The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

27 March 2007

21st verse, same as the first

Well, this makes two towns in which the Dallas Mavericks have never lost a regular-season game: New Orleans and Oklahoma City. The Hornets haven't beaten the Mavs, in fact, since the fall of 1999, when Chris Paul was still in ninth grade.

Facing a trip to San Antonio tonight to take on the Spurs tomorrow, Byron Scott pulled the starters early. It didn't matter: the Bees had a lead halfway through the second quarter, yet the Mavs were up 12 at the half (56-44) and up 25 after three (84-59). Much of the sellout crowd (the tenth at the Ford Center this year) bailed out early, missing an opportunity to see the Hornets' bench outplay the Mavericks' bench, but the score was largely irrelevant. (For the sake of completeness: Mavs 105, Bees 89.)

I meant that about the bench. The Hornets' leading scorer was backup guard Jannero Pargo, who got 23 points in 36 minutes, including four of five 3-balls. The bench in aggregate — everyone but Linton Johnson got minutes — scored 46, versus 43 for the starters, led by Tyson Chandler with 13. And, hey, how often do we get to see Brandon Bass? (He scored 5 in a smidgen over five minutes.)

The Bees did a decent job of tying up Dirk Nowitzki, who was held to 15, but in so doing, they left Josh Howard (25 points, 10 boards) and Jason Terry (19 points) too many openings. And reserve center DeSagana Diop snagged eight rebounds before fouling out.

The second half of the Back-to-Back from Hell awaits.

Posted at 9:22 PM to Net Proceeds