HOUSTON – Throughout his spectacular 17-year career, Dirk Nowitzki has always been a standup guy.
Whether he has a splendid game or an awful game, the Dallas Mavericks’ forward would always be there to give his take on what happened on a given night.
Well, in the first half of Game 5 between the Mavs and Houston Rockets, Tuesday night was one of those awful shooting nights for Nowitzki. At that juncture he was just 2-of-11 from the field with 10 points.
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And he wasn’t at all thrilled about it.
"I had a bunch of turnarounds that I didn’t make,’’ Nowitzki said. "I had a bunch of threes where I was open.
"I just didn’t have a good touch or a good feel there in the first half.’’
In the second half, Nowitzki heated up a bit when he converted 6-of-12 shots and tallied 12 points. But his overall showing of 8-of-23 shooting for 22 points was no where near what Nowitzki is accustomed to.
"Oh yeah, in the first half I just tried to get another make in,’’ Nowitzki said. "In the second half I thought I settled in, I made some shots.
"I was (6-of-12) in the second half. (I was) decent.’’
Still, the Mavs lost to the Rockets, 103-94, and closed their season by losing this best-of-seven series 4-1. It certainly was not the way Nowitzki envisioned the season ending.
"The guys did a good job of keeping us in there,’’ he said. "We were only down (56-50) at half, and that’s what you want.
"But just overall, I never thought we had a (good) day. We either had a bad shot or a bad turnover or a bad bounce and they’d make you pay.’’
Now, Nowitzki and the Mavs venture into an offseason where crucial decisions must be made in regards to free agency. But, first things first.
"Well, to sum up the season, it was a wild ride, some ups and downs, we had some injury problems,’’ Nowitzki said. "But the guys we did have battled.
"We just ran into a very good team – give them all the credit. James (Harden) showed why he’s an MVP candidate, and the guys around him played well.’’