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Definition of Defeat

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There were obviously two extreme runs in there which lead to the defeat (15-0 Dallas in the first/second, 18-0 Dallas in the third/fourth). But let's focus on the final offensive spurt, the string from which there was no return.

Score: 103-102 Dallas, 2 min 18 seconds remaining.

Jason Terry scores a triple, 106-102.

Brad Miller misses a long jumper. Not a bad shot.

Kevin Martin steals the ball on a bad Jason Kidd pass.

Francisco Garcia misses a long two, but Ron Artest gets the rebound and draws the shooting foul. He hits both FTs. 106-104.

Dirk Nowitzki scores a short little jumper. 108-104.

Artest does not hesistate, misses a layup.

Josh Howard turnover.

Garcia misses a shot from the third row. Artest offensive rebound, blown layup.

Kidd fouled, makes first, misses second, Stackhouse rebounds, Beno Udrih hacks him. Stack hits both. 111-104.

Beno misses a shot from the second row.

Stack fouled, hits both. 113-104. Game over, more or less.


The Mavericks didn't hit any difficult shots. They didn't have to. The Kings didn't get any easy shots. It... didn't seem to be an objective.

It's hard to complain -- the offense was excellent overall. The backcourt's numbers -- 50 points on 55% shooting, 19 FTAs, 10 assists, 2 turnovers -- were tremendous. You would prefer Artest to get his 22 points in fewer than 23 FGAs; you would prefer someone to join Martin and Beno at the line occasionally. But offense was not -- is not -- the central problem. It is, has been, and will be defense.

And for this defense, there are no fixes in sight.