There may be some questions that arise from the Mavs 100-98 loss to the hands of the Phoenix Suns. Most people will talk about the unbelievable shot Devin Booker made at the buzzer. We’ll get to that in a bit.
The first question we want to ask, though, is where was the offense tonight. Dirk Nowitzki finished with 23 points on 10 of 14 shots for 71.4%. The rest of the Mavs shot 18 of 60 for 30%. Harrison Barnes also had 23 points for the Mavs. However, 13 of his points came from the free throw line as he went five of 16 for 31.2%.
In the beginning it was the offensive production from the big German that kept them in the game. Dirk scored 13 points in the first quarter, including the first nine points of the game for Dallas. He finished the half with 19 points. The rest of the team only managed 30 points combined in the half.
Another problem with the Mavs shooting behind the three-point line. Dallas made nine from behind the arc but they shot 26 of them. The only part of the offense that was clicking (besides Dirk) was their free throw shooting. Dallas shot 36 free throws and made 33 of them.
The next question would probably be where was the double team? In his post game press conference, head coach Rick Carlisle acknowledged that he made a mistake by not double-teaming Devin Booker in the fourth quarter.
At the half, Booker had 11 points for the Suns. At the end of the game, he had 36. Dallas could not stop him. Booker could get any shot he wanted and, unfortunately, he was knocking most of them down. The big shot, though, came at the buzzer. Booker had already scored six straight points for the Suns. Now, with 10 seconds left and the shot clock turned off it was his time to shine.
Getting the ball near half court, Booker waited until there was four seconds left on the clock before he went to work on Wesley Matthews. Booker drove towards the right. After he passed the three-point line, he spun around towards his left and knocked down a 20-foot jump shot as the buzzer hit. Matthews played perfect defense on the play. It was just better offense that gave Phoenix the win over Dallas.
With the loss, Dallas finishes their homestand 4-1. They will now embark on a four game road trip beginning in Toronto on Monday night.
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