Inside the Mavs' first home loss of the season ... How 'Dirk's no Kobe.' ... Sam's alarming alarm…
DONUT 1: Mavs 123, Rockets 120 ...
Did you miss it?
There are critics of the NBA who say a) the regular-season games don't matter and b) you only need to watch the fourth quarter to get the gist of the game.
On Wednesday at the AAC, "a)'' was proven wrong. And "b)''? Well, if you did get to just watch the fourth quarter, you got "gist'' -- and your full-evening's worth of entertainment.
Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis set season-highs in scoring with 35 and 37 respectively, and were just barely the best players on the floor because of the work of Dwight and Harden.
"When me and Dirk get going like that,'' Monta said, "the other team's got a problem.''
The Mavs made 13 straight made field goals beginning with a Dirk jumper to pull the Mavs within 10 with 9:36 to play in the fourth ... and Dallas was just getting started in mounting an epic comeback.
Said coach Rick Carlisle: "It had to be a very entertaining game to watch. From a coaching/playing standpoint, there's a lot of frustrating things that happened because both teams are good. ... But our guys rose above it and got the win. It's huge. Every game you can win is meaningful and it counts in the total at the end of the year."
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DONUT 2: Home cookin' ...
Dallas is now 6-0, tied for a franchise best since the 2007-08 season.
The best home starts in franchise history:
12-0 in 2002-03
10-0 in 2003-04
6-0 in 2007-08
6-0 in 2013-14
That's part of the foundation of Dallas' 8-4 start, which has Mavs leaders like Dirk thinking confidently.
"Yeah, we feel like we have a good team,'' Nowitzki said last night. "I think we have a good team, a deep team and we're going to keep working and see where we can take it."
DONUT 3: No Whining, Rockets! ...
Remember when the NBA instituted that "no-demonstrative-whining'' rule to keep players from overreacting after calls they did not appreciate?
Weird that the league hasn't announced the dismissal of that rule, for it surely is no longer in play after watching James Harden last night.
Almost literally after every single call that went against the Rockets, Harden sprinted over to a ref in protest. Late in the game, after he missed a shot, he theatrically jumped into the face of a zebra to prove that he'd been scratched on the arm.
At other times, he even protested Dallas protests. Jae Crowder was quite demonstrative as he ran away from a ref (as to avoid a further penalty) following a foul call on what Jae thought was a steal. Harden followed Crowder, shrieking that Jae was being too demonstrative.
But what was James shrieking about? It's not even a rule anymore, as near as I could tell last night.
DONUT 4: Rick's game-changer ...
Hey, maybe it all changed when Rick conducted his smart-ass live-TV interview with Chris Broussard?
DONUT 5: MontaBall ...
In the 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons, no Mavs player had at least 32 points and eight assists. Monta Ellis has now done this twice in 12 games.
DONUT 6: The DB.com Mavs Podcast! ...
The Dallas Mavericks on the DB.com Mavs Podcast here on iTunes and up and running below as well ... with a very special cast of characters:
Mike Fisher, Kevin Turner and Mike Marshall talk about the Philly win, the Rockets rolling in, trade ideas, the fit of Larkin, Dalembert and Jae, and also some regrettable toilet humor.
Oh, yeah. And we find Roddy B. Politely eating lunch alone in his BMW. With a cast on his hand.
Pull up a chair to the hoops roundtable and let's kick it around ...
DONUT 7: Trix for three...
Shawn Marion hit the game-winning 3 last night, and yeah, there is a trend there.
Trix is now at 47.8 percent on 3's. That includes his most impressive work from a most advantageous spot: Marion is 7-of-12 from the corners, good for 58.3 percent ...
And last night, good enough on the big shot to allow us to whitewash over a weirdly sloppy midcourt turnover moments early that seemed like a crusher.
Instead, in the end, Trix from 3 did the crushing.
DONUT 8: You wouldn't like Hulk when he's angry ...
Of all the brilliant work produced by his creative staff, Mavs owner Mark Cuban says this video is his favorite -- or, at least it ranked that way last night, given the opponent:
DONUT 9: Please Join DB.com Boards! ...
Mavs conversation about it and everything else Mavs on the best discussion forum in the NBA, The DB.com Boards!
You, as a fan, are part of the process and part of the fun and even part of the win, and you know what I mean if you saw an MFFL get under the skin of Dwight Howard and earn the Mavs a free point.
It's psychological warfare. That's why Vince Carter called Dwight a "crybaby'' during the game. Vince isn't being a hypocrite and he's not being an analyst. He's just trying to F with Dwight's fragile psyche. ... a psyche fragile enough to loose control because of an MFFL heckler just like you.
DONUT 10: Shootout at the AAC Corral ...
Do you win a game when you allow an opponent to shoot 55.3 percent or better? If you are Dallas, you pretty much do not.
Since the 2009-10 season and going into Wednesday, the Mavs were 2-14 in games they allowed opponents to shoot that well.
I suppose if you shoot even better, you can overcome. Which the Mavs did last night. So make that since-2009 record 3-14.
DONUT 11: Have you voted yet? ...
Monta? Or Dirk? Or another Mav? Who Deserves "The Dirkie''? Vote here!
Dirk passed Reggie Miller for 15th on NBA's all-time scoring list last night, so maybe he deserves the honor. Of course, the way he's scaling the list -- up next is moving target Kevin Garnett -- Nowitzki's is going to end up with a mansion full of these golden delights!
DONUT 12: Fish and Frisco! ...
I'm proud to announce that in addition to the work we do with Dallas Mavericks, I'm teaming up with the Texas Legends this year to serve as the color analyst for The Texas Legends on 20-plus televised games.
Presented by Veracruz and shown on KTXD 47, the telecasts will have an interactive flavor and feature R.J.Choppy as the play-by-play man, yours truly on color and Legends assistant coach Travis Blakeley offering insights from the bench.
The assignment is a perfect compliment to what we do with the Mavs on Fox Sports Southwest, on 105.3 The Fan and of course here on DB.com. www.DallasBasketball.com. We'll get a close-up look on what's going on "down on the farm'' for the Mavs ... and we'll present that look to you live on TV.
This is where Ricky Ledo is going to become a player. Maybe where Gal Mekel will do the same (especially with Shake Larkin completely gobbling up all the backup PG minutes). It's a great place to hang out with the gang, to take the family, and to watch the development of the next generation of Mavs.
Our first game? Friday night, at home in Frisco, against the hated Fort Wayne Ants. For ticket info go to the Texas Legends website and if you are in the neighborhood, please come by and say hello!
DONUT 13: The Final Word ...
"It would have been easy to drop our heads and stop playing. But these guys aren't going to do that.'' - Rick Carlisle.