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No barber necessary after Mavs blown out

Dallas MavericksJerome Miron/USA TODAY SportsWith Thursday’s loss, the Mavs now have at least two wins to make up before they can lose the beards. DALLAS – The Indiana Pacers heard all the buzz about .500 beards and Omar the barber.

They made sure Omar’s clippers didn’t do any buzzing in the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room Thursday night.

“We wanted to shut that s— down,” big man Roy Hibbert said after the Pacers’ 103-78 blowout win, which guaranteed that the bearded Mavs won’t be shaving on this homestand.

During the Pacers’ morning meeting, coach Frank Vogel made a point to mention that the Mavs planned to have a barber at the American Airlines Center in preparation for a potential postgame shave for the six players who made a pact a couple of months ago to let their beards grow until Dallas’ record reached the break-even point.

That little tidbit was leaked to the media by shooting guard O.J. Mayo upon playful questioning following Tuesday night’s thrilling overtime win over the Los Angeles Clippers. He meant no harm, but it was convenient fodder for an opponent looking for a little extra juice on the second night of a back-to-back.

“I don’t think anything was meant by it as far as disrespect to how good the Pacers are,” Mavs center Elton Brand said. “We knew that wouldn’t be a cakewalk by any means. We knew that.”

Just in case there was any doubt, coach Rick Carlisle gave the Mavs a stern reminder after the morning shootaround. His message: You better be ready after all this talk about razors and barbers.

The Mavs hung in for a half, and then it got uglier than Dirk Nowitzki’s neck hair. The Pacers outscored the Mavs by a 34-17 margin in the third quarter, when All-Star wing Paul George scored 13 of his game-high 24 points, and the Pacers rolled to the rout.

As Nowitzki so eloquently put it, the Pacers kicked the Mavs’ butts in every facet of the game.

Some facets were worse than others –- the 55-34 rebounding differential definitely stands out –- but this is as thorough a beating as the Mavs have taken in a while.

To be precise, they hadn’t lost by 25-plus points since March 3 in Houston. The Mavs had won nine of 12 games since that humiliation, putting them a win away from shaving before being pounded by the Pacers, who moved up to second place in the Eastern Conference with the win.

“I think a team like that blatantly brings out our weaknesses and shows our weaknesses,” said Nowitzki, whose 21 points on 10-of-20 shooting was one of the only things that went well for the Mavs. “That’s why they won. I don’t care if they didn’t want us to shave or not, but they’re a better team.”

That left the Mavs with a 35-37 record about two months after they started growing those beards, which they’re frankly tired of talking about now.

Carlisle started a personal ban on beard questions after addressing the issue with his team Thursday morning.

Mayo didn’t have much to say on the subject after the morning shootaround, either, and he didn’t address the media after his seven-point, 3-of-10 shooting outing in the loss.

Sixth man Vince Carter believes all the beard talk has grown out of control.

“The whole motivation of it was to really get everyone on board, and it’s been wonderful,” Carter said. “It’s kind of a little too magnified. They’re making a big deal about it now, as far as everything that’s been magnified the last couple of days.

“I’m glad everybody is on board. More than anything, the idea and concept was just to keep us all together. It’s done wonders. The longer the hair on the faces has grown, I think the more together we’ve been. After that was done, we’re here. It’s not about that anymore.”

It’s about fighting for a playoff berth, and the Mavs missed out on an opportunity to make up ground on the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers, who are still a game and a half ahead of Dallas despite losing in Milwaukee.

The earliest the beards can get buzzed now is Tuesday night. If that happens, the Mavs will be in decent shape heading down the stretch.

It would require the Mavs to wrap up this six-game homestand with a win Saturday night against the Chicago Bulls, another bunch of East bullies, and then beat L.A. at the Staples Center.

“Hopefully they can get going and get rid of it,” Pacers power forward David West said, smiling. “None of them look good.”

The Mavs hadn’t looked this bad in a long time. And that had nothing to do with those beards.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4695315/no-barber-necessary-after-pacers-blow-out-mavs

Hitting 100 will be tough for Mavs vs. Pacers

Tags:

NBA, Dallas Mavericks, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Indiana Pacers

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4695270/hitting-100-will-be-tough-for-mavs-vs-pacers

Stats & Info: Mavs better with the beards

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BEARD BRAWN

Mavs before / after beard pact:

Dirk before / after beard pact:

Courtesy of Jose De Leon / ESPN Stats Information After the Dallas Mavericks‘ win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Feb. 6, several players agreed to forego shaving and grow beards until they reached the .500 mark.

The Mavs were 21-28 at the time but are now just one game (35-36) from putting their razors to use.

Dallas hosts the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night and O.J. Mayo‘s barber will be at the game ready to shave away those beards if the Mavs can walk away with a win.

The Mavs are coming off an overtime victory over the Clippers and have the seventh-highest winning percentage in the NBA since Feb. 6, better than 10 current playoff teams. Only the Miami Heat, Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and Clippers have fared better over that span.

What do you think? Will the Mavs get to shave after the Pacers game?

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4695253/stats-info-mavs-better-with-the-beards

Mavs, Lakers, Jazz battling for No. 8 seed

Tags:

NBA, Dallas Mavericks, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4695247/mavs-lakers-jazz-battling-for-no-8-seed

Rapid Reaction: Mavs 109, Clippers 102 (OT)

How it happened: Dirk Nowitzki proved he can still slam the door on a contender.

Nowitzki dominated the overtime period to carry the Mavs to a much-needed upset over the Los Angeles Clippers in a wild game that featured a Western Conference playoff-intensity feel.

Nowitzki scored eight of his season-high 33 points in the extra period. His 16-footer with 3:28 remaining gave the Mavs a lead that they never relinquished.

The Mavs had to overcome a phenomenal clutch flurry by perennial All-Star point guard Chris Paul, who scored the Clippers’ last 10 points in regulation. That offensive outburst by Paul, who matched Nowitzki with a game-high 33 points, lasted 4:13 and ended with a go-ahead floater in traffic with 5.3 seconds remaining.

But O.J. Mayo answered by driving past Paul on the baseline and hitting a crafty left-handed layup to tie it up with 0.6 ticks on the clock. The game went into overtime after Blake Griffin’s bucket off a full-court, inbound pass from Matt Barnes was wiped out due to Griffin pushing Nowitzki before catching the ball.

Paul drilled a midrange jumper on the Clippers’ first overtime possession, but that was Los Angeles’ last bucket of the game until 6.7 seconds remained. The Clippers’ lone points in the final 4:17 came on a DeAndre Jordan free throw and a Griffin jumper in the final seconds. The Clippers missed seven straight shots from the floor, none of which were attempted by Paul.

Barnes air-balled a 3-pointer that would have tied the game with 22.9 seconds remaining.

Nowitzki scored the Mavs’ first eight overtime points, going 3-of-3 from the floor and 4-of-4 from the free throw line before Darren Collison sealed the win with four free throws.

What it means: The Mavs (35-36) are a win away from shaving those .500 beards, and, more importantly, only one game behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers in the West standings. The Mavs have won nine of the past 12 games to breathe life into their playoff hopes. They’re now 2-13 against the top five teams in the West this season.

Play of the game: Nowitzki’s overtime heroics wouldn’t have been possible without Mayo’s game-tying drive in the final seconds of regulation. Mayo spun past Paul on the baseline, dribbling with his right hand, took off with his right foot, twisted his body to get a good angle and dropped in a lefty layup off the glass.

Stat of the night: With his second bucket of the night, Nowitzki moved past Patrick Ewing into 17th place on the all-time scoring list. Nowitzki has 24,845 points and counting.

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4695218/rapid-reaction-mavericks-109-clippers-102-ot

Mavs try to end misery vs. West’s best

DALLAS – There’s no nice way to put it: The Mavericks have been miserable against the West’s best.

Dallas has lost 13 of 14 games against the conference’s top five teams, including 0-11 against the top four seeds. Six of those losses came by double figures, five by 20-plus points.

That’s a trend the Mavs have an opportunity to end with the 48-22 Los Angeles Clippers in town tonight.

“It’s time,” Shawn Marion said. “We’ve been right there scratching at the door of a lot of these best teams in the Western Conference. It’s time. We’re starting to get our continuity a little better and our defensive principles down. Gotta make it happen.”

Marion makes a legitimate point. The Mavs’ two meetings with elite West teams this month could have gone either way. Vince Carter’s 3-pointer at the buzzer rimmed out at the buzzer in a 92-91 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. The score was tied with a minute remaining in a 107-101 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

But close doesn’t count for a team fighting to get into the playoffs for the 13th consecutive season. For the Mavs to beat the odds and punch their postseason ticket, they must have some success against the West’s best, considering the 12 games left on the schedule include tonight’s meeting with the Clippers, home and road games against the Denver Nuggets and a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies.

“We can be playing a college team – we need the win,” Carter said. “I think records really at this point go out the window because whether they’re the best team or the worst team, we have to win. We have to find a way.

“We have, what, 12 games? It’s a small window. The games are so important. It can’t matter what it says on the opponent’s jersey.”

The Mavs have kept playoff hopes alive by going 21-13 since being a dozen-year-low of 10 games under .500. That’s the fifth best record in the West during that span. After eight wins in 11 games, the Mavs find themselves only a game and a half behind the eighth-place Los Angeles Lakers, losers of three in a row.

Coach Rick Carlisle acknowledges the Mavs’ lack of success against the West’s best, but it doesn’t do him any good to think about what’s already happened. He’d rather discuss the two days of meticulous preparation for the Clippers, focusing on details such as ball security and boxing out against their freakishly athletic foe.

“Right now, we need to win one game,” Carlisle said, “and that’s tonight. “

Article source: http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/mavericks/post/_/id/4695212/mavs-try-to-end-misery-vs-wests-best