Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks showed everyone that they had no plans on going quietly into that good night Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers, erasing a 16-point halftime deficit to take a 96-94 win in Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
As tends to be the case when the Mavs score big wins like this, the rally and eventual win was keyed by the big German Nowitzki, who dropped 28 points and 14 rebounds on the defending champs.
Given what we saw from Dallas on Monday, this series figures to be a fantastic one. The Mavs have long struggled at the Staples Center, and if Nowitzki's clicking, this team can be nearly impossible to beat.
Dirk has done a stellar job of being this team's crunch time leader, and as long as he's firing, the rest of the Mavs' offense shines as well. The Lakers have to find a way to slow the big German superstar one way or another unless they want to wind up battling for wins for the rest of this series, much in the same way they found themselves fighting last night.
On top of Dallas' win in Game 1, today marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Virginia lacrosse player Yeardley Love. Her accused murderer, George Huguely, claims he didn't realize that the beating he'd given his ex-girlfriend could have killed her.
Finally, there are the Lakers, who find themselves in a bit of trouble in their semifinal series. Kobe Bryant and Lamar Odom both shone, but as we saw last night, the Lakers are going to need much better play from Pau Gasol if they want to win this series.
In other words, it's shaping up to be a wild day in the sports world.