Mavericks Do the Improbable, Rally From 14 Down in Fourth to Shock Rockets

By Darreck Kirby
PSDC Dallas Mavericks Beat Writer

At halftime, the score read Houston 68, Dallas 61. Though the Mavericks offensive explosion would normally be encouraging, their defensive meltdown had many fearing the worst. Monta Ellis, Dallas’ newest star had topped his season average (22.0 PPG) in the first half already with 23. Dirk, meanwhile, had chipped in another 17, passing Reggie Miller for 15th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Only one question remained; what could Dallas do to stop Dwight Howard?

Photo Credit: ESPN

Photo Credit: ESPN

Howard dominated the Mavs all game, scoring 33 points and pulling down 11 boards while wreaking havoc inside all night against Dallas’ bigs, most notably Samuel Dalembert. But even with the big man’s dominance, the Rockets could seem to shake the Mavs, not even after jumping out to a 16-point lead midway through the third quarter. Even still, Dallas entered the fourth down 14 and with little hope of remaining unbeaten at home. They couldn’t steal this game, not with Dwight on his game and a closer like James Harden… Could they?

As it turns out, yes. Somehow, some way they could. Led by the lights out play of Dirk and Monta, aka Batman and Robin, the Mavericks roared back, cutting Houston’s lead to just three before the Rockets nailed a pair of cold blooded threes to push it back to nine. Dallas could have packed it in then, accepting that they’d fought well. But that wasn’t enough for Dallas’ stars, and the pair led a courageous comeback that erased Houston’s lead with a Shawn Marion 3-pointer. From there, Jose Calderon buried two free throws to push the Mavs lead to 123-120 with less than nine seconds to play. From there, a rare defensive stop sealed the deal, lifting Dallas to an improbable victory over one of the Western Conference’s elite teams behind Dirk’s 35 and Ellis’ 37 big points.

The game was one of the most amazing in recent memory for the Mavs, though that hardly comes as a surprise when it’s two biggest stars combine for 72 points, every one of which was necessary. Dallas might not be better than Houston, but as they proved Wednesday night at the AAC, they’re more than capable of hanging tough and seizing the moment.

For more news and updates on the Dallas Mavericks, follow Darreck on Twitter @DarreckWKirby

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