Recap: Mavs dethrone Kings in OT after second-half rally
Recap: Mavericks 117 at Kings 112 F/OT
Mavs dethrone Kings in OT after second-half rally
Falling to a fourth straight loss following a 99-93 defeat Wednesday night to the league-best Los Angeles Clippers, Carlisle didn’t want to hear any more talk about what all his team did right 24 hours after losing a 13th game in the previous 15 outings. Instead, the coach turned his attention to the Mavs’ inability to close out games down the stretch, before looking to replicate a 119-96 home rout over the Kings back on Dec. 10.
“We’ve got to pick it up,” the coach said. “There’s been too much talk about the positive things that we’re doing, but we’re not finishing the job in games and we’ve all got to pick it up. We’re not getting it done.”
He added: “We have a disappointing record and the team that we’re playing tonight has a better record than us, so we’ve all got to pick it up. That’s where we are.”
Carlisle and the Mavericks then stepped onto the hardwood at Sleep Train Arena with speculation swirling around the Sacramento crowd that the home squad could potentially be sold and relocated to Seattle. And with a four-game homestand looming, the Mavs tried to shake off their recent disappointment by claiming a much-needed road victory.
But down 17 points at one point during the second half, matters would look bleak before the Mavericks (14-23) heard the call to action from their coach in time to rally and force the game into overtime. The team then ended a 0-7 mark in OT with a 117-112 victory, tying a franchise record with an eighth OT game this season and with the win also avoiding a new NBA record for what would have been an 11th straight overtime loss overall.
“We had to dig deep for that one,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after the win. “Ugly game, down 17 there or whatever, and we had to battle. We had to dig deep and finish this road trip. Obviously it’s been an ugly, ugly stretch, but we needed this one.”
The Mavericks would face some early adversity while starting the night 1-of-10 from the field, falling behind 9-4 out of the gate while the Kings (13-23) sprinted to an early advantage. Using a 7-0 spurt, however, the Mavs would settle down and gain the upper hand on the scoreboard behind the all-around play of Marion. Still, the Mavs would find themselves down two, 25-23, after the opening period thanks to Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins’ 12 points in the early going.
Despite early struggles for the Mavs’ offensive trio of Nowitzki, leading scorer O.J. Mayo and center Chris Kaman, the visiting team remained in the game early in the second stanza. But the Kings would quickly blow the game open in the quarter with a 13-0 run to take a double-digit advantage, before taking a 49-42 lead into the halftime intermission.
With Nowitzki, Mayo and Kaman a combined 6-of-23 shooting in the first half, the Mavericks were outshot as a team at the midway mark, 51.3 percent to 35.6 percent. The Kings also held a 24-22 rebounding margin and a 28-14 separation in points in the paint at the break.
After seeing Kaman go just 2-for-10 in the first half, Carlisle inserted backup big man Elton Brand into the first unit as the Mavs tried to cut down on Sacramento’s dominance inside. But again the Kings would sprint to a lopsided lead as the Mavs continued to struggle on both ends of the court.
New addition Mike James then entered the game and tried to put a dent in the deficit, hitting a floater to bring the Mavs to within 10, 56-46, with 7:33 left in the period. But the Kings’ lead swelled to 17 before a vintage and vicious slam by sixth man Vince Carter was followed by Nowitzki's 3-point bomb from the top of the key to collect the shaken visitors.
A 3 by Mayo to close the third then sent the Mavs into the final 12 minutes of play down 10, 78-68.
A driving score by Nowitzki would get the Mavs back to within single digits as the final period began. Mayo’s coast-to-coast drive then helped the Mavs continue to close the gap as Carlisle switched to a small-ball lineup to quicken the pace.
Led by Carter, the Mavs crept to within five midway through the final period. Rookie big man Bernard James’ tip-in and Mayo’s transition score then brought the Mavs within three, 93-90, with 3:13 still on the clock.
The Mavs were done yet, however, stiffening on the defensive end while hounding sharpshooter John Salmons and sprinting to back-to-back transition scores by Mayo and Carter to take a 96-93 edge with 1:45 left. After a pair of free throws by Cousins, Carter answered again with a clutch fadeaway jumper before assisting Nowitzki with a defensive stand inside on Cousins. Still, after a pair of free throws by Marion, the Mavs held just a 100-98 edge with 48.7 seconds remaining following a 3-pointer by Salmons.
A lengthy review then gave the ball to the Mavs with 36.1 seconds left and 11.0 ticks on the shot clock, before a miss by Nowitzki led to a charge called on Salmons with Carter on the defense with 16.1 seconds still remaining. However, following Mayo’s 1-of-2 trip to the foul line, the Mavs led by just three with 15.7 seconds for the Kings to respond.
“I think we shot ourselves in the foot plenty of times turning the ball over. And then the way things are going right now, they bank in a 3 to tie it. But I’m proud of the guys the way we hung in there and found a way to win,” Nowitzki said of the sequence.
“I was pretty sure before the game that this was going to go to overtime. I just had a feeling it was and I had a feeling we were going to win, so I’m not surprised by any of it,” Carlisle added. “I love the way our guys hung in, even when we were way down. I just thought we had it in us to get it back. Again, it probably never should have got to overtime, but once it did, I knew we were going to be alright.”
After Nowitzki and Cousins exchanged scores, back-to-back lay-ins by Collison and Mayo lifted the Mavs to a four-point edge. Tyreke Evans then cut the margin between the two teams to just two, forcing a timeout by Carlisle with 1:44 left in the overtime. The physicality then escalated with the game tied as Cousins’ backhand to the face of Carter earned an ejection following a flagrant-two call, which would have also been his sixth personal, with 41.9 seconds left.
“I don’t know if he was frustrated but we were battling for the ball and it was just one of those things when you just see something coming but you can’t move fast enough. Just one of those things,” Carter said after the blow to the face.
However, that would allow Carter to put the Mavs back ahead before free throws by Marion gave the visiting team a four-point edge with 22.8 seconds left to hold on. Still the Mavs weren't out of the woods, however, after a score by Evans and two misses at the free throw line by Carter with 15.0 seconds left made it a three-point lead as the Kings tried to force the game into a second overtime period. But after a miss by Thomas from behind the arc and free throws by Mayo to ice the game following a rebound and foul on Aaron Brooks, the Mavs would have all they needed to hold on for the final 8.2 seconds to claim their first overtime win in eight tries.
Led by Mayo’s 24 points and Carter’s 23 points off the bench on a combined 13-of-28 shooting, the Mavericks finished with five players in double figures. Like Mayo, Marion finished with a double-double, grabbing down 10 rebounds apiece to go along with Marion's 19 points. Meanwhile, Nowitzki added 17 points and nine rebounds in a season-high 40 minutes while Collison pitched in 11 points in the first unit.
Before being ejected, Cousins tallied 29 points and nine rebounds to lead five Kings in double figures. The Kings also finished the night outshooting the Mavs, 49.4 percent to 42.7 percent, while the Dallas team ended the game with a 52-41 rebounding advantage, a 56-48 separation in points in the paint and a 17-9 margin in second-chance points. The Mavs also converted the Kings’ 20 turnovers into 23 points, allowing 19 points off their own 13 giveaways.
“It was a good win after going 0-2 on this road trip before tonight. It was big for us,” Mayo said. “Getting the overtime win was big for us to show that we can play well in the fourth quarter. A few steppingstones there but we've still got to continue getting better.”
“I guess we were able to focus and kind of lock in into overtime and our willingness to win was just incredible,” Carter added.
The Mavericks will now return to the American Airlines Center for the start of a four-game homestand Saturday night against the Memphis Grizzlies. The Mavs hope to avenge a 92-82 road loss in Memphis back on Dec. 21. The game will air locally at 8 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by calling (214) 747-MAVS (6287) or by visiting Mavs.com.
“Every game is important,” Carlisle said while looking ahead. “We’ve been scratching and clawing, and it’s good to have some things to show for the efforts. Now we’ve got a chance to go back home, but we’ve got tough games at home, so we’re going to have to be ready.”
“It feels good to get a W, but we’ve still got a long way to go,” Marion added. “It’s a baby step in the right direction and we’ve just got to keep crawling.”