DONUT 1: Mavs 96, Cavs 86 ...
Rodrigue Beaubois exploded. Dirk Nowitzki, with 13 points and 11 rebounds, had his third straight double-double. Brandan Wright keeps scoring (13 points). And piece by piece, the Mavs keep winning, this time with a 96-86 come-from-behind home win over Cleveland.
Darren Collison contributed 13 points and five assists as part of the charge that allowed Dallas to take its first lead of the game late in the third quarter and never look back from there.
"We started off slow,'' DC said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game, especially coming off a back-to-back. We felt like we gave all our effort in the last month and this one was more of a mental game. We made a few mistakes early on but the most important thing is that we got the win."
More from DC:
The Dallas Mavericks have won five of six and are now 31-34 heading into Sunday's home game against OKC.
DONUT 2: Marion's pesky calf ...
What initially seemed to be a minor calf injury for Shawn Marion is still lingering after almost two weeks. The Matrix missed his fifth consecutive game on Friday night against the Cavs. An MRI proved that the injury is a calf strain and may keep Marion out a few more games.
Head coach Rick Carlisle talked about the status of his injured forward before Friday's game.
"Being a strain instead of a contusion, it's going to be longer because those take a little bit longer (to heal). We hope not too long, but we're going to exercise caution."
Marion is the leading rebounder for the Mavericks this season and has been their best defender.
DONUT 3: A rough first quarter ...
The Mavs suffered a tough one-point loss to the Spurs on Thursday night. Apparently that lack of momentum carried into the start of Friday night's game against the Cavaliers.
The Mavs scored only 16 points in the first quarter and shot a lackluster 33 percent. To make matters worse, the Cavaliers have the worst field goal percentage defense in the NBA. The Mavs also had five turnovers in the first quarter.
On the other hand, the Cavs scored 24 points in the same quarter and shot just under 48 percent.
The NBA highlight reel of the comeback:
DONUT 4: Home Cookin' ...
Things are still looking bleak for the Mavericks playoff chances. But with Utah struggling and Kobe Bryant ailing, now is the time for Dallas to make the move.
Starting with Friday night's game against the Cavs, the Mavericks entered a stretch where eight of their next nine games are at home. There are certainly some tough opponents in that stretch (Oklahoma City on Sunday, then Brooklyn and Boston to name a few), but a home stretch might be just what this team needs to catch some momentum.
Carlisle talked about the importance of the upcoming slate of games.
"It's a big stretch for us,'' he said. "It's obvious where we're at. We need every win."
DONUT 5: Krazy Kaman ...
If Chris Kaman is nothing else, he is an interesting character. As one of the most unique personalities in the NBA it's hard not to have an opinion on him. And Mark Cuban is a guy that usually has an opinion or two on just about everything. Here's what Cuban said about the center:
"Chris is Chris. The one thing about Chris, he might be crazy, but his heart is always in the right place…I like Chris a lot. I think he's a good guy."
Kaman finished the game with four points in just 5:45 of playing time.
DONUT 6: Jae "Solid'' Crowder ...
Alright, it's not exactly the sexist nickname, but that's the adjective that Carlisle used to describe his versatile rookie, Jae Crowder.
Crowder has been inserted into the lineup in the absence of Marion and he has performed quite well in that time after being relatively quiet at various points throughout the season.
Carlisle on Crowder:
"(Crowder's been) very solid all around. There's something about Jae that I think is pretty evident. He's played in a lot of big games (in college). He's one of these guys that it's a natural characteristic of his that he plays better when he's more relied upon. That's a strong statement."
DONUT 7: Rookie of the Year candidate? ...
While Carlisle stuck to the mild praise of "solid" when describing Crowder, Mark Cuban took a much more surprising angle on the player that he says he had a large part in drafting.
"If he were playing the way he is now (throughout the season),'' the owner said, "we'd be talking about him not far behind (Damian) Lillard for Rookie of the Year.''
That's probably a little bit of patented hyperbole from Tony Cubes, but at least the owner has confidence in his young player.
Crowder struggled offensively Friday night scoring only two points, but proved he could make his impact known in other ways by pulling down 14 rebounds and getting two steals.
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DONUT 9: Milestones ...
*Nowitzki is now tied with Jason Kidd (954) for second place on the Mavericks' all-time steals list.
* Nowitzki is averaging 17.6 points and 9.2 rebounds since the All-Star break.
*With his second rebound of the game (8,975th career) at the 9:20 mark of the first quarter, Nowitzki passed Larry Bird (8,974) for 46th place on the NBA's all-time rebounding list.
*Nowitzki finished with 11 rebounds on the night and now has 8,984 boards for his career. Johnny Green ranks 45th all-time with 9,083 rebounds. Nowitzki needs 17 rebounds to become the 46th player in NBA history with at least 9,000 boards.
Here's Dirk on all that and more:
* Mavericks swingman Vince Carter made his 64th appearance of the season against the Cavaliers on Friday. It was his 61st appearance as a reserve this season (100th career appearance off the bench). Carter made his 8,000th career field goal with a 3-pointer at the 1:33 mark of the fourth quarter. He became the 33rd player in NBA history with at least 8,000 career field goals. Carter ranks sixth among active players in field goals made.
* Mavericks center Chris Kaman scored his 7,000th career point with a jumper at the 6:53 mark of the first quarter.
DONUT 10: Happy St. Pat's from Frisco Party Station! ...
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DONUT 11: The Return of Roddy B ...
It had been quite some time since we heard anything positive said on Roddy Beaubois. In fact, a lot of people had given up on the fourth-year player. And while one game won't go too far in persuading those people otherwise, Roddy B surprisingly showed what he is capable on Friday night against the Cavs.
In 21 minutes Beaubois exploded for 18 points.
"Roddy's saga here has been rife with peaks and valleys," Carlisle said. "I think the thing he's learned from it is that good health is the No. 1 thing. And then it's keeping yourself ready and being strong in everything you do."
He was part of a Maverick bench that scored an impressive 60 points.
DONUT 12: The Final Word ...
There has been a lot of talk about tanking. The argument is that this just isn't the Mavericks' year and they might as well shoot for a good draft pick.
Besides the obvious reason that tanking is just not a logical move in a sport with a draft lottery, Cuban explains another reason that you can expect this team to keep playing hard until the very end.
"You guys have asked me in the past ‘should we blow it up? Should we tank?' and all that. When you have young players you have to teach them how to win. You don't want to teach them to go backwards."
For over a decade the Mavericks have been winners. They have the hardware to prove it. Organizations don't accomplish the kind of things that the Mavs have by having an on/off switch. It has always been expected of key Mavericks that they will play to win.
And they plan on maintaining that tradition.