The key to the Mavericks’ success is pretty simple: Get to 100 points.
Because what happened last night at American Airlines Center – and what almost happened – is too nerve-racking to bear. Fresh off one of their most impressive wins of the season, Dallas almost produced one of its worst losses, all because it had trouble scoring.
Against a dreadful Celtics team playing without Rajon Rondo and with Jeff Green missing 10 of his 12 shots a night after scoring 39 in New Orleans, the Mavs were forced to scratch and claw and survive a 94-89 game. With a month left in the season, this much is clear for the Mavs: The higher the score, the better their chances.
It was only their sixth win of the season – against 10 losses – when being held under 100 points. Scoring in the 90s and winning hadn’t happened since Feb. 12, and it’s occurred only twice three times since the calendar flipped to 2014. By contrast, the Mavs are 35-17 when they score 100+ points and 14-5 when get to 110 points.
The Mavs can score with anybody. But when they get in a grind-it-out game, they can be beat by anybody.
The Celtics produced a 13-0 run, dominated the rebounds by 21 and almost pulled off a St. Patrick’s Day upset. The Mavs are a season-high 14 games over .500 and continue their franchise-record eight-game homestand Wednesday against the Timberwolves.
But as last night reinforced, now is not the time to take the foot off the gas. The faster for the Mavs, the better.
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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 wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.