The Mavs struggled to put away the Wizards for most of the night, but a dagger three from Jason Kidd with 49 seconds left in the game sealed the victory.
Tyson Chandler had another monster game, posting 18 points and 18 boards. It’s still hard for me to fathom what this team would be like without him. In half a season, he’s established himself as the best Mavericks center ever. Seriously, of all time.
Dirk dropped 24, JET and Marion both added 14 and Kidd narrowly missed a triple double with 11 points, 11 assists and 9 rebounds.
Another great thing about this game? J.J. Barea only played 14 minutes.
Brian Cardinal started in place of the recently departed Sasha Pavlovic (who, by the way, I’m very disappointed that Cuban did not sign for the rest of the season), and played decently, with 9 points and 4 boards and tons of hustle in 31 minutes.
Now the toughest stretch of the schedule is on the horizon. From now until April 3rd, the Mavericks will play 30 games. 20 will be on the road. They start by going to New York and Boston this week, followed by going to Denver, Houston, New Orleans, Utah and Los Angeles. Not to mention they’ll go to Sacramento, Minnesota, Philly, Charlotte, Golden State (twice), Phoenix (twice) and Portland (twice).
This is going to be a test for the Mavs. Up until now, they’ve been able to survive the loss of Caron Butler, they made it through not having Dirk for 9 games. But they need to stay healthy and on point to make it through these next few months alive. No matter the opponent, being on the road for an extended period of time takes it’s toll on players.
Hotels, airports, cabs all start to blend together. hopefully Dallas will be able to battle through it, and come out on top.
From now on every game counts in the race for home court advantage in the playoffs.