Kyrie Irving

Before the game
Let Arse guide you through this game. Gently. Live Chat starts at 7PM EST. Read the Opening Tip for some entertainment till then.

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Live Blog

96-86 Final – Mavs win: That’s all she wrote! Raptor slump to another defeat, same old story: Start off hot, give most of the lead back by the end of the 2nd quarter, give all of it back and then some by the 3rd and then show your toothless offense in the fourth. -10 on the glass but that’s not a big story even though it was a shame to watch Barea get that rebound around two Raptors. Dirk Nowitzki struggled and his club kept him in the game in the first half, same for Bosh, the reserves did the job in the first. In the second half Dirk stepped up and Bosh didn’t. Neither did Jose or anyone else for that matter. Roll Call will follow later but I got JO driving the bus and Bosh under it. Box.

94-81 Mavs 1:25 I can honestly say Barea has had a bigger impact on this game than Calderon. That was a nice drive ‘n kick to find Terry on the wing. Why can’t Jose do that? Nowitzki wants the ball and hits two more jumpers, on fire! What a player! Bosh misses two FTs but then has back-to-back scores, one on a jumper and one on a drive, Dallas doesn’t seem to care anymore, they know they got this one already.

87-77 Mavs 4:22 4Q: Nowitzki is heating up (6 of his last 8), two more face-up jumpers against Bargnani, he’s killing our bigs in the second half. Jason Terry uses the screen well to get himself open for a jumper and knocks it down, we need to force him to drive, I think he’s proven he can hit an 18-footer. Calderon then needlessly helps somebody who doesn’t need help leaving JKidd open for a left-wing three. Bad defense, Calderon’s been terrible tonight, he’s created nothing for nobody. Triano calls timeout.

79-74 Mavs 6:20 4Q: Jermaine O’Neal’s going hard in the post and finishes a nice 3-pt play, he’s the best Raptor of the night so far. Roko goes under the switch and Barea knocks down a three, after Parker’s turnover, Barea finds Terry for a trailing three. Roko is left open and dared to shoot a three – he misses and gets benched. Bass scores on Bosh and Bosh counters with another missed jumper. Bargani knocks one down, meh.

69-67 Mavs 10:30 4Q: Brandon Bass bites on AP’s baseline fake, good job by AP getting the Raps some easy points. Josh Howard misses a perimeter J (contested) and Bosh misses another jumper but sorta makes up for it by contesting Dirk’s layup attempt on the other end and finally makes what looks like a hook for 2 points. Raps playing better defense, four straight stops. Dallas timeout.

69-63 Mavs End 3Q: Things go from bad to worse as Dirk Nowitzki’s heating up against Bosh. Nothing complicated, simple face-ups followed by jumpers in your face. He scores 7 in this stretch on three patented jumpers. Parker re-posts JO three times as the double comes each time and Parker ends up getting a clean look for a jumper. We end the quarter on a nice Moon cut and Calderon delivers the pinpoint pass. We’re shooting 26% since the end of the 1st quarter. Up-hill battle here.

62-59 Mavs 2:56 3Q: The timeout didn’t fix anything. Bosh was back but missed a wide open dunk and then turned the ball over on a 3-second call. He’s 2-13 FG. Calderon’s one-on-one jumper is the only positive to report here. We also leave JKidd open for a three in the corner, Calderon’s got to stick to him. Dallas running pick ‘n rolls on the perimeter which are getting them clean looks and they’re starting to knock them down, Terry heating up again.

58-55 Mavs 6:07 3Q: The offense is in a big time funk, Jason Kapono’s missing jumpers, Chris Bosh misses on a drive, misses on a fadeaway jumper and then tries to drive but turns the ball over. Jay Triano sits him down and has a long chat on the bench with him. O’Neal’s our best player on the court right now, picking up a couple charges and gettings two FGs inside. On the other end Bargnani picked up his fourth foul by trying to seal the baseline on Dirk. Once that happened Dirk then faced him up for two more. Josh Howard and Jason Kidd hit because of plain bad defense that lost track of them. Kidd’s three was somewhat tolerable because it came out of nowhere, but there’s no reason to double Erick Dampier for any reason whatsoever, he kicked it out to Howard for his three. The Raptors offense in is such a funk that Jose’s resorted to one-on-one contested threes for airballs. Here we go again….BTW, where the hell is Joey?

Halftime Entertainment

49-45 Raps Halftime: Triano takes a 20 second timeout and comes back with a nice play to get JK a good look but he misses. Bargnani with the over the back foul gets Dirk two more FTs. This is Bargnani’s third foul, he’s a total non-factor again, 0-4 FG but he does have 3 rebounds so there’s still hope he can turn out to be the next Larry Bird. Sad part is that we’ve controlled this game but only have a five point lead to show for it, the bench and role players did their part, its time for Bosh to do his, he’s 2-8. We needed him to carry us through this late second quarter stretch and he decides to take threes. Dirk hasn’t even gotten started yet, only 3-9.

49-42 Raps 0:45 2Q: You know what aggravates me? Telemarketers. You know what else? Chris Bosh taking threes. Bargnani misses a wiiiddeee open jumper, Dirk comes back to get two FTs and Terry knocks down a three after we help the paint off of him, dumb move.

49-36 Raps 2:06 2Q: Barea was guarding O’Neal and Jose couldn’t make the entry-pass. That is a little embarrassing, we had to settle for Jose jacking it and O’Neal getting the rebound, loose ball foul for two FTs. O’Neal looks great on one possession (backing Bass down for 2) and absolutely horrible on the next (fadeaway airball), he’s probably somewhere in between. This Brandon Bass fellas is pretty good, can knock the J down nicely, he’s a matchup nigtmare for us. He’s scoring against our guards and bigs. JMoon knocks down a three on a broken play and then Jose finds him on the perimeter with the defense sagging. Another three, I can live with this. Everything for Dallas is on the perimeter, they were missing all of them until Jason Terry knocked one down. Dallas is 2-10 3FG and only a +1 on the glass. They’re shooting 42% and the Raptors have sort of cooled down 54%, can we sustain this? We’ve gotten 19 points off the bench.

39-29 Raps 8:11 2Q: Roko Ukic makes his third FG of the half, another running jumper. AP then slices in against Terry for two. Moon and Bargnani lose Jason Terry at the wing and he knocks down a jumper, a little confusion there. Juan Barea’s drive is rejected by Moon which starts the break and O’Neal finishes with a dunk. Not the great break, but hey, it’s easy points. Barea’s down with an injury, get up you wimp!

33-27 Raps 10:19 2Q: Jason Terry’s going straight at Anthony Parker off the dribble, gets a couple hoops. The Raptors respond by posting up Parker against Terry who finds Hump for an open baseline jumper but he misses. Brandon Bass also needs to be dealt with, he’s getting his shot off against Graham or Kapono. Jay Triano doesn’t like what he sees here and calls timeout after the Mavs’ 6-0 run.

33-21 Raps End 1Q: Bargnani comes in the game and gets faced-up and scored on by Dirk. Parker makes amends by hitting a 17-footer, it seems like the first one in ages. Dallas looking to exploit our wings and post-up Bass against Parker and get the score. No worries though, Roko scores one off the drive and then comes back again to get the three-point play on a runner. Raps up 12 at the end of the first, it don’t mean a thing. We’re taking a lot of jumpers and are shooting 67%, that’s going to even out over the game. Raps getting some production from the bench: Ukic and Graham with a power punch.

26-17 Raps 2:24 1Q: AP is really old, Josh Howard beats him on a cut for a layup, safe to say this play won’t be part of AP’s highlight pack. Bosh makes a jumper but then tries to do it again but its an airball, one which sparks the Dallas break and Nowitzki finishes.

22-11 Raps 4:31 1Q: Dallas calls another timeout after Dallas defends the pick ‘n roll by going under on Jose who drains the shot. Then JO contests a Howard miss and Joey G faces up and drains one on Dirk. We make a living by blowing leads so let’s not get too excited. All jumpers so far for the Raps.

14-9 Raps 6:50 1Q: Dallas comes out trying to exploit the Howard v Kapono/Mono matchup and gets 9 (4-7) points out of it. Moon gets the hook in favor of Joey, maybe try a different look to slow him down. Calderon and JO are 2-2 and 3-3, respectively. JO’s jumper is looking pretty good, he’s got a little energy on offense today, more like the JO of old and less like the Ben Wallace of today. All jumpers though, Joey G gets a jam on the break after we force a turnover which propts Dallas to call timeout. Raps 9-12 FG to start the game.