Hey, the Dallas Mavericks are Finally Winners!

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Where were you on October  11, 1980?

I was inside Reunion Arena, watching the Dallas Mavericks and guys like Winford Boynes and Tom LaGarde somehow beat George Gervin and the San Antonio Spurs, 103-92, in their inaugural game as an NBA franchise.

At 1-0 - at least for a night - the Mavs were winners. After that coach Dick Motta's cast of castoffs promptly lost their next five en route a 15-67 record.

It's taken 30 years to catch up but Dallas' survival against the Utah Jazz last Saturday night at American Airlines Center was not just its 12th consecutive victory, it moved the franchise's all-time record to finally again over .500.

In their 31st season, the Mavs are 1,226-1,225.

Having covered teams that in the '90s posted back-to-back seasons of 11 and 13 wins, this is no small feat.

Neither, of course, is the latest, current winning streak.

Against Utah the Mavs jumped out to a 29-4 lead by making seven of their first eight 3-pointers. After letting the Jazz claw all the way back and tie the score in the fourth quarter, Jason Terry hit two huge treys and Dirk Nowitzki produced an old-school three-point play to push Dallas to 19-4.

I'll say it again: After very winnable home games this week against Milwaukee (tonight), Portland (Wednesday) and Phoenix (Friday), the Mavs should be 22-4 and on a 15-game roll when they face the Heat in Miami a week from tonight.

Maybe by then they'll have earned some national respect (yesterday on ESPN the lead story was "Knicks Win 8th In A Row!"), but probably not.

Even with a loss in that game, the Mavs will be a winning franchise.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.