Some nights one team can’t miss, while the other team can’t buy a basket.
In the Dallas Mavericks’ 133-104 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, that was exactly the case. Dallas shot a respectable 42 percent from the floor, but where things went awry came in the 3-point department. The usually oh-so-steady Mavericks’ 3-point attack was stifled to the tune of 31 percent. And without the long ball falling, once down 10+ in the second half, it was nearly impossible for the Mavs to mount a comeback.
“Obviously we didn’t play well over the course of the 48 minutes,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “A very disappointing loss.”
What also didn’t help, once down, was the lackluster performance from typically superhuman Luka Doncic. He finished with a season-low-tying 12 points on 4-15 from the field with as many turnovers (5) as assists. In the box-score plus-minus category, Doncic was a -23; the worst since Feb. 4.
It wasn’t close to pretty nor spectacular. But alas, Doncic is human.
What possibly added to Doncic’s struggles was his serious fall on the concrete stadium floor after diving over the advertisement board to save a loose ball. It happened with 24 seconds left in the second quarter. That fall and the blowout contributed to his low minute count (26), as Carlisle held his superstar out the majority of the fourth quarter.
“That game was obviously one of the worst I’ve ever played. I’ve got to be better than that,” Doncic said.
To add to the laundry list of disappointing results for Dallas Tuesday night, veteran sharpshooter J.J. Redick left the game with right heel soreness.
Carlisle described Redick’s heel injury as a “good day, bad day, situation.” Which led to him stating that Redick is a no-go for Dallas’ game against the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night.
The game by the numbers:
Dallas was led in the scoring department by Tim Hardaway Jr. He scored 19 points on an efficient 6-11 from the field and 3-6 from 3-point range. Hardaway also pitched in on the glass with five rebounds, but his contributions were far from enough to curve Memphis’ blistering 57 percent from the floor, and 47 percent from three.
Defensively, the Mavs allowed seven double-digit scorers for Memphis. Ja Morant led the way with 24 for the Grizzlies, but streaky swingman Dillon Brooks wasn’t far behind with 22.
When assessing Memphis’ defensive efforts Carlisle spoke of disappointment and a need to be better.
“We’re all disappointed… We know we’ve got to do better,” Carlisle said.
Dallas’ loss drops the team to a 40-29 record, tied with the Portland Trail Blazers. And if the playoffs started today, the Blazers would own the fifth seed, meanwhile, the Mavs would drop to No. 6. So, the number for Dallas is still two. Two wins guarantee Dallas a spot in the top six, meaning no play-in tournament. However, Dallas can also clinch a playoff spot if the Los Angeles Lakers manage to lose two games in their remaining slate. This playoff race is unlike any other, and tonight’s loss places Dallas right back in the thick of it. We will see what happens Wednesday night in New Orleans, but what is certain is that the Mavericks need to play better in every way.
Feature image via Petre Thomas-USA TODAY.