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Friday, February 13, 2009
You almost feel bad for the Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are a reality TV show. You can't quite look away from whatever they're doing but you know that no matter what, they're frauds that won't ever amount to anything.
A little harsh? Yes but what else can you say after Dallas (31-21) built a 15-point lead last night against the Celtics (31-21) then predictably let it all slip away, 99-92.
It was the last game for both teams before the All-Star break, so what a way for the C's to go into it and conversely, the Mavs and their fans have to be cringing at what's looking like another first-round exit from the playoffs in the spring.
There is no disputing that Dirk Nowitzki is a great NBA player. What is debatable is if he can ever win a championship. For all of his crafty German offensive skills, he's a liability defensively and basically useless if his shot isn't falling.
Nowitzki had a game-high 37 points and eight rebounds but he couldn't do anything down the stretch as Paul Pierce and the Celts showed off their championship mettle.
Pierce scored 18 of his team-high 31 points in the fourth as he consistently isolated on Dallas defenders, who knew it was coming but still couldn't stop him.
Hurt thumb or not, Ray Allen added 20 points, Rajon Rondo posted a juicy triple-double (19 points, 15 rebounds, 14 assists) and Kevin Garnett dropped 16 points.
Boston head coach Doc Rivers received two technicals and got tossed from the game in the third quarter while Garnett also took a technical to fire his team up.
Without Jason Terry, the Mavs lack a consistent second scorer for Dirk. Josh Howard tossed in a quiet 17 points, Antoine Wright scored 10 and the ghost of Jason Kidd handed out 10 assists.
Dallas led 21-17 after one quarter and 51-40 at the half but who could be worried? The Mavs are about as opposite of clutch as you'll find for a team in the NBA.
Boston woke up with a 29-24 third and took it going away with a 30-17 dismantling in the fourth.
Mavs owner Mark Cuban sitting courtside could only weep in his limo on the way home as he wiped his ass with hundred dollar bills.
For the game, the C's shot 48.6% to the Mavs' 39.5%. Boston owned the glass (50-31) and had eight more assists (24-16) which made up for the ton of turnovers (19-8).
The big three will head to Phoenix for All-Star weekend while the rest of the team gets a few days off. With the win, Boston wrestled back the best record in the league. What more could you ask for at this point?