Dirk Nowitzki sprained his ankle in the game’s first minute and was held to a season-low nine points on 3-of-14 shooting.
The Mavs shot 38 percent and produced their season-low in points scored.
The game was on the road, against the team with the fourth-best record in the Eastern Conference.
Add it all up, and somehow the Mavs rang in 2014 with a road win. Another road win.
“It was an ugly game,” Nowitzki told reporters after the game. “I think we set the NBA back a couple years today.”
Said a sarcastic coach Rick Carlisle, “What a beautiful game.”
The route might have been hideous. But the result is as attractive as Kate Upton in a string bikini.
After the 87-78 victory, the Mavs are six games over .500 for the first time this season at 19-13. Furthermore, the victory capped a rare 3-0 road trip and pushed their road winning streak to four, something they haven’t achieved since March 2011. And we all remember what happened a couple months after that streak, right?
I’ve been rough on Vince Carter this season but he was the catalyst for this win, hitting a big 3-pointer and scoring seven points down the stretch as the Mavs survived an awful display of basketball on New Year’s Night.
As Dirk has rolled his ankle 10 times – “200 times” by his skewed estimation – he’ll be fine. And so should the Mavs. They bring their road momentum home for a three-game homestand against the Clippers, Knicks and Lakers.
Anything less than a 21-14 record a week from today will be unacceptable.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his fiancee, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.