The Dallas Mavericks got back to their winning ways after a tough overtime loss Friday night by handing Orlando a 111-105 defeat. Darren Collison hit a giant 3 in the closing minute and Dirk and OJ Mayo hit big free throws down the stretch.
Dirk still didn’t look himself with only 6 points through the first 3 quarters. He equalled that amount in the 4th despite sitting out a large chunk in the middle of the 4th as it looked like Rick Carlise was trying to avoid putting him back in the game. Dirk’s search for a big game continues as the Mavs return home against the Spurs on Friday.
Shawn Marion led the Mavs in a game in which seven Mavs were in double figures. Marion had a monster night with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Matrix had a vintage game and has been playing exceptionally well in the Mavs’ recent change of fortunes.
All five Mavericks starters played well after a slow start which found them down 14 points in the 1st. The starters were accompanied well by Vince Carter and Elton Brand, who have also been major catalysts in the Mavs’ season revival.
Mike James is starting to show the reasons he was out of the NBA. He shoots slightly more than he should and isn’t quite as stable as Derrick Fisher was running the offense. Darren Collison has done a good job capitalizing on this, and may win his closing point guard role back.
This Mavericks team is playing well, and may be on the cusp of a playoff push. However, that 13 of 15 losing streak to end 2012 and begin 2013 may be too big a mountain to climb. It feels like if they can get to .500, then Dirk will get well and carry them back to the playoffs. Perhaps you can’t keep a good franchise down.