“It’s the first one to four,
It doesn’t matter how you get to four,
Just get there before the other team,
And you win the Series” - Dallas Stars Playoff Postgame Show Theme
This series is on. After winning Game 3 in Houston last night, the Mavericks proved they would not go quietly into the night. And now, we shall see if this gut-check was a mirage, or whether they can come back from the supposed dead.
Dirk showed up for 28. He was joined by Finley who finally joined the series with 20 points of his own including a crucial 3 when the Mavs were down in the fourth quarter. Devin Harris and Marquis Daniels provided a little bit of energy. Jerry Stackhouse remains a cold-blooded killer when he has the ball.
But maybe the crucial coaching change of the night was when the Mavs were down 88-80 and getting killed in the paint by Yao Ming and his crew. Erick Dampier was inserted during a timeout, and the Mavs promptly went on a huge 20-0 run. Dampier paid his dividends by keying a number of stops with a presence in the middle.
So, now, what happens next? I cannot wait to find out. Game 4 is going to be very, very difficult to win, but at least now the result is relevant. We shall see.
By the way, I think Yao is phenomenal. He will no doubt win a ring in this league before long. But if I am a Rockets fan, I cannot tell you how annoyed I am that my 7’6 giant insists on trying to take charges against small players like Devin Harris and Josh Howard. He was too deep, and would get called for cheap fouls. If you are that big, just go up straight and change their shot.
Rockets allow control of series to slip …
Now they lead 2-1 with Game 4 at Toyota Center on Saturday afternoon. No matter what happens then, the series took on a different feel in those shaky final minutes of Game 3.
The Rockets finally looked vulnerable. Even in Game 2 when they momentarily came undone in the third quarter, they kept their composure and stayed close. They reverted to some bad habits Thursday. They were a step slow defensively. They allowed too many shots around the basket.
At crunch time, the Mavericks were almost perfect. Michael Finley and Jason Terry threw in 3-pointers. Nowitzki scored inside and outside.
If the Mavericks wondered if Nowitzki would show up in the series, they got their answer. He scored 28 in Game 3.
The Rockets got 28 from McGrady, but he missed 13 of his 23 shots. Bob Sura almost single-handedly kept the Rockets in the game in the first half and had a brilliant performance with 21 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.
In the end, though, the Rockets didn't have nearly enough.
Sefko on the scene …
I am very excited to be going to a baseball game tonight. I am lucky enough to be going to Astros-Cubs, which would be fun under any circumstance, even more so with history being made tonight. Clemens vs. Maddux in battle of 300 game winners …First time for a National League game in the modern era…
Did Mark give Houston the finger? …After further review, it appears it is his ring finger…
It is good to be Notre Dame …
NPR on the lost Beatles cuts …
Jon Barry annoys me. Over celebrating spares generally do.
He may have 7 Cy Young awards, but never wear a collared shirt with a T-Mac jersey.