HOUSTON -- Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told his team before Saturday nights game in Houston that the playoffs were starting right now, and the Mavericks responded with a pivotal victory. Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, Jason Terry added 24 and Brandan Wright had a career-high seven blocks to help the Mavericks beat the Rockets 101-99 in overtime. The Mavericks came into the game with only a half-game lead over Houston, Utah and Denver in the tightly bunched Western Conference standings. Carlisle emphasized the importance of the game in his pregame message to his team, and the defending champions took it to heart. Especially Terry, who scored 14 of his points in the fourth quarter and overtime. "He said it was a playoff game," Terry said, "and thats all I needed to hear." Shawn Marion had 12 points and a season-high 15 rebounds and Wright scored 14 points for the Mavericks, who beat Houston for the fifth straight time. This meeting took on a post-season feel, with 17 lead changes, 15 ties and a rowdier-than-usual crowd at the Toyota Center split between fans of both teams. Nowitzki needed four stitches to seal a cut over his right eye, another sign of the games intensity. "This kind of game, you have to grind it out," Nowitzki said. "But we hung in there and found a way at the end to win, even though it wasnt a pretty game." Goran Dragic scored 24 points, and Luis Scola added 19 for the Rockets, who had all five starters in double figures. "You cant expect much more than we had today," Scola said. "We needed this game. Its a shame we werent going to have it." Nowitzki split two free throws with 10.9 seconds to go to put the Mavericks up 91-88, but Chandler Parsons swished a 3-pointer over Jason Kidd to tie it with 3.3 seconds remaining. Kidd tried a lob to Wright on a set inbound play, but Courtney Lee swatted it away and Terrys last-second shot from the free-throw line bounced off the rim. The Mavericks took a 97-93 lead in overtime. Scola sank two free throws to cut the deficit to two and Lee hit a long jumper that initially appeared to be a 3-pointer. But the officials reviewed the shot and ruled that Lees foot was over the line, and the game was tied at 97-all with 90 seconds left. Dragic then was whistled for an offensive foul for pushing off Nowitzki. The Dallas star was cut over his right eye and went to the bench for stitches and a bandage. Terry then hit a pull-up jumper with 36 seconds to go, and Wright blocked Lees jumper on Houstons next trip. Nowitzki sank two free throws with 18 seconds remaining to make it 101-97. With the points, Nowitzki moved past Charles Barkley and into 19th place on the NBAs career scoring list (23,758). "Thats obviously great," said Nowitzki. "Charles was always my hero." Dragic drove for a reverse layup, and the Mavericks were called for a backcourt violation, giving the Rockets one more chance to tie it. Chase Budinger missed a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer, and the Mavericks beat Houston for the 12th time in the last 16 meetings. "It was the biggest win of the year for us," Carlisle said. The Mavericks won for only the second time in their last 10 road games, despite getting outrebounded 52-38. Houston went 9 for 25 from 3-point range (26 per cent), but only 37 of 96 (38.5 per cent) overall. "We battled hard out there, but we just could not get it," Houston coach Kevin McHale said. "We just could not keep it going." The Rockets led for much of the first half, but Kidd hit back-to-back 3s -- one from six feet beyond the arc -- during a 12-4 Mavericks run in the second quarter. The Mavericks surged ahead with Nowitzki on the bench, and he returned for the final two minutes of the half. Parsons just beat the buzzer with a layup then cut Houstons deficit to 56-54 at the break. Nowitzki scored 16 points in the first half, then made four shots in the first six minutes of the third quarter. Notes: The Mavericks are 15-1 when scoring 100 points this season. ... The Mavs bench outscored Houstons reserves 44-13. ... Yao Ming and his wife, Ye Li, sat courtside with 22-month-old daughter Yao Qinlei. The girl will turn 2 on May 21. ... The in-state rivals were meeting for the first time this season. Theyll play again Tuesday night and on April 18, both times in Dallas. Cheap Jerseys
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.com) - Stanislas Wawrinka defeated an injured Rafael Nadal in Sundays mens final at the 2014 Australian Open.The fly-by. Five guys skating by the bench for high fives after a goal. Ubiquitous in NHL arenas. When did it begin? I wanted to find out, so I called Darcy Tucker. Wed heard that Vancouver Giants head coach Don Hay has said he thinks the three-time Memorial Cup champion Kamloops Blazers – his former team – may have started the trend in the early 90s. Tucker remembers doing the fly-by, but not starting it. Ryan Huska, a former Blazer teammate and current Kelowna Rockets head coach, said the same. Drew Bannister played for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 92 Memorial Cup final against Kamloops. He says the Hounds were already doing the fly-by themselves, as were other OHL teams. Square one. I turned to my colleagues. Ray Ferraro figured it was a thing by 2000, but not a thing he warmly embraced. "I hated it," he wrote in an email. I watched old tapes. The fly-by was definitely happening by 2000. I found examples as early as the 95/96 season, like this one: Saku Koivu in his rookie year. Young players were more likely to do it than old, which is consistent with the widely held belief that junior hockey players were doing the fly-by before NHLers. It trickled up. "It was totally a junior thing. I think it started close to my first year – 95," said Jeff ONeill, who shares Ferraros distaste for the fly-by. "I hate it." But he did give me my first solid lead. "I may be wrong, but I think the Peterborough Petes may have started it." I called Jeff Twohey. Twohey is the GM of the Oshawa Generals, but was with the Petes for 30 years. He started as a scout in 1980, and was general manager for 17 seasons. "I think we were the first team to ever do it," says Twohey. "My gut was that we started it. We had such a tight-knit group back in the early 80s." Definitely smoke. But fire? I asked around. "It was not done when I was in junior from 81-84," wrote Dave Reid in an email. "Late 80s is probably close." Andrew MacVicar played from 86-89 with the Petes. He remembers doing the fly-by, but only on big goals or in the playoffs. "It was supposed to be something really special," says MacVicar. MacVicars specific memory that teammate Billy Huard began doing the fly-by more often and earlier in games as a way to get under the skin of Petes opponents was a dead end, too. Huard has no recollection of doing it at all, let alone having a hand in its evolution. MacVicar thought Jamie Hicks (86-90) would remember. He doesnt. He also thought Mark Freer (85-88) might remember. Freer does, vaguely, but he named Kris King as the possible creator of the fly-by, and King has no memory of it. King then suggested that Twohey might have something to say on the matter. This is about the time I got dizzy. I called Corey Foster, who played in Peterborough from 86-89. He says the Petes were definitely doing the fly-by in his final year with the team, when they went to the Memorial Cup. I went back to the tape library. No Petes games. But we do have the final, and I found a fly-by. Scott Scissons, playing for the Saskatoon Blades. Its a beta version of the fly-by – instead of flying past the bench, the players sort of turn around and just stand there – but it counts. Thats the earliest video evidence we have. It seemed unlikely that the Scissons goal was the fly-bys big bang. I was getting nowhere, so we put the question to twitter. Curious theories poured in. One suggestion had it that the fly-by grew out of Brian Propps unique and unusual guffaw goal celebration. Propp says no. Others blamed Hollywood. I knew the Top Gun hypothesis was a joke, but I watched all of D2: Mighty Ducks and Slap Shot before I realized those were probably tongue-in-cheek suggestions, and references to the Flying V and Steve Hanson.dddddddddddd "Bring the kids. We got entertainment for the whole family." Plenty of people figure the fly-by started at the World Juniors, but we cant find any examples of it before 1991. In Red Deer in 1995, Team Canada was doing the fly-by in its current form: all five players skating by the bench. Before that, the video evidence is less compelling. There are solid signs of it at the 94 and 93 tournaments. In 92 and 91, we know that the goal-scorer on at least a few occasions did the fly-by, though in most cases we cant tell if his teammates joined in, and in some cases we know they did not. (As in this goal by Paul Kariya, for example). Did it start with the Montreal Canadiens? For a brief time, the Habs bench would empty for every goal: everyone celebrating on the ice together. When a rule was implemented to end that practice, the theory goes, the team began the fly-by. Mark Napier, a Canadien from 1978-84, said no. Did it start with the Edmonton Oilers in the mid-80s? Napier (84-86 with the Oilers) said no again. As did Paul Coffey, adamantly. "Why do (the fly-by)? Whats the point? Just celebrate with the guys on the ice, and go line up." That sounds suspiciously like Jester talking to Maverick: "Get your butts above the hard deck and return to base immediately." Maybe I should revisit the Top Gun theory. At this point, I got a tip that the fly-by started in Moose Jaw in the mid-to-late 80s. Lorne Molleken – an assistant coach in his first season with Moose Jaw in 89 – remembers it. He thinks. "What sticks out in my mind is moreso the players high-fiving the fans," said Molleken. The Moose Jaw Civic Centre – or the Crushed Can – had unusually low glass beside the benches, says Molleken, and at some point players got the fans involved in goal celebrations. "We came out of our end and there were piles of kids hanging over the glass," recalled Scott Reid, who played in Moose Jaw from 88-90. "No one else was doing it at the time that I can remember." "Wed do our whole bench and fans from the bench to the hash mark," said Jerome Bechard, a Warrior from 85-90. "We probably skated 20 or 25 feet." But not everyone shares that memory. "I dont remember that," said Theo Fleury, who played four seasons in Moose Jaw. "You just didnt do that," said Fleury, laughing. "If you wanted to start a brawl, you did it." Fleurys last season with the Warriors was 87/88, which means the earliest the fly-by was a thing in Moose Jaw is the following season, 88/89: the same time it was probably happening in Peterborough, and the same time it definitely sort-of happened by seasons end in the Memorial Cup final. Clear as mud. Which brings us to the oddest and most intriguing theory of all: the fly-by was born on a French Canadian television drama about a fictional Quebec City hockey team. Lance et Compte (which roughly translates as He shoots, he scores) aired from 1986 to 1989 in its first incarnation, and, sure enough, theres the fly-by in Season 1, Episode 5, albeit with just the one skater and not the full team. "I remember that the director at the time wanted that shot because it was easy to shoot," says Rejean Tremblay, who wrote on the show. "One camera, five guys skating in front of the beach, you could make it in less than ten minutes." Is it possible that the origin of the fly-by was the brainchild of a cost-conscious French Canadian director? It seems unlikely, but really, its about as likely as anything else. ' ' '