With a new preppie-style 'do, Dirk Nowitzki used an old friend, the fadeaway jumper on the baseline, to surpass 20,000 points for his career.
It's something Nowitzki will remember for a lifetime. But as coach Rick Carlisle said: He'd rather have the win than 20,000 points. That's where the disappointment is. You got a guy who is pure basketball heart. He'd do anything to win any ball game and wouldn't care how many points he scored.
There isn't enough of that attitude showing through with the Mavericks these days. Their home record keeps slipping, now at 12-7. They had hoped Wednesday night would be the start of a multi-step process toward improving their home identity.
We want to put doubt into people's minds when they come here and right now, they don't have that doubt, Jason Terry said.
The Lakers certainly didn't exude fear.
It was a critical loss. The Mavericks are losing touch with the Lakers in the Western Conference race, and San Antonio now is breathing down their neck for second in the West.
Maybe it was predictable. You had to figure the Lakers weren't going to get swept in San Antonio and Dallas. After getting pounded by the Spurs, the Lakers had an edge to them.
It's something the Mavericks are still looking for at AAC.