It’s relatively clear that the Dallas Mavericks have their eye on the postseason by going 14 games over .500, though their methods to actually achieve playoff status seem rather iffy at best—especially with Monday’s narrow 94-89 win over the struggling Boston Celtics.
Dallas (41-27) stuck to the basics in order to nab the win, but they weren’t giving it their all. It’s widely known that when facing an ex-Kardashian (yes, that Kris Humphries) who plays on a team with a 22-46 record, any score under triple digits in the fourth is unacceptable.
And nearly blowing the game by allowing the Celtics to go on a 12-0 run going into the final quarter is completely unacceptable.
Dirk Nowitzki paved the way for his Mavericks with 19 points on 6-of-17 shooting, while Monta Ellis had 17 points and seven rebounds, followed by Devin Harris with 12 points. Jerryd Bayless led his boys in green with 19 points on 6-of-16 shooting, though it wasn’t enough to give Boston (who have now lost five consecutive games) the edge.
However, they didn’t give up the game completely, which showed since the Mavericks had to scramble in order to keep them at bay in the fourth, especially after Bayless’ three-pointer with 1:45 left in the game, which moved his team within two points. Avery Bradley then made it 90-89 when he sneakily stole the ball from Ellis with 21.3 seconds remaining. Dallas would go on to win the game based on free throws and shot blocking.
The Celtics were looking to get something of a foothold after losing to the New Orleans Pelicans 121-120 in overtime (a game in which forward Anthony Davis recorded career highs with 40 points and 21 rebounds), but the luck of the Irish apparently wasn’t on their side.
A win is a win, nevertheless, but when a team has playoff aspirations, games with home court advantage should be stronger and more physical, especially against teams who are winless on the road against the Western Conference.
The Mavs go on to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night, the second game in a franchise-record eight-game homestand at the American Airlines Center. Boston will face the Miami Heat, who are currently 45-19.
The Mavericks are now one game behind the sixth place Golden State Warriors in the West.