Jason and the Mavs bounced back from a tough road trip to beat the Detroit Pistons for their eighth home victory in a row.
|J-Kidd for two (Getty Images).|
With the 103-101 victory, the Mavs swept the season series from the Pistons for the first time since the 2002-2003 season.
The home crowd got the Mavs going early, as they shot out of the starting gate to blitz the Pistons in the first half. Shooting 62% and scoring 54 points on just 32 field-goal attempts, it looked like the J.Kidd-led offense was going to run the Pistons right out of American Airlines Center.
Unfortunately, a recent bugaboo of the team, namely rebounding, came back to haunt them later in the game.
The Pistons grabbed 10 more boards than the Mavs and were able to score 27 second-chance points off of 17 boards. Luckily for the Mavs, even after the Pistons had cut the lead to 5 points, they still had the sure-handed J.Kidd to inbound the ball at the end of the game.
Mavs Moneyball talked about how important it is to have Jason as the inbound passer for the Mavs at the end of games and how he has helped lead the Mavs to a positive record in close games.
“If you are appreciative of the little things being done right. … and if you have a memory of something the Mavs in recent years have done terribly wrong. … you’ve got to love Jason Kidd as the inbounds passer. Against the opponents’ scrambling pressure, he’s Johnny Unitas back there.”
“Quickie observation about the Mavs in close games and about how numbers can be deceptive: Dallas improved to 15-3 in games decided by five points or less. Now, that’s impressive, and it says something positive about how J-Kidd runs the team down the stretch, about how Dirk is clutch, about how Dallas makes it free throws, and all that.”
So though Jason’s stat sheet of two points, three boards, six assists, and a steal wasn’t great at first glance, he still played an important role in the Mavs victory. With the game on the line, J-Kidd got the ball into the hands of solid free throw shooters who went 5-6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to clinch the win for the Mavs.
The Mavs hit the road again Thursday night to face the Atlanta Hawks at 6 pm CST.
Heading into the Pistons game with only 15 games left in the season, the Mavs set a goal of winning 12 of those 15 games to finish with a record of 52-30. The Pistons victory was a start, but the Hawks are another game they have circled as a necessary win if they are to accomplish their goal of moving up from the 8th seed.
Pistons 101, Mavericks 103 (ESPN.com, Mar. 17th, 2009)
Green Donuts: Mavericks 103, Pistons 101 (Mavs Moneyball, Mar. 18th, 2009)
Dallas Mavericks outlast Pistons’ spare parts (Star-Telegram, Mar. 18th, 2009)
Mavs must solve rebounding riddle (Mavs Blog, Mar. 17th, 2009)