In the desert, Steve Nash was the talk before the game because of trade rumors. But the actual game came down to another guard. Roddy Beaubois (five points) missed two shots in the final seconds that could have tied the game and the Suns escaped. Roddy Buckets couldn’t find Dirk either time. The guy that denied him the ball, Grant Hill (15 points) missed free throws to almost blow the game, which may be the first time Hill hasn’t done something right in a while on the court. Asked afterward about seemingly guarding every Mav on the floor, specifically Nowitzki, Hill said it’s tough to man up Dirk. Why? “I actually like him as a person,” he said. He may like him but he locked him up all night … Fun to watch the former Sun turned Mav (Jason Kidd) get 12 points and three assists while a former Sun-turned-Mav-turned-Sun (Nash) put up 11 and 11 … Dirk wasn’t his normal self, putting up only 18 for Dallas. Sure, he did his usual in-air gymnastics leg-kick fadeaways (He was also limping around like a wino. We never want to see anybody get hurt, but the replay of Dirk’s section-by-section fall made us laugh because it was just like Kevin Hart describing how Shaq falls down), but they weren’t dropping like normal, and that’s a compliment to Hill’s defense. Dirk needs about half an inch of space to get his shot off but it was rare he even got that … The nice sign for Dallas was Lamar Odom, who scored 15 on 6-of-10 shooting. In one stretch he had a nice baseline drive, then lost his man on a screen and stepped back for a three. If he can just get confident and do that, what’s the Mavericks’ ceiling this year? … Shannon Brown had a putback dunk in the fourth quarter that looked like something out of NBA Jam. It put the Suns up by 10 and blew the roof off the building (the roof Shannon had just scraped before coming down), threatening to put the Mavs to bed. But the best part was the non-reaction by Suns assistant Bill Cartwright. He seemed almost bored by the dunk, like he’d seen that kind of thing a million times. Granted, Bill did practice and play next to Michael Jordan for years, but still … Are there any circumstances under which Chris Webber and Dick Stockton would kick it outside of work? We just picture Stockton reminiscing about Bobby Darin and C-Webb reminiscing about Bobby Digital … We’re out like Washington.
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