA scorer should have no problem finding his shot.  If he gets into  a groove early, I could see Dirk having the huge game we need from him tonight.

 

Quote:

 “We’re playing a lot better on the road and we’re playing really, really good basketball. We’ve got a really, really tough one on Sunday. You know, [the Kings] beat us pretty bad over there last time and then last week was a close game, so we’ve got to get ready.”

- Brandan Wright

 

When and Where:

Tip-Off begins 5:00 PM CST at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Southwest.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (49-27) | Next 3 – PHO, NOP & SAC

6. Golden State (46-29) | Next 3 – UTA, DEN & @LAL

7. Dallas Mavericks (46-31) | Next 3 – @SAC, @UTA & SAS

8. Memphis Grizzlies (45-31) | Next 3 – @SAS, MIA & PHI

9. Phoenix Suns (45-31) | Next 3 – @POR, OKC & @NO

 

 

 

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Quote via Earl K. Sneed (Mavs.com); Photo courtesy of AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez 

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Wrap Up: Dirk, Wright Lead Mavs Past Lakers

by Greg Higgins on April 5, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpGm37

The Dallas Mavericks (46-31), coming off a great win against the LA Clippers on Thursday night, desperately needed to keep the momentum going forward against the LA Lakers (25-51) on Friday night. The Lakers kept it close in the beginning but the Mavs were able to secure the 107-95 victory and the season sweep of the Lakers for the first time in their history.

How it went down:

The Mavs seemed to be toying with the Lakers for most of the game. They would take a little lead and then the Lakers would counter with a few baskets. This went on for much of three quarters until Dallas decided to stop playing and get serious.

Jordan Hill and Jodie Meeks played brilliantly for the Lakers in the first half. Meeks had 15 points on 6-8 shooting while Hill was 4-6 for 10 points. Just as equally brilliant was the play of Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Brandan Wright for the Mavs in the half. Dirk had 17 points on 7-10 shooting. Wright came in off the bench to be the spark that he always is. Not only was scoring points, he was rebounding, blocking shots and creating steals.

Second half was a different story, though. Dallas and LA seemed poised to have another nail biter but Dallas was able to pull away at the beginning of the fourth quarter, led by Wright and his 11 points. Dallas cruised to the win. It was a good win, too, as the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors all won. Dallas remains in the seventh spot in the West playoff picture.

Inside The Numbers:

Dirk moved past Dominque Wilkins for 11th place on the NBA All-Time scoring list.

Dallas is now 6-0 on the second night of a road back-to-back this season.

Impact Moment of the Game:

With 47 seconds left in the third quarter, Meeks hit a three-pointer to put LA up by one (78-77). Over the next two minutes, Dallas went on a 14-0 run to blow the game open and put it out of reach for the Lakers.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Brandan Wright

On a night in which Vince Carter scored zero points and Monta Ellis only had eight, Brandan Wright came off the bench and scored 23 points. He was perfect from the floor in doing so as he shot 10-10 from the field and 3-3 from the free-throw line.

 

Quotes:

 

On Deck:

Dallas will continue road trip Sunday as the face the Sacramento Kings. The game will be played at 5:00 pm CT local time and can be seen on FSSW.
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Photo courtesy Photo by AP Photo/Gus Ruelas

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MGN: Mavs Look To Improve Position in Western Conference Playoff Race

by Marc Cashion on April 4, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightMavsDancers

The Dallas Mavericks (45-31) must be feeling great coming off a road victory to the Los Angeles Clippers and closing at the end of the game.  They now take on the really bad, I mean really bad, Los Angeles Lakers (25-50).  To make matters worse for the Lakers on top of all the injuries they have sustained neither Paul Gasol nor Chris Kaman will be active.  The Lakers sit at second to last place in the West and have only two roles to play for, either spoiler or lose for a higher draft pick.  While they may try to play spoiler tonight, the Mavs just have superior talent.

The Game At Hand:

The Mavericks took the crucial game last night, but let’s be honest…each game is at this point. They must carry the momentum from last night into tonight’s game and do everything possible to prevent any letdown against the Lakers. Sunday night, the Lakers dealt a huge blow to a Phoenix Suns team who is also doing battle in the deep Western Conference race. I’ve always had the mentality that it’s never a good thing to play a team that has nothing to lose, and that is what they will be dealing with the next couple of games.

The Lakers have had one of the more disastrous seasons in franchise history, and have been dealt one injury after the next. The Mavericks should have no problem taking this Lakers team down, despite playing less than 24 hours ago. They are far more talented and well rounded than the Lakers, and have no serious injuries to boot.

At A Glance:

- This marks the third and final meeting this season; Mavericks lead 2-0.
- The Mavericks sit alone in the 7th spot in the West, where they would be taking on the Oklahoma City Thunder

- The Suns have a tough matchup tonight at Portland, while the Grizzlies will be hosting the Nuggets.

 

Keys To The Game:

1. Mavs Perimeter Defense

Really the only chance the Lakers have tonight against the Mavs is if one of their streaky shooters just absolutely catches fire.  Yes, I am referring to Nick “Swaggy P” Young.  The Mavs cannot give him early open looks and let him shoot with confidence for the rest of the game.  We’ve all seen those games where if just a little defense is applied to Young, he will turn the ball over or force up horrible shots, giving the Lakers almost no chance at a victory.  The Mavs will also need to contain Jodie Meeks, who is always liable to have a good game.  Closing out on shooters and not giving open looks should result in a Mavs victory.

2. Wright and Dalembert

Last night against the Clippers both Brandan Wright and Samuel Dalembert showed that they can actually make a real impact on both sides of the ball.  Posted earlier were Wright’s two highlight plays, the huge dunk over Griffin and block on Dudley.   Although the highlights are great, it was his all around game on both sides of the floor that impressed me.  Dalembert also played a great game holding his own against Deandre Jordan.  Although the Lakers don’t have Kaman nor Gasol, Jordan Hill is no slouch either.  Getting him off the offensive glass will be an important key for the Mavs tonight.

DirkNash

Matchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs Steve Nash

Nowitzki will get maybe one of his last opportunities to square off against his long time friend, Steve Nash tonight. Nash has been dealing with injuries ever since his final year with Phoenix, and has never been able to get into any sort of groove in L.A. While these two will certainly be 1st Ballot Hall of Fame players one day, the impact each one of them are having on their team are drastically different. Dirk Nowitzki, at age 35 is having one of his best all around seasons, where Nash, 40, is just trying to find a way to stay on the court and out of a suit. It will be fun to watch these two square off one more time, but coming off of yet another injury and only averaging 7 points per game, Nash shouldn’t figure to make much of an impact.

 

Quotes:

 

“We’ve had a tough trip, but there were a lot of opportunities for a lot of our guys.” - Lakers Coach Mike D’Antoni

 

“You know, every game on this road trip is tough, because we’ve got a lot of teams we don’t match up well with. Regardless of their records, we’re still going to have battles out there. Just because a team doesn’t have a winning record, they still are capable of beating you. We’ve got to understand that, and we know there is no overlooking anybody. We’ve got to go out here and get ready for this game.” - Shawn Marion 

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at Staples Center tonight is at 9:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Southwest.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (49-27) | Next 3 – PHO, NOP & SAC

6. Golden State (46-29) | Next 3 – SAC, UTA, & DEN

7. Dallas Mavericks (45-31) | Next 3 – @LAL, @SAC & @UTA

8. Memphis Grizzlies (44-31) | Next 3 – DEN, @SAS & MIA

9. Phoenix Suns (44-31) | Next 3 – @POR, OKC & @NO

 

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Quotes via Lakers.com and Mavs.com

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Wrap Up: Mavericks Capture Win Against Clippers

by Greg Higgins on April 4, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpReportRick

After a somewhat disappointing eight-game home stand in which the Dallas Mavericks (45-31) finished 4-4, Dirk Nowitzki ventured off to the west coast for a four-game road trip. The trip started in Los Angeles as the Mavs tried to avenge three losses this season the LA Clippers (54-23). In the previous three games, the Mavs had leads late in the game and lost all three to the Clippers. Thursday, however, would be a different story as the Mavericks would hold on for a 113-107 victory.

How it went down:

These two teams have played some great games this year including the game a week ago Thursday night. Dallas and LA battled back and forth most of the night. Dallas did jump out to an 11-point lead in the second quarter but the Clippers were able to close the gap by halftime to only two points.

Once again, though, Dallas was able to come up with some clutch shooting when they needed it. Dallas had four three-pointers each from Dirk and Vince Carter, while Jose Calderon poured in three more by himself. Most of these seem to come at crucial junctions in the game. Either Dallas was holding off a Clippers’ run or they were building up their own advantage in the process.

Dallas had a hard time stopping Clippers’ big men Deandre Jordan and Blake Griffin. Griffin finished the game with a triple-double (25-10-11) and Jordan added 21 points and 15 rebounds. In the end, it didn’t matter as the Mavs were able to finally win the game. It wasn’t easy, but they found a way to close.

Los Angeles closed a 10-point Mavs lead down to two in a matter of two minutes. However, they could never get over the hump. With the win, the Mavs move a half game ahead of the Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns for seventh in the Western Conference.

Inside The Numbers:

For the second straight game, Dirk finished with a double-double as he had 26 points and 11 rebounds

Dallas shot 50.0% from the field, including 48.3% from three-point range.

Impact Moment of the Game:

With the game tied at 89, Dallas went on a 15-4 run to break the game open. They’d eventually have to hold on to win the game but the run half way through the fourth quarter sparked the win.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki

Dirk was simply Dirk tonight. He hit huge three pointers, big fade-away jumpers and grabbed some big time rebounds in the win.

 

 

 

Quotes:

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On Deck:

Dallas has a back to back but fortunately for them it will be played in the same building – The Staples Center. Dallas will face the LA Lakers on Friday night at 9:30 pm.
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Photo courtesy Photo by Mpu Dinani/Getty Images

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MGN: Mavs Look For Huge Win To Open LA Back-To-Back

by Ryan Wilson on April 3, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightMavsDancers

The off days are doing wonders for the Dallas Mavericks (44-31), who woke up Wednesday morning on the outside looking in for the playoff race. They ended up the night back in 7th place, as the Suns and Grizzlies both dropped their games. The Mavericks finished their franchise long home stand at just 4-4 on that stretch, and will now head on the road for five of their last seven games. That stretch starts tonight in Game 1 at the Staples Centeras the Mavs will take on the Los Angeles Clippers (54-22).

The Game At Hand:

What else is there to know? It’s playoff basketball every game for the Mavs for the rest of the season. They are taking on a Clippers team that they could still end up facing in the 1st round of the playoffs, and a team that they very well should have beaten all three times they have squared off.

At A Glance:

- This marks the fourth and final meeting this season; Clippers lead 3-0 (They shouldn’t)
- Possible playoff matching – Will you play San Antonio, Oklahoma City or Los Angeles.

DirkFrustrated

It’s a season where you just have to ask yourself, “What if?” What if the Mavericks didn’t blow such big leads or leads late in games? You could take those 3 blown leads against the Clippers, and all of a sudden, the Mavs are sitting at 47-28, which would have them in 6th and just a couple games out of the 5th spot.

The Mavericks were once again in a position to take another huge game Tuesday night, but the lack of defense in situations has been the achilles heal all season long. That must begin to change, and there is no better time than right now. They are on the road, but facing a Clippers squad fresh off of 17 point come from behind victory in Phoenix last night.

 

Keys To The Game:

1. Be Physical, But Smart

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels as if the Mavericks and Clippers are starting to create a nice little rivalry. The Clippers play physical, and while that hasn’t always been one of the Mavericks strong skill sets, they seem to be ready to fight back. There is a right and wrong way to go about that. They need to make sure they come ready to fight but do it in a smart way and not let their emotions get the best of them.

2. Reserves Must Come Through

While we already know how talented the Clippers starting five is, they are missing Jamal Crawford. J.J. Redick is said to have a 75% chance of returning to the lineup however. The Mavericks need to take advantage of the tired legs that the Clippers should be dealing with tonight, and that is where the bench comes in. To be able to offer Dirk Nowitzki and Shawn Marion time to rest, but still feel good about building on a lead is something that could prove to be extremely valuable tonight.

Chris Paul

Matchup of the Night:

Mavs Guards vs Chris Paul 

The best point guard in the game is a hand full for any team. The Mavericks guards have to find a way to slow Chris Paul down. He hit some huge shots in last nights come from behind victory over Phoenix, and is one of the true gamers the NBA has to offer. He can hurt you in all areas of the game, whether it be shooting, passing, or defending. Monta Ellis, Jose Calderon, and Devin Harris must protect the ball and do their very best to limit the highlight plays that Chris Paul and the rest of Lob City can put on display.

Quotes:

 

“It’s almost like a rivalry now to a certain degree, and it’s kind of fun and it’s exciting. It’s a talented team and they’re really deep at every spot. You know, it’s going to be good. They’re playing very good ball, and of course the head of the snake is Chris Paul. - Shawn Marion 

 

“We just find ways to win. We believe we can win in every game.” - Clippers Head Coach, Doc Rivers

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at American Airlines Center tonight is at 9:30 p.m. CST. The game will be televised nationally on TNT.

WildWestRace

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (49-27) | Next 3 – PHO, NOP & SAC

6. Golden State (46-29) | Next 3 – SAC, UTA, & DEN

7. Dallas Mavericks (44-31) | Next 3 – @LAC, @LAL & @SAC

8. Memphis Grizzlies (44-31) | Next 3 – DEN, @SAS & MIA

9. Phoenix Suns (44-31) | Next 3 – @POR, OKC & @NO

 

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Photos courtesy of Sharon Ellman & Zachary Steiber

Quotes via Clippers.com and Mavs.com

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Wrap Up: Mavs Grind Out Win Against Kings

by Greg Higgins on March 30, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpFI

It wasn’t pretty but it was gritty. It wasn’t how Rick Carlisle would draw it up but a win is a win, right? That’s the message in the locker room after the Dallas Mavericks (44-30) secured a 103-100 win over the visiting Sacramento Kings (25-48) on Saturday night. With Dallas trailing in the Phoenix Suns, Memphis Grizzlies and Golden State Warriors in the playoff chase, it was a much needed win.

How it went down:

It was a game that was electric from the beginning. The MFFL faithful showed up in full force to help cheer the Mavs on to victory. Dallas seemed energized by the crowd as well as they jumped out to an 11-point first quarter lead. Monta Ellis was hot as he started 4-4 with several driving layups.

Dallas would jump out to a 17-point lead with just a few minutes to play before halftime. However, in typical Dallas fashion, they allowed the Kings to come back. Dallas shot a blistering 55.3% during the first half on 21-38 shooting.

Just as quickly, though, the lead nearly evaporated. Roles reversed in the third quarter as Dallas only shot 38.9% while the Kings knocked down 73.3% of their shots in the frame. The Kings outscored Dallas by 10 and the lead was now down to two going into the final quarter.

The Kings would complete the comeback as they took their first lead of the game with 7:26 to play at 81-80. After the Kings build a five-point lead, the Mavs finally woke up and put things together. Shawn Marion had a sequence of plays that helped lift the team to the victory. With the game tied at 89, Marion had a huge steal on the defensive end, that led to an Ellis 3-point shot on the other end which he missed. Marion secured the offensive board, but was fouled. He made his two free throws. After a turnover by the Kings, Marion calmly sank a three-pointer from the corner to put Dallas up by five with 2:13 to play. Dallas would never trail again.

Inside The Numbers:

Dallas finished with six players in double figures, led by Dirk Nowtizki’s 19.
Dallas went to the free throw line 35 times, making 28 of them.
Dallas lost the rebound battle 47-35.

Impact Play of the Game:

Trailing by five and the game possibly getting away, Jose Calderon calmly hit a three-pointer to give the Mavs new life. Dallas went on a 14-2 run from that point and never looked back.

Step-Up Mav of the Night:

Sam Dalembert

The big man stepped up in a huge way against the Kings. Dalembert had 15 points, six rebounds, two steals and three blocked shots. He also had a thunderous one-handed ally-hoop dunk that brought the fans out of their seats.

 

 

 

Quotes:

“He’s playing really well. It was really important tonight with Cousins out there to get a big guy out there with length who can get rebounds and block a few shots. He was getting the ball in the basket tonight, too.”

- Rick Carlisle on Dalembert’s play

 

“You should have seen that smile on my face. Have you ever seen that Kool-Aid smile? That was me.”

- Dalembert on first play designed for him

 

On Deck:

Dallas will enjoy a couple days off before they wrap up their franchise record eight-game homestand on Tuesday night against the Golden State Warriors. The game can be seen on TXA 21 locally at 7:30 pm. CT.

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Photo courtesy Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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MGN: Mavs Look To Take Down Kings And Inch Closer

by Ryan Wilson on March 29, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

MavsGameNightMavsDancers

The Dallas Mavericks (43-30) suffered yet another brutal loss at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers (51-22) and have fallen even further behind in the Western Conference Playoff race. They welcome the Sacramento Kings (25-47) to the AAC tonight in what SHOULD be a victory for the Mavericks.

The Game At Hand:

This is a tale of two different teams. The Kings are having another dreadful season, whereas each game is so important for the Mavericks, who are chasing the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. The Mavericks and Kings have split their season series so far, with the Mavericks taking the last one by only a 107-103 margin. 

The Mavericks have a tendency to let teams like the Kings hang around, ultimately biting them in the end.

Sacramento has lost 7 of their last 10, including their recent defeat to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Friday night.

“The toughest position to lose is your point guard, just because he runs your team, and there were times tonight where obviously, we didn’t look like an organized basketball team,” coach Michael Malone said.

Keys To The Game:

1. Put Away Early

The Kings are on a second game of a back to back, so it’s crucial that the Mavericks come out the aggressor early on, and try and put this team away. The Kings typically play the Mavericks tough, so there should be no reason to let them hang around.

2. Don’t Overlook Young Prince’s, I mean Kings

This is a young team that features the likes of DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. They have played the last two games without young guard Isaiah Thomas, so they are a team with nothing to lose, which are teams you typically don’t want to play when every game counts, which is where the Mavericks current status is.

Dirk Nowitzki, DeMarcus CousinsMatchup of the Night:

Dirk Nowitzki vs DeMarcus Cousins

On any given night, you don’t know what attitude you will get from Cousins, but the one thing you can expect is one talented young star in this league. He is physical, can rebound, and can hit the short jumpers.

Dirk Nowitzki on the other hand is looking to rebound from a rough 4th quarter the other night, where he struggled down the stretch and wasn’t able to propel his Mavericks squad to victory.

Quotes:

 

“They’ve got a talented team. You know, you just can’t overlook look them at all. They’re always going to give themselves a chance to a certain degree, so we know you have to put pressure on them early and take them out of the game early. You don’t need to be playing a close game with them.” - Shawn Marion on Kings Squad

 

 

We didn’t have him the last time we played these guys, and I think that’s one of the reasons that Gay got going the way that he did. With Shawn guarding him tonight, hopefully we can prevent that.”

- Rick Carlisle on having Marion tonight

 

When and Where:

Tip-off at American Airlines Center tonight is at 7:30 p.m. CST. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest.

Playoff Watch:

5. Portland Trail Blazers (47-27) | Next 3 – MEM, @ LAL, & PHO

6. Golden State (45-27) | Next 3 – NYK, @DAL, & @ SA

7. Phoenix Suns (44-29) | Next 3 – @LAL, LAC, & @POR

8. Memphis Grizzlies (43-29) | Next 3 – @POR, @DEN, & @ MIN

9. Dallas Mavericks (43-30) | Next 3 – SAC, GSW, & @ LAC

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Photo courtesy - (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Quotes via Kings.com and Mavs.com

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Wrap Up: Mavs Fail To Close Out Clippers Yet Again

by Greg Higgins on March 28, 2014 in Mavs 09 comments

WrapUpReport18

If you’re a fan of the Dallas Mavericks, then you undoubtedly want them to make the playoffs this season. After a one year hiatus last season, every Mavs Fanatic out there wants to see them in the postseason this year. The problem, though, is the Mavs have placed themselves in a position in which every game they play is a playoff game right now. After playing three over time games in their last four, Thursday’s tilt with the LA Clippers came down to the wire as well. Unlike the game against Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, the Mavs couldn’t hang on for the victory.

How it went down:

Dallas and LA have played some epic games this year. The second game of the season watched Dallas blow a 17-point lead with less than five minutes to play. Dallas did take a 12-point lead in the second quarter Tuesday but it was promptly erased by the Clippers. Dirk Nowitzki and Chris Paul matched each other with 14 points apiece. The difference was Jae Crowder off the bench, who had 10 points for Dallas.

Dallas has a habit of making games close, though. Even after taking a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Mavs allowed the Clippers to jump back into the game. The game was a tight game in which both teams battled back and forth in the final frame. The only problem was the Mavericks seemed to be playing a man down the entire quarter. Dirk had seemingly disappeared in the fourth quarter as he couldn’t hit a shot. As a matter of fact, he went to the free throw line for three shots and missed two of those. In the final quarter, Dirk finished 0-6 from the field and only 2-5 from the free throw line.

In the end, the Clippers found a way to make stops when they needed to and the Mavericks could not. Blake Griffin forced a back-court violation on Dirk while Vince Carter and Monta Ellis both took wild three-point shots that barely grazed the back board. It’s a game in which the Mavs may look back and wish they had a do-over. Every time the Mavs have played the Clippers this year, they’ve had a double digit lead. The last two games, that lead was in the fourth quarter. The Mavs have lost all three of those contests, which hopefully won’t be the reason they miss the playoffs.

Inside the Numbers:

Monta Ellis finished the game 4-19 from the field for a measly 12 points.

Blake Griffin’s run of 30 consecutive games of scoring at least 20 points came to an end against the Mavs. Griffin had 18 points in the win.

Impact Play of the Game:

Dallas took a 98-93 lead with just under six minutes to play in the game. From that moment on, LA finished the game on a 16-5 run, holding Dallas to one field goal the rest of the game.

Vince CarterStep-Up Mav of the Night:

Vince Carter

Carter continues to make a push for the sixth-man of the year award as he led the team in scoring off the bench. Carter had 23 points off of 9-13 shooting. Carter also knocked down four three-pointers.

Quotes:

“We have another shot at them next week so we have to aim at that. But we have games in the meantime and they are all important, so we just have to shake this one off and get ready for the next one.” - Rick Carlisle

 

“I told [the team] before the game it’s going to be an emotional game. It’s going to be a playoff game, because Dallas — they’re fighting. So I told them if you don’t meet their energy, you’re not going to win, because they’re fighting for their lives right now. You’ve got to act like it’s a playoff game, and I thought our guys for the most part met that challenge.” - Clippers coach Doc Rivers

On Deck:

Dallas has to shake this one off as they welcome the Sacramento Kings to the AAC on Saturday night. Game tips off at 7:30 pm CT on FSSW.

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