DALLAS -- When things are going well for the Dallas Mavericks, there are few better places to be in DFW. With the Mavs undefeated at home and welcoming the Houston Rockets to the American Airlines Center, the night had all the makings of a big night in Big D.
Since it was an ESPN national telecast, the game had a late 8:30 p.m. tip-off and the Mavs were sluggish for much of the evening before the stars aligned in the fourth quarter with Dallas making 13 consecutive field goals to claw back from what had been an 18 point deficit for a 123-120 win. Because it was the Rockets with Dwight Howard and James Harden, the beautiful people of Dallas were in attendance and rather than being 'fashionably late,' the ESPN start made them right on time.
The action for DFW sports fans got underway before the players even took the court when the news that the Texas Rangers had traded Ian Kinsler to Detroit for Prince Fielder broke around 7;30 p.m. All the talk in the media dining room was about who liked or disliked the trade and how much more money Fielder makes than Kinsler -- for the record, Fielder is owed $168 million ($24 million annually for the next seven years) while Kinsler is due to make a guaranteed $62 million over the next four seasons.
Once the game got underway, the Rockets could not miss a shot and the biggest thing Mavs fans had to cheer about was Dirk Nowitzki scoring his 17th point to pass Reggie Miller for No. 15 on the NBA's All-Time Scoring list. With the Mavs trailing 101-89 going onto the fourth quarter, there were plenty of fans who hit the exits. Shawn Marion hit a three-pointer from the corner with 47 seconds remaining to put Dallas ahead for good and the fans who remained were rewarded for staying late.
Howard, who spurned the Mavs free agent pitch this summer to sign in Houston had a banner night with 33 points, 11 rebounds and several highlight reel dunks, but it was not enough to counter Dirk's season-high 35 and Monta Ellis' game-high 37 points.
The Mavs improved to 6-0 at at home and optimism is in the air among the NBA fans in DFW. Upcoming home games include the Utah Jazz (Nov. 22), Denver Nuggets (Nov. 25) and Golden St. Warriors (Nov. 27). For further Dallas Mavericks coverage, visit here.
FOLLOW JAY BETSILL ON TWITTER @THEFAMOUSJAY