The Dallas Mavericks successfully managed to cow-tip the Orlando Magic 105-102, but somehow decided to watch a slight portion of their dignity die a little by blowing a 22-point lead to the now 21-49 visitors mostly due to careless turnovers, causing onlookers to duck behind the nearest inanimate object and cringe while sealing their eyes shut in absolute fear.
No, nope, and no again.
“They’re an active team, but we made a lot of bad turnovers,” voiced Dallas coach Rick Carlisle. “With Memphis coming in here, they’re another that turns over a lot. We’re going to have to do better, have to do a lot better.”
Rajon Rondo, Dallas’ starting point guard who has gathered a great deal of unwanted attention at the start of his first few months in Dallas, was responsible for eight of the 20 Dallas turnovers. “I liked his aggression,” coach noted of his guard, one who tends to draw the wrong kind of media attention. “There were a couple of times the ball just slipped out of his hands, but some of the things were just a little speculative on everybody’s part tonight, not just him. We had a bunch of bench turnovers, but we’ve got to move on and do better.”
The Mavericks managed to best the Magic 86-70 going into the fourth and final quarter, but due to recklessness (not to mention a very benched Chandler Parsons – the Mavericks’ offensive predator missile), Dallas managed to blow a comfortable lead and head into meltdown mode within the final minutes of the fourth, despite a dominating, 25-point scoring effort Dirk Nowitzki, a veteran who has appeared to crush his “tired, old man” motif within the recent games.
“Well, I think our team is built on pace,” said Devin Harris, who was running on all cylinders after leaving Monday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to sudden illness. “When we attack the floor when it’s spaced, it makes it so much better for our shooters like Dirk. He got a bunch of wide open shots in the first half and that’s the way we want to play.”
Elfrid Payton managed to nail a trey with 1:38 left in the game, which brought the Magic within three points, their 22-point deficit an unwanted memory of the past. Payton managed to draw a foul on Al-Farouq Aminu, who had returned after missing two games with a sprained left shoulder, and brought the Magic within one point as they trailed 101-100. After Harris himself nailed two free-throws that pushed the Mavs ahead 103-100 with 28.8 seconds left, Tyson Chandler nailed a defensive stop as Aminu collected a rebound, which forced Orlando to foul Monta Ellis after the ball landed in his waiting hands.
Despite the victory, the Mavericks have some explaining to do regarding their fourth-quarter sleepwalk. Who wouldn’t be disappointed? “Yeah, I am,” Carlisle expressed about being upset at the way the final 12 minutes played out. “But this is how it’s been. It’s hasn’t been easy. When games are on ESPN, you’ve got wacky things happen; non-shooters start throwing in shots – it happens all the time. As stuff comes at you, you’ve just got to be defiant in making it go away. You’ve just got to stay with it, play harder.”
The Mavericks go on to face the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday evening at the American Airlines Center.