Kidd's season-high 21 points burn Lakers
When his top players are healthy, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle has the luxury of bringing off the bench Jason Terry and Shawn Marion, a pair of long-time starters capable of scoring 20 points any night.
Dallas, however, have not been anywhere near healthy the last few weeks. So Carlisle has been starting one, the other or both. And the Mavs were losing - badly.
Terry and Marion returned to their roles as super subs on Wednesday night, each scoring 22 points to lift Dallas past the Los Angeles Lakers 109-100, ending an ugly six-game losing streak.
Jason Kidd snapped out of an awful stretch of his own, scoring a season-high 21 points to help the Mavericks end their worst losing streak in a decade.
"We know what we are capable of doing night in and night out, but we have to bring it," Terry said.
Dallas were riding high at 24-5 a few weeks ago. Then Dirk Nowitzki hurt a knee, Caron Butler was lost for the season and everything cratered. The Mavs went in a 2-9 hole that dropped them from the second-best record in the Western Conference to sixth-best if they'd lost this game.
Ripe for another defeat
They were ripe for another defeat Wednesday, down by 11 in the first half and still trailing by eight midway through the third quarter. Then, everything changed.
The defence got stop after stop, and they could do no wrong on offence. Kidd scored 13 points in the third quarter alone (his most points in any game this season had been 16) and Dallas had roared back so much it went into the final period leading by nine.
Kobe Bryant tried getting the Lakers going all by himself, but couldn't do it. Terry and Marion kept the Mavericks up by at least seven points the entire fourth quarter, sending Los Angeles to just their second loss in 10 games.
"We were making mistakes all night on defence, because offensively things were going well for us," Bryant said. "It was one of those games that was fool's gold. We were playing well offensively and got a lead, but we were making mistakes defensively."
Pau Gasol scored 23 points, but took only four shots in the second half. Bryant had 21 points and 10 assists, and Lamar Odom had 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Results of Wednesday's games:
Phoenix 106 Cleveland 98; New Jersey 103 Utah 95; Orlando 99 Philadelphia 98, OT; Boston 86 Detroit 82; Milwaukee 100 Washington 87; New Orleans 103 Memphis 102, OT; Houston 104 New York 89; San Antonio 104 Toronto 95; Denver 112 Oklahoma City 107; Dallas 109 LA Lakers 100; Portland 94 Sacramento 90, OT; Golden State 110 Indiana 108; LA Clippers 126, Minnesota 111.