The Dallas Mavericks played for pride and found a way to squeak out a 108-105 overtime victory over the playoff-bound Denver Nuggets. Dallas used a 19-2 run (from the 8:22 mark of the third quarter through the 3:53 mark of the period) to turn an 11-point deficit (61-50) into a six-point advantage (69-63) en route to their victory. Dirk Nowitzki recorded his sixth double-double of the season (375th career) with a game-high-tying 22 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four assists in 40 minutes against Denver. He scored 20-plus points for the second straight game (18th time this season).
Another veteran helped lead the charge for the Mavericks as Vince Carter posted his first double-double of the season (89th career) with a game-high-tying 22 points to go along with a season-high 12 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in 34 minutes against Denver (previous high: nine rebounds on three occasions).
O.J. Mayo went 5-of-7 from beyond the arc and scored 20 points to go along with three rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block in 42 minutes. Shawn Marion totaled 15 points to go along with eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 30 minutes against the Nuggets. Marion is averaging 20.5 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last four games.
Some notes before the quotes:
- Dirk Nowitzki now has 24,990 career points and needs 10 points for 25,000. He will become the 17th player in NBA history with at least 25,000 points.
- Vince Carter had his first double-double since Apr. 16, 2012 at Utah (18 points and 12 rebounds). It also marked just the second time in his career that he totaled at least 22 points, 12 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in the same game (46 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists and 3 blocks in 47 minutes vs. Washington Apr. 7, 2007. With the win, the Mavericks improved to 9-2 this season when Carter scores 20-plus points, and 12-3 when he scores 20-plus points over the last two seasons. He also tied his career high with eight offensive rebounds. He pulled down eight offensive boards as a member of the New Jersey Nets against the Chicago Bulls on Nov. 5, 2005.
- With the win, the Mavericks improved to 6-1 this season when O.J. Mayo makes at least five triples in a game. He recorded his 22nd 20-point game of the season (15-7 record), but his first since Mar. 8 at Detroit (22 points).
- With the victory, the Mavericks snapped the Nuggets’ five-game winning streak.
- The Mavericks played their 11th overtime game of the season against the Nuggets on Friday. Prior to the 2012-13 campaign, the franchise record for the most overtime games in a season was eight (in 1995-96, 1997-98 and 2009-10).
Here is the quoteboard for Dallas’ prideful win over Denver.
On the game: “Vince [Carter] was great. We had a lot of guys that played well. The first half we were not good; we struggled, our concentration wasn’t good. There were deficits, we’d get close, we couldn’t hit a shot. We got it tied and then they went on a run. We’re just up against it – it was kind of a microcosm of our season. Second half, after a tough first two minutes, we battled back and got the lead at the end of the quarter. We had a great chance to close it out in regulation then some wacky things happened and we had to do it in overtime.”
On O.J. Mayo overcoming his turnover at the end of regulation and playing well in overtime: “It’s huge – that’s what you look for with guys. Mistakes are going to happen, but who can make a mistake and then bounce right back and hit two or three shots in overtime, get a key deflection and just stay in it. That’s one of the things he’s learned; he’s learned about how to stick with it and how to keep going. I was really happy for him because it was a rough 10 seconds there at the end.”
On playing so many overtime games this season: “We reside in kind of an altered state of zaniness, our team. It’s just kind of been that way. It’s never easy, it’s a bit of an adventure, but they’re good guys and they’re trying. Denver is a really talented team. Athletically, they’re about a 15 and we’re in the middle region of another scale. We’ve really got to play together and smart. They guys found a way so it was great.”
Vince’s character: “The fact that these guys are still leading the group with an assortment of younger guys shows character. It just shows that they’re about the fight.”
The mindset to finish things out: “With three games, we’ve got to leave it all on the table and let it all hang out every game.”
On bouncing back after the turnover in regulation: “You’ve just got to understand that there’s still more game left. You really can’t sit there and dwell on turning the ball over. Obviously, I didn’t try to do it but it happened … I thought we made more plays in overtime to get the win.”
On Mark Cuban’s comments that the blame for the failures of this season should go on him. “Mark is a fan first. I think he understands that sometimes you take gambles and they don’t pan out. He’s stepping up to the plate and you’ve got to respect that. At the same time, it’s on us, as well.”
On what led to previous collapses, unlike this game against Denver: “We just f—– around and did some dumb a– s— to give it away … It is what it is. We got a great win tonight.”
On the game: “Us not making the playoffs doesn’t mean we can’t lay it all out there and fight to the end. We did it for our fans and our organization. Each individual knew we were going to lay it out there for each other and for the good of the team and it starts with the old guys. The old guys are still playing big minutes and battling.”
On the victory: “We fought to the end. It was a needed win … I just want to end the season on a positive note and go hard. Play it to the end and see what happens.”
On his importance to the team and basketball: “I just live to play basketball. It kind of bothered when my love for the game was questioned. I’m glad he (Mark Cuban) believed in me and my ability two years ago. I’m going to do whatever I have to do for this team whether it was come up as a starter or play limited minutes. I don’t let my age determine how I approach the game and my love for it. This is one little example of it and I’m very appreciative of how they believe in me and the way I play the game. I still love playing ball and I’m psyched to be here.”
On Cuban’s comment about feeling bad for Vince based on how hard he worked and not being able to get to the playoffs: “It’s an honor. Like I told him from the jump, I was willing to do whatever, play whatever position. One thing I told him, regardless of how the season goes, I’m going to play through it and let it all hang out. For me, I’ve prided myself on being one of the older guys but wanting to play every game possible … I wanted to set the example … It’s a great feeling to know that I’m appreciated.”
On Cuban hoping Vince retires as a Maverick later down the road: “That’s why he’s my guy. I worked my butt off this summer for a lot of reason, to prove I’m still capable at this tender age. I think he appreciates that … It’s great to know that it’s appreciated by the top dog.”
On Vince’s effort: “He was great. I haven’t seen him hit the offensive boards like that since he was probably in his twenties … He was phenomenal tonight.”
On Mayo bouncing back after the turnover: “I was proud of O.J. tonight … He stuck with it. He made some big shots for us in overtime. He was big.”
On finishing out the season: “Honestly, I try to play the end of the season out strong and win the next game for coach. Whether it’s a preseason game or regular season game, I do my regular routine, I stretch and get in my nap. Once I go out there, it’s fun, I try to win and go out there and compete. We got three games left and we have to go for them.”
On approaching 25,000 points: “It would be nicer to do it at home, but it is what it is. It’s a great milestone and eventually I’m going to get it. It’ll be a fun milestone to get. But more important to me is to finish the season strong.”
On looking at this big summer coming up: “The Germans are usually more negative. I got that from my mom so I’m probably more concerned. I’m also excited. We’ve got a lot of roster room with eight or nine free agents … Free agency is always a period that’s exciting when you’ve got cap space … I’ve said it all year long, we can’t judge yet if it was a mistake or not (to let guys go in free agency). It’s going to depend on this offseason. If we end up empty-handed again, then maybe it was the wrong decision to let everyone go. If we make a good move here with this cap space, maybe it wasn’t all bad. We’ll just have to wait and see what the summer brings.”
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.