By Crystal Carroll
Game time rolled around in Detroit and the Mavs were thrown a wrench to their plans as Erick Dampier instead of taking the court for shoot around took a trip to a local hospital after reportedly feeling ill. Dampier, who had been a force throughout the first 9 games of the season would be missed to say the least, but it and the loss of Josh Howard again from the roster allowed Mavs fans to see a different side of the Dallas game. Rodrigue Beaubois and Drew Gooden took to the hardwood to shake things up against the Pistons and delivered a combined 25 for the night.
Roddy Beaubois paved the way, much like in his other two starts this season as he led Dallas at the conclusion of 1 with 8 points. He would continue to turn up the volume on play throughout capping off a season-high 14 in just under 20 minutes. The Mavs moved to an early advantage over the Pistons however 4 points wasn't enough to secure the half as Detroit cou9ntered wiht a 28 point second half led by Rodney Stuckey who concluded the first half with 17 points. His momentum would continue throughout the night as he shot 12 for 20 from the field and had 28 points by the final buzzer.
Still all the points by Stuckey seemed to be no match for the Mavs as they stepped it up returning to the court in the third and began to counter the attack posed by Detroit. With just under 8 and a half minutes in the third Shawn Marion put his tag on his 6th and 7th points of the game with a layup to tie it up and even the playing field at 49. The lead would change 7 more times in the third alone with Dallas ultimately coming out on top 71-66.
Sending the action into the fourth the Mavs had only one goal, to finish strong. Did it matter that they had shot poorly in the first half? No. Did it matter that they did not have their typical personnel on the court. No. All that really mattered was how they would stand strong in the fourth to prove they did not have to be a yo-yo team up one game and down the next when poor shooting was in place.
Dallas expanded their lead early to 8, then started to go cold as though the lid had been placed back on their bucket much like in the opening. For 4 minutes Detroit chipped away the lead and brought the game back to a standstill tie. Then Dallas finally found something on the heels of Dirk Nowitzki as he took a strong drive to the bucket and turned it into an and one shooting opportunity. From that moment on he added 9 of his overall team-high 25. Along with Jason Terry and Drew Gooden, Terry with 6 of his overall 9 and Gooden with 2 of his 11, the Mavs pulled away the 95-90 win.
Down the stretch Detroit turned their heads to Ben Gordon, typically a 19 plus point powerhouse, however the potential game tying score resting in his hands, he fell flat much like much of the game against Dallas as he was 1 for 16 on the game and had only 5 points in large part due to pressure placed by the Mavs which forced 13 turnovers and allowed 8 steals despite being out rebounded by the Pistons 38 to 44.
Jason Terry had an off night from the bench as bench play only contributed 24 points to the Mavs tonight with Terry, typically in double digits shooting 1 for 7 from the field and 1 for 4 from beyond the arc. The Pistons recorded 33 bench points with Bynum paving the way with 27 in 29 minutes.