What a difference a win makes. After the Dallas Mavericks fell behind 3-0, and without point guard Rajon Rondo, the Mavericks finally gelled last night with a 121-109 win over the visiting Rockets to stave off elimination in the best-of-seven opening-round series.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, who has already been fined after some Game 3 comments, was in a lighthearted mood after his team’s big Game 4 win, and he interjected post-game presser with a little prearranged skit involving some tape over his mouth.
After Carlisle’s team lost Game 3 — all but assuring them of a first-round loss — he took umbrage with the officiating, saying after the game, by way of Jonathan Feigen at the Houston Chronicle:
“My hope is that in Game 4 – the one play that’s kind of an image stuck in my mind, and I just looked at it six times on the film, is the first play of the fourth quarter,” Carlisle said. “We’re scrambling like hell defensively, and Devin Harris is going to get the ball, and Dwight Howard throws him into our bench. He takes the ball, skips it over the top and Ariza gets a wide-open three.
“So, instead of us getting the ball, and a foul on Howard, it turns into essentially a 5-6 point swing. That stuff’s got to stop. The officials [have] got to get that stuff under control, because there’s too much physical stuff going on. Howard is throwing people all over the place. And that can’t happen in Game 4.”
“There’s just a lot of physical stuff going on out there that just doesn’t look kosher to me,” Carlisle said. “They’re a more physical team, but this series has got to be played within the rules.”
Those comments cost him $25,000. So of course he was a little reluctant to talk to reporters about the “physicality” of Game 4 and the series at large.
Through four games, the Rockets have attempted 148 free throws, in comparison to only 101 for the Mavericks. Of course, it helps that Dallas no longer has Rondo in the backcourt, someone who has shied away from contact near the rim this year because he’s only connected on 45 percent of his attempts from the stripe.
Dallas is back in Houston for Game 5 tomorrow at 7PM ET on TNT.
(video via watchnba201415)