Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks

The good:
All hail Brent Barry!  Barry, who is currently on IR with a strained
ligament in his left thumb, took full advantage of the open court and ball
boys prior to the game.  Barry had one ball boy rebound his shots and
another feed him the ball as he shot a number of shots from specific spots
and worked his way around the perimeter.  He looked like he wants to enter
the 3-point shoot-out in addition to the slam dunk contest.  And he was
hitting them like crazy.  He hit 21 consecutive and 13 consecutive and had
a number of smaller streaks.  It was amazing.  And then he went and shot
some free throws.  And then he had a drill where he would shoot a
3-pointer from one side of the court and run to the other side and shoot a
3-pointer and run to the other side and shot a 3-pointer and ...  He put
in at least 20 minutes of intense shooting.  Wow.

The bad:
Tony Dumas was suspended for the Clipper game without pay and fined $1,000
(totaling $14,658) for skipping Wednesday's practice.  Dumas was unhappy
with his DNP-CD from Tuesday's game.  Grow-up Tony!

The ugly:
Un-fricken-believable.  Jamal Mashburn drove for the basket and took an
accidental elbow from Malik Sealy to the right cheek.  The layup was good,
but Mashburn was on the floor under the basket writhing in pain.  The
Clippers took the ball down the court and set up their normal play.  The
Mavs didn't foul anyone to get help for Mashburn as they played 4-on-5.
After about 15 seconds of play, Pooh Richardson missed a 3-pointer, Rodney
Rogers rebounded and missed the layup, Eric Montross rebounded and threw
ahead to Jason Kidd who was ahead of the defense.  He saw Mashburn laying 
there.  So did he call timeout to get help for his teammate?  NOOO, he took 
it in _over_ Mashburn for the layup, which he missed.  The Clippers 
rebounded and took it the other way for the quick layup.  With the ball out 
of bounds, the Mavs finally called timeout.  And the fans booed the team 
(and Kidd in particular) for this pathetic display.  Mashburn suffered a
fractured right cheekbone.  He will undergo a CAT scan today and will be
out anywhere from 2 weeks to over a month.

The game:
The Mavs opened the game shooting terrible.  They only made 4-16 FG as 
the Clipper took the early lead.  Dallas was down 17-11 with 3:38 left 
when Chris Gatling entered the game.  With Gatling's help and the Mavs'
shooting very hot, the Mavs cut the Clippers' lead to 25-23 after 1.  
Malik Sealy and Rodney Rogers had 6 points each and Gatling had 6 points.

A 10-footer by Jason Kidd gave the Mavs' their first lead at 26-24 with
10:41 left.  It was the Gatling show as he just dominated the quarter.
Dallas led 57-50 at the half.  After the 4-16 FG start, the Mavs closed 
the half shooting 17-21 FG.  With the Clippers shooting about 10
percentage points worse than the Mavs, it was offensive rebounds and
3-pointers for the Clippers that keep the game as close as it was - both
teams made the same number of field goals and Dallas had 9 more free
throws made.  Gatling had 22 points including 16 in the 2nd on 8-8 FG and
5 rebounds in the half.

Dallas was up 57-53 in the 3rd when they went on a 19-4 run over the next
4 1/2 minutes.  Jackson had 12 of  those points including 3 3-pointers.
Dallas led 76-57 with 6:30 left.  The Mavs managed to build up a 20 point
lead at 83-63.  The Clippers closed the quarter by scoring the final 4
points.  Dallas led 83-67 after 3.

Jackson dunked with 10:50 left to put Dallas up 85-64.  Over the next 7
minutes, the only Mavs points came off of free throws.  During this dry
spell, Lamond Murray scored 6 straight baskets to cut Dallas' lead down to
91-81 with 5:10 left.  The Clippers could get not closer than that as they
mimiced Dallas' usual game of sticking to the perimeter and Dallas
actually kept taking the ball inside and getting to the free throw line.
Derek Harper ended the Mavs' dry spell with a layup to put Dallas up 93-81
with 3:50 remaining.  Dallas won 105-94.

The loss was Bill Fitch's career 1,000th loss as an NBA coach.  Fitch has
coached more games than any other coach and is 4th on the all-time coach
wins list.  He won an NBA Championship with Boston in 80-81 and has twice
been named Coach of the Year.

The Mavs committed a season low 12 turnovers.  In showing the benefits of
keep pounding the ball inside, the Mavs shot 30-41 FT compared to the
Clippers shooting 17-20 FT.

There should have been 3 flagrant fouls called in the game.  Remember, 
flagrant does not require intent, just excessive force.  Jackson was twice 
brought down hard and Oliver Miller pushed Pooh Richardson down as he 
drove at Miller.

Jim Cleamons: "We had 12 turnovers - we can live with that.  And Gat came 
in with a lot of energy."

Cleamons: "Chris [Gatling] gives us a lot of energy, he plays with 
emotion sometimes with reckless abandon.  He is going to wear it on his 
sleeve and do the best he can.  A team that is struggling like we are 
right now is going to need that infusion of energy to get us over the 

Cleamons: "George [McCloud] was a starter prior to Mash coming off the
injury.  I imagine we'll go back to George as a starter.  That will make
us somewhat thinner at [small forward], and I'm sure Jimmy will get some
time there."

Cleamons: "Coach [Fitch] has been able to persevere.  I hope I'm around
for that long, although I don't think that I want 1,000 losses.  He's a
master at what he does."

Chris Gatling: "Without Mashburn, it was kind of an inspiration because we 
had to work harder.  I just came in there and tried to keep the guys going 
and play off of them."

Gatling: "Even though [Mashburn] was still trying to feel his way back, we
need him.  Hopefully, he can come back soon."

Gatling: "When Jamal went down, it was kind of an inspiration because we 
knew we'd have to step up and work harder.  Tonight, I got the hot hand 
and my teammates had the green light to keep going to me."

Gatling: "I've been given the chance to grow and mature into a good
player.  I didn't do anything different than I always do.  I just try to 
come in there and keep those guys going and just play off of them.  It's 
good to get a victory and get that monkey off our back."

Jim Jackson on Mashburn's injury: "That's tough.  Our blessings go out to
him.  It's tough already, coming back from an injury.  You're trying to
get yourself involved, get back into the game.  Hopefully, it's not as bad
as they're saying and he can come back soon."

Jackson on the unselfish play: "That's the way we want to play.  When you
do that, it also makes it more fun."

Bill Fitch: "At least don't have to hear about that and answer questions 
about [the 1,000th loss] anymore.  I consider it a sign of longevity more 
than anything else.  I've taken a lot of teams at the bottom and built 
them.  That's why the record is the way it is."

Fitch: "That's a lot of losses and I didn't enjoy any of them.  They say 
you're lucky to be around the game that long."

Fitch: "We have no excuses, we just didn't do the things we need to do.
Defensively that's as sporadic as we've been and when you come to Texas 
you've got to be able to play every night."

Fitch: "I was looking at halftime in the locker room for a picture of
[Gatling] so I could introduce him to any of our players.  I can see how 
they missed him in Milwaukee.  With Gatling out it would make a great 
difference on this team, that was a great pick up."

Fitch: "The Gatling gun.  He really came in.  I was looking for a picture 
of him in the locker room, so I could introduce him to our players."
LAC-Dal boxscore

Patricia Bender
Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself.