The Dallas Mavericks seem to have found a niche with using Devin Harris down the stretch in the fourth quarter of games. Harris, who led the Mavericks to a wild win over the Portland Trail Blazers the other night, again saved his magic for the final minutes of the 105-94 victory tonight over the Indiana Pacers.
In the win over the Trail Blazers, Harris scored 10 of his 12 points in the fourth quarter, and tonight it was like deja vu as Harris scored eight of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as well. It wasn’t just the points scored, though. It was the way Harris did it and the way it totally electrified the Dallas crowd. When he made a driving layup for an and-1 with less than five minutes remaining, the crowd went bonkers.
When Harris hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute to go to ice the game, the crowd then went totally bananas.
The Pacers must have gotten too used to winning. They must have gotten too comfortable with that NBA-best record and started overlooking teams like the Mavericks. The Pacers came into the game against Dallas with a season-high three-game losing streak, not to mention wanting to avenge a loss earlier in the season to Dallas.
Much like the previous game against the Trail Blazers where LaMarcus Aldridge got back to full strength and went off, Paul George was dynamite, scoring 27 points and grabbing down 11 rebounds. No one recognized George’s back injury, but it wasn’t enough to beat the inspired Mavericks. The Pacers, now having lost four games in a row, are humbled.
For a team that has gone back and forth all season, the Mavericks seem to have found a formula in the backcourt tandem of Monta Ellis (who also scored 20 points) and Harris down the stretch. The rest of the season should be fun.