DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Mavericks, who snapped their latest three game losing streak against the Washington Wizards Tuesday night, came into Thursday night hoping to avoid another loss to a lottery team.
The Mavs beat the Charlotte Bobcats, the NBA’s worst team with only six victories all year, 101- 96 thanks to Dirk Nowitzki rallying the team back from a six point deficit at the half. Dirk led his team with 27 points.
“I thought our energy was a lot better and we’ve talked about needing better starts but it was a slow start again,” said Dirk.
Mavs went on a 7-0 run to close the first half and that momentum carried over into the second half propelling the Mavs forward.
“That was big, because we were down 13 or 14; got it to six, which was a manageable number. Charlotte is a capable team and they were hitting shots standing on their head tonight. So in the third quarter, we had to make them miss. Our energy was much better, our offense was better, our shot-making was better, but we got to look better,” said Carlisle.
However, Dirk was not the only Maverick to strut his stuff. Rodrigue Beaubois used his energy to spark that second half comeback for the Mavs.
“In the first half he was out there but he wasn’t a factor. He had no presence,” said Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle, “Talked to him about that at halftime and in the second half he came out, he got in a stance and he made things happen.”
Mavs put the focus on defense and better tempo going into the second half.
“In the second half I wanted to be more aggressive and push the tempo and help the team to win the game,” claimed Beaubois. Roddy B finished the night with 14 points and three assists in 25 minutes of playing time.
In the final minutes of the game, the Bobcats made a small come back forcing Dirk and Jason Terry back into the game to close it out. The defense almost coughed up another one.
“We did not close out the game obviously the way we wanted to. We let them hang around and it was a lot closer than we wanted down the stretch but I guess at this point of the stretch we are in, we will take the W,” said Nowitzki
Dallas has never lost to the Bobcats. They have played Charlotte 14 times since their entrance into the league in 2004. Dating back to February 28th, Dallas has lost to five teams eligible for the draft lottery. So playing better is a key for the Mavs since the schedule gets only more difficult from here. The Mavs play host to the division leading San Antonio Spurs Saturday.
“It’s a huge challenge Saturday and that’s a big rivalry, always has been. It’s a fun game. We will have to be a lot sharper and a lot better,” said Nowitzki.
Brian Waddle is the Producer for the K&C Masterpiece heard on 105.3 The Fan Sundays from 9am to 1pm.
Brendan Heywood sprained his knee in the middle of the 3rd quarter and did not return.
Thursday was the trade deadline in the NBA and the Mavericks made no moves. When asked if the team not making a move instilled confidence in current squad, Jason Terry had this to say:
“Zero confidence. We already know what management has told us, they’re playing for next year. But everybody in this locker room is trying to win this year and see what happens.”
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