You know the drill. The Difference is a reflection on the game that was, with one bullet for every point in the final margin.
- When watching the Dallas Mavericks, there’s always the hope of seeing Dirk Nowitzki do something otherworldly. I don’t expect it; he’s older now, his teammates don’t always get him the ball, and most importantly, he’s not the type of player to force plays. That’s what makes his performance against the Chicago Bulls so incredibly special. After scoring 20 points on a perfect 7 of 7 shooting in the first half, Dirk had a frustrating third quarter, with no points and two turnovers. His first shot attempt of the fourth came nearly a full quarter after his last, a deep three to pull Dallas within five after a blistering 9-0 run from Nate Robinson to start the period. Dirk proceeded to hit five of his next six shots en route to a 15 point quarter, leading Dallas back from a 97-85 deficit with just over four minutes to play. The Mavericks went on a 15-1 run to close out the game, including eight from Dirk. The final three from Dirk with two seconds left was magical; Carlisle opted not to call a timeout and let his veteran team play basketball. Vince Carter opted to find the hot man and Dirk was somehow miraculously open to drill the shot.
- Lost in Dirk’s heroics will be that Dallas survived despite Chicago shooting 12 for 21 from beyond the arc , including an insane 7 for 7 from back up guard Nate Robinson. The Bulls came into the game tied 24th for three point field goal percentage at 34%. O.J. Mayo also had an atrocious night shooting the ball, going 1 for 13 from the field, going 0 for 12 before getting his final attempt to count when it mattered most. Brandan Wright continues to make his case for a new contract, this time grabbing a season high 13 rebounds to go along with 18 points, granting Wright his first double double as a Maverick during an incredibly important game.
Kirk is a member of the Two Man Game family. Follow him on Twitter @KirkSeriousFace for ranting about Dallas basketball, TV, movies, video games, and his dog.