Dallas Mavericks

Jason Terry Continues His Mental Funk, Somehow Helps Mavs Win

Jason Terry is lying.

Watched Mavs 98, Rockets 91 last night at a local watering hole in McKinney's downtown square, and it's obvious that he thought the score was tied when he stepped to the free-throw line with 1.5 seconds left in regulation. Problem: It wasn't. Dallas actually trailed by a point.

But first things first: the Mavs should've lost this game.

The Rockets are headed to the NBA Lottery. They were playing without starters Luis Scola and Kyle Lowry and played only seven players. The Mavs had all hands on deck, including 39 minutes from point guard Jason Kidd.

Nothing about the win survival in overtime -- strangely, Dallas' first OT game of the season -- was impressive. Especially considering that Dallas had an 85-81 lead with 1:30 remaining. But Dirk Nowitzki bone-headedly love-tapped Houston's Courtney Lee for a three-point play with 10 seconds remaining. Then, after a badly botched final possession, Terry somehow had the ball along the three-point line and made some sort of stumbling move to his left that ...

Was an obvious traveling violation.

While he pump-faked the Rockets' Chuck Hayes into the air, Terry clearly, illegally, shuffled both feet before jumping into Hayes and drawing the two-shot foul.

That's when Terry's psychological funk continued. The guy who sucker-shoved the Lakers' Steve Blake recently, yelled at teammate J.J. Barea last Friday and still claimed to be Dallas' emotional leader this week, went to the line with a chance to win the game.

An 85-percent free-thrower, Terry made the first to tie the game. He missed the second off the back rim. The rebound bounced off various hands and out of bounds at the buzzer to force overtime. But Terry reacted to the miss and horn with glee, running down court with hands upraised and a giant smile on his face.

"No, no, I knew the game was tied up," Terry said. "It was a happy reaction that they knocked the ball out of bounds and didn't have an opportunity to get a shot at the basket. I was definitely trying to make that free throw."

Nope. Not buying it.

If Terry had a clue of what was going on, he'd be pissed he just missed a free throw to win the game, not happy that his team forced OT against lottery losers.

Said a sarcastic head coach Rick Carlisle, "You've got to love a guy that's that enthusiastic after a missed free throw."

To his credit, Terry regrouped and hit two jumpers and two free throws in overtime to help Dallas improve to 56-25.

For now the Mavs are the West's No. 2 seed. If they beat the Hornets in tomorrow night's finale and the Lakers lose either tonight at home against San Antonio or tomorrow night in Sacramento, Dallas will remain No. 2. If they lose to New Orleans, the Lakers win out and the Thunder beats the Bucks at home tomorrow night, the Mavs could slip to No. 4.

Stay tuned.

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Richie Whitt
Contact: Richie Whitt