After starting the season at 3-5, the Dallas Mavericks are now riding a five-game winning streak as they head out west to face Kobe Bryant and the L.A. Lakers, Chris Paul and the revitalized L.A. Clippers, and Al Jefferson and the Utah Jazz.
Part of the longest road trip of the season, which includes a fourth game on the road against the New Orleans Hornets next weekend, this upcoming three-game foray into the western sky catches the Mavs feeling like the sun has just begun to shine on them. After an understandable, though frustrating, miserable start, the team is energized and clicking on about seven of eight cylinders right now.
Last Three Games
In one of the last three games (Wednesday night), the Mavericks beat the Boston Celtics 90-85 at Boston, with Jason Terry leading the scoring for Dallas with 18 points. In the game, Mavs center Brendan Haywood had 11 rebounds, leading the way for Dallas. A very tight game throughout, Dallas took advantage of a Celtics miscue with just seconds left to put the game away.
Returning home to face the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, the Mavericks fired a blazing 52% from the field and were relentless throughout the game. The offensive pressure came from all corners of the court. The Dallas cross-court offense was executed smoothly by Delonte West and Jason Terry, and the Bucks were defeated 102-76. It was a game in which power forward Dirk Nowitzki scored his 23,000th point, a milestone reached by only two other active players, Kobe Bryant and the Celtics’ Kevin Garnett.
The Mavs defense was devastating in Saturday’s game against the Sacramento Kings. A road weary team, the Kings could not get any kind of offense started. Scoring only 23 points in the first half, the Kings now have the dubious honor of being the lowest-scoring opposing team in Mavericks history for one half of play. The halftime score was 52-23. In the second half, the Mavericks completed their strong defensive effort, keeping the Kings to a total of 60 points. The final score was 99-60.
Next Three Games
Dallas heads now to the land of movie stars and earthquakes. Complementing the natural phenomena, as well as the Hollywood manufactured ones, are two very good basketball teams.