Dirk Nowitzki knocked in a 20-foot jumper with 1:56 to go to
make it 94-85 and give the Mavericks enough breathing room down the stretch.
They still had to dodge a Joe Johnson 3-pointer in the waning seconds that
could have tied the game.
Quality play from several Mavericks who needed a good outing
were the key to their win. J.J. Barea had an assortment of winning plays at
both ends. Shawn Marion came up strong. Brendan Haywood was active. And Caron
Butler had efficient minutes on the court.
The Mavericks had an 18-point lead – twice. First it
was 53-35 late in the first half, then 71-53 midway through the third quarter.
When the Hawks opened the fourth quarter with eight quick points, it was down
to a 79-76 Mavs’ lead.
Al Horford is a beast. He had 20 points and 20 rebounds, the
third player in two nights to grab at least 17 rebounds against the Mavericks.
You think the Mavericks got the message about their crummy
rebounding on Friday night in Dallas? It was well into the second quarter
before the Hawks got any second-chance points.
The Mavericks were up 55-43 at halftime and it should have
been more. They were up by 18 with under two minutes left in the second
quarter, but gave up two offensive rebounds on the same possession and three
overall in the final moments that led to a couple of 3-pointers by Mike Bibby.
The Mavericks’ bench outscored the Hawks’
reserves 21-2 in the first half.