Just about every Dallas Mavericks fan must have been thinking ‘here we go again’ after the Mavericks blew a 30-point lead tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers. That’s been the story all season — the Mavericks fire on all cylinders, build up a big lead and then self-destruct at the end of games. That seemed to be the way the narrative played out tonight until Devin Harris — obviously fed up with the Mavericks’ choking ways — decided to take matters into his own hands in the Mavericks’ 103-98 victory.
Mariah Carey had a hit song back in the early ’90s called ‘Hero.’ The lyrics of that song went something like, “And then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on,” and Harris did just that, hitting a monster three-pointer and an uber-clutch layup late in the 4th quarter. Harris must have watched as NBA assassin Tony Parker did much the same thing against the Mavericks the other night, and decided to be like Parker.
In all, Harris finished with 12 points, 10 of which came in the 4th quarter. Harris put the Mavericks on his back when they needed him most and the electricity in the crowd made for not only the signature moment of Harris’ return to the Mavericks this season, but also for the Mavericks’ team as a whole. Rather than having nightmares about their inability to contain a seemingly possessed LaMarcus Aldridge, the Mavericks somehow found a way at the end to get it done, perhaps inspired by Harris.
If the Mavericks finish the regular season on a high note, getting, say, the fifth or sixth seed in the Western Conference, they will look back at this game as the one that turned their entire season around.