'This,' Dirk said, "is a game we had to have. So, yeah, it's frustrating, disappointing, all that…
It's Saturday Night Basketball, your Dallas Mavericks at home against the Memphis Grizzlies. ... and could we dare wish for a second consecutive win?
First came further clarification of a true non-story.
"I told Dirk we're not trading him,'' owner Mark Cuban said before the game. "He was happy. I made it clear to him that we are in this through thick and thin. So there's no way that I'd trade him, no matter what. ... There's nobody who is a bigger warrior, and that's why I'll never trade him."
That doesn't mean there won't be trade-and-acquisition exploration elsewhere as the Feb. 21 deadline approaches. In fact, check DB.com Archives and you'll find the goods on Greg Oden and on DeMarcus Cousins.
Now, onto the business of the basketball game.
The Grizz had a big win over San Antonio the previous night and are amongst the best in the West right now, but you wouldn't know it from their "Walking Dead'' impersonation at the AAC.
Darren Collison was the triggerman who put the Mavs ahead early in the second and Dallas never looked back. The lead ballooned all the way to 34 before settling to the a final score of 104-83.
Is this a morale booster for a team that's now just 15-23?
"Probably,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. It's not to say that our morale was down necessarily. We just hadn't bore many fruits from our efforts. It's good to see some tangible results. We're not going to take anything for granted here. We're just not in that position."
Two victories in a row? We are all aflutter. Register to vote here, please, for the top Mav in the game ... "The Dirkie!''
*Shawn Marion -- 9-13 for 20 points
*OJ Mayo -- 11 points, including (yay!) 2-3 on 3s *Dirk Nowitzki -- 17 points, including (YAY!) 3-3 on 3s
*Darren Collison -- 10 points and 6 assists
*Chris Kaman -- Center A with 14 and 7
*Elton Brand -- Center B with 10 and 9
*Vince Carter -- 8 points and 5 assists
*Jae Crowder -- rook notches 5 and 4
*Rodrigue Beaubois -- chips in 2 points and 4 dimes
"It felt good,'' Dirk said, "to be on the other side of a blowout once."