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News » Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2009-04-12

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2009-04-12

Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2009-04-12
For the first time in 45 days, the Mavericks do not hold down eighth place in the Western Conference. They now look like a lock to finish sixth or seventh.

The surging Mavs have won three impressive games against the Suns, Jazz and Hornets since the stinker in Memphis, and suddenly Dallas is opening strong, hustling, driving and defending all at once.

With three games left, starting Sunday at New Orleans, the Mavs are in a groove that they hadn't experienced until now. Bodies are moving on offense, hands are active on defense and everyone's active on the boards.

One statistic, in particular, jumps out from Friday's win over Chris Paul and the Hornets. The Mavs shot just 5 of 23 from the field in the second quarter, but smart decisions to go to the rim, often resulting in free throws, helped to maintain their double-digit lead.

Leading that charge was forward Josh Howard, who's apparently realized his importance to team success and has decided to play through whatever pain he experiences in that troublesome left ankle.

He notched only his second double-double since November in Friday's standings-shaking win over the Hornets.

Howard played exceedingly well at both ends while infusing emotion into a team that's seemed too low too often on the intensity meter.

After Sunday's final road trip to New Orleans, the Mavs play Minnesota and Houston at home. The Mavs have a chance to go into the playoffs hot for the first time in a couple of years.

MAVERICKS 100, HORNETS 92: Brandon Bass nearly posted a double-double in the first half and was instrumental in Dallas building a 21-point lead. Each time Chris Paul (42 points, nine rebounds, seven assists) rallied his offensively challenged team, the Mavs got a defensive stop and scored. Josh Howard scored 15 of his 25 points in the first quarter to stake the Mavs to a 30-17 lead. Dirk Nowitzki also had 25 points. Jason Terry added 18.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 12, 2009


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