As the 2010-11 NBA regular season was approaching its end, the Dallas Mavericks were building towards something special. Entering their March 1 tilt with the Philadelphia 76ers, the Mavs had won six straight games and were looking like a force to contend with in the Western Conference.
Jason Kidd, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Tyson Chandler spearheaded a veteran lineup that was hungry for a ring. The 76ers found themselves outmatched by the Mavs, who emerged victorious 101-93 in the regular season contest.
However, what makes this game truly special for J-Kidd, other than a win, is that this performance resulted in the final triple-double of his Hall of Fame career. At the time, J-Kidd’s 107th career-triple double ranked third in NBA history. His mark now sits fourth all-time in the NBA, behind only Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson and Russell Westbrook.
Kidd’s effort on the floor was unquestioned, leading him to affect the game in a handful of ways. As a result, J-Kidd routinely filled up the stat sheer throughout his career, leading to so many nights like his performance against Philadelphia.
His final numbers in the win were 13 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds as the offense ran through him. Many of his passes found Nowitzki and Terry, who combined for 52 points that night.
The triple-double and the individual statistics from this game are memorable, but in the moment, J-Kidd and the Mavs were focused on another goal: winning a championship.
The win over the Sixers was the seventh in a row for Dallas, and the 18th in their last 20 games. The streak would ultimately extend to eight games before a one-point loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, but Dallas closed the season as strong as anybody in the league, including the super team down in Miami comprising LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
The Mavs finished the regular season 57-25, tied for the second best record in the Western Conference. They would advance through the first round after a hard-fought series with the Portland Trail Blazers that lasted six games. Then, Dallas found another gear, sweeping the Los Angeles Lakers and dominating the Oklahoma City Thunder in five games to reach the NBA Finals.
Entering the Finals, the Mavericks were perceived as heavy underdogs against the star-studded trio in Miami, but J-Kidd, Nowitzki, Terry and Chandler didn’t waver. They rose to the challenge, defeating the Heat in six games, including winning the final three in a row, to win the franchise’s first NBA championship.
The 2010-11 season was a special one for J-Kidd and the Mavs, with the ultimate moment being the championship run. However, the foundation for that success was set up in the regular season, as the team built chemistry and confidence as the season progressed. The 20-game stretch from mid-January to early March set the tone for what was to come, and J-Kidd’s high-level basketball and playmaking ability was a huge factor.