The Charlotte Bobcats still have not defeated the Mavericks in their history, losing to Dallas 89-84. Dirk Nowitzki never found his comfort zone, scoring 27 points and needing 23 shots to do it, but he was still nearly unstoppable in crunch time. Caron Butler and Jason Terry were the Mavs' other major contributors, pouring in points while Jason Kidd and Shawn Marion stumbled.
The loss pushes the Cats further under .500, to 28-30. As the season winds down, each win becomes more and more important, and the next two games will both be battles, in Boston against the Celtics on Wednesday, and then back in Charlotte against the Lakers on Friday. If the Bobcats hope to make some noise in the playoffs, they'll have to get there first, and they won't get there unless they beat some quality teams down the stretch.
Game thread comments, lowlights, and highlights after the jump.
GAME THREAD COMMENT
WhatAboutBob_cats -- Argh I hate Dirk. 7 feet and has a sweet shot? fine. Takes fade-aways that are nearly impossible to block? ugh lame and annoying.
-- Theo Ratliff has been a very good defensive center for the Cats, but much of the Cats' resurgence after the Stephen Jackson trade has also been due to Nazr Mohammed's surprisingly effective play. Without any post presence whatsoever, the Cats simply can't hang with the best teams in the league. The defense may still be there, but the wings aren't good enough to be the offense alone. If our center puts 4 points and 2 rebounds in 27 minutes, that's an impediment to winning unless that center's defense is All World, and Ratliff is not All World.
-- The Bobcats turned it over 19 times. 6 of those were Stephen Jackson's.
-- Cut Stephen Graham. Free Gerald Henderson. Don't make me start another blogspot web site, this one devoted to obtaining Henderson's basketball freedom.
-- Stephen Jackson scored 20 points on 14 shots, but he also grabbed 7 rebounds. For a guy who's playing guard most of the time, floating around the perimeter and then slashing, he's picked up the boards recently.
-- Tyrus Thomas came off the bench to score 16 points (taking waaaaay too many shots, 16) and grab a team high 12 rebounds in only 29 minutes. Off the top of my head, I'd guess our new best crunch time lineup involves Thomas at the four and Diaw at the five.