Monday March 12, 2012
Nothing marvellous about Mavericks as they fall to Golden State
OAKLAND: The Dallas Mavericks bore little resemblance to the team that lifted the NBA title last season as they fell to Golden State 111-87 on Saturday – their third dispiriting defeat in as many days.
The Mavericks, facing a set of three games in three nights in the jam-packed schedule of the lockout-shortened season, couldn’t come up with a single win despite facing three opponents with sub-500 records.
On Thursday the Mavericks surrendered a double-digit lead late in the third quarter in a 96-94 loss at Phoenix.
On Friday it was Sacramento’s turn to beat up on the champs, 110-97.
Golden State, led by the 21 first-half points of David Lee, seized their moment on Saturday and led by as many as 19 before the interval.
Lee finished with a game-high 25 points, while Nate Robinson scored 21 and Monta Ellis added 20.
In the second half, Dallas turned to NBA Finals Most Valauble Player Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, but the Mavericks couldn’t narrow the gap to less than seven points.
Terry said the tribulations were taking a toll on the Mavericks.
In Miami, Dwyane Wade scored 28 points, including the game-winning basket with .01 of a second remaining in over-time, to lift the Miami Heat over Indiana 93-91 on Saturday.
LeBron James, who sank a 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining in regulation that pushed the game into the extra period, scored 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
The Heat, whose home win streak of 12 games is the longest since 2007, improved to 31-9 while the Pacers, led by 19 points from Danny Granger and 15 by David West, fell to 23-15.
Layups by West and Granger gave Indiana an 89-85 lead 1:34 into over-time. Wade hit 1-of-2 free throws to pull the Heat within three points but a Granger hook shot put the Pacers ahead 91-86 with 2:03 remaining.
James answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and Chris Bosh followed with a jumper to equalize, setting the stage for Wade’s dramatic game winner.
Wade dribbled just inside the 3-point arc and made an off-balance shot over a defender that went into the cylinder just before the final buzzer, touching off a chest-bump celebration between James and Wade.
When Granger’s inbounds pass toward the Miami hoop was batted away by James, the victory was complete.
Darren Collison sank a 20-foot jumper to give Indiana an 81-77 lead with 1:31 to play in the fourth quarter but James answered with a dunk and a three-point play to put the Heat ahead 82-81 with 46 seconds remaining in regulation.
Indiana surged ahead again as West made two free throws and Granger added two more after stealing the ball from Wade and being fouled by Udonis Haslem, giving the Pacers an 85-82 edge with 21 seconds remaining in the fourth period.
James responded with his 3-pointer from the right corner to force over-time.
Wade netted 22 points in the first half, which ended with Indiana leading 43-39, but went scoreless in the third period, when James scored seven points and the Heat pulled within 61-60 entering the fourth quarter. — AFP