Mavericks mired in three-game playoff slump

Dirk Nowitzki rediscovered his youth and put up 34 points in a losing effort against the Rockets in Game 3. Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch
Dirk Nowitzki rediscovered his youth and put up 34 points in a losing effort against the Rockets.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Kolch

By Alex Al-Kazzaz

The Dallas Mavericks were looking to find a way to stay alive in the playoffs. They were looking to find a way to play quality defense, keep their shooting accuracy high, and have their first playoff win in the I-45 playoff series.

But at the end, the Mavs had a chance, and blew it, losing 130-128. Now they’re down three games, and are at serious┬árisk of being swept.

The Mavs had lost both Chandler Parsons and Rajon Rondo for the remainder of the playoffs. Devin Harris made his return to the line-up after missing the last game with a toe injury.

Just like the first two games, the first quarter did not start in the right direction for Dallas as they were not playing good defense, not making their baskets and committing costly fouls. But Dallas managed to stay in the game, and were down 42-36 at the end of the first.

The second quarter started out better for Dallas, and it certainly improved when they took the lead. With about five minutes remaining in the first half, the Mavs took their biggest lead in the series, and Dallas was beginning to capitalize. At the end of the first half, Dallas had the lead 72-65.

However, that lead didn’t last long as Dallas allowed Houston to come back and take the lead once again within the first five minutes of the second half. Dallas was beginning to fall behind again. But Dallas didn’t allow Houston to get too far ahead. At the end of the third Houston was up 101-99 and Dallas was still in the game.

Unfortunately, the fourth quarter didn’t go the way the Mavs had hoped for. Dallas had a chance to either tie it or win it by one point, but Monta Ellis could not make the most important shot of the game for Dallas as time expired.

Despite not winning, Dallas played very well. This game was much different than the first two as Dallas didn’t get too far behind when they were trailing. Dallas had put a lot more effort into this game.

Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis both finished with 34 points each.

Game 4 will be on Sunday at the American Airlines Center, tipoff at 8:00 pm CT. Dallas will be in a win or go home situation.