It’s gotten to be a thing of norm for the Dallas Mavericks to be rescued into victory by some late game heroics  not to mention clutch shooting, from Dirk Nowitzki. In the 2013 version of him and them, it doesn’t seem to be enough to keep their NBA playoff streak alive.

Nowitzki scored the last eight points for the Mavs in a 100-98 win over the Chicago Bulls, the most important of them coming with 2.9 seconds left on the clock as Nowitzki hit the game winning three pointer, as Luol Deng lost him for a second, giving him just enough space for that step and shoot, helping Dallas cap off a 15-1 run in the final 3:30 of the game, coming back from 12 behind deep in the fourth quarter.

It was Nowitzki and the bench that made things possible. The German superstar finished with 35 points in what might be his finest performance of a disappointing season for the team. He was aided by Vince Carter (17 points) who was the one that drew Deng away from Nowitzki, twice, in order to help him sink open three pointers in the closing moments. Brandan Wright, who’s been having quite a productive month of March, finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds as the Mavs continue to play without a center in the starting lineup.

And will it be enough? Probably not. The Mavs are still below .500 (36-37), meaning they’re 1.5 games behind both the Los Angeles Lakers and the Utah Jazz. There’s not that much difference between the teams, and some would say that having a finisher at the level of Nowitzki might put the Mavericks ahead of the rest of their competition, but in truth this is a team too flawed to look at any kind of schedule and feel confident about winning seven (or more) of their nine remaining games.

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