Whenever a game ends at 12:07 AM local time and your team loses, it’s hard not to be frustrated. Unfortunately, DFW Mavs fans had to experience that late Thursday night/early Friday morning.
The Mavericks dropped game two of their four-game road trip by falling to the Los Angeles Clippers 125-121. It was Dallas’ fourth straight loss and it dropped them back to the .500 mark for the season at 15-15. Here are a few of the most notable takeaways from the action out in the City of Angels.
Not a favorable matchup for Dirk
Even though the most minutes the Big German has logged through four minutes this season was the 8 he appeared in during Sunday’s home loss to the Kings, the 6 minute stint he had in the first half on Thursday seemed especially abbreviated and unsuccessful.
Nowitzki only managed one shot, a missed three point attempt, and one personal foul while both he and Dwight Powell struggled mightily to contain Montrezl Harrell. Dirk was intended to be defending Mike Scott, but was frequently switched onto Harrell with poor results.
The final statline for Nowitzki: 0 points, 0-1 FG, 1 foul, a plus/minus rating of -9.
Fatal flaws in the fourth quarter
This was one of the Mavericks’ major flaws during the 2017-2018 season and it hasn’t had nearly as many opportunities to rear its ugly head so far this season.
The Mavs found themselves in a close game late in the fourth quarter. After a DeAndre Jordan dunk with 3:58 left in the game put Dallas up 111-109, the Clippers went on a 10-0 run to put the game away before Luka Doncic tried to will a crazy comeback.
After the DeAndre dunk to put them up, the Mavs would go on to miss their next 8 shots from the field over the next few minutes of the game while not playing defense without fouling on the other end. The number of those shots that came from Luka Doncic, who we will praise in one second? Just two. Both were three point attempts.
Harrison Barnes missed a couple close range shots and was called for a charge.
J.J. Barea called his own name a few too many times late.
Late game execution was not there for the Mavericks, but you know what was there in this game?
Luka Doncic magic
The rookie was feeling it under the bright Los Angeles lights Thursday night as he poured in a new career high 32 points on an impressive 10-20 shooting night.
He also continued his trend of getting to the free throw line a ton with 13 attempts on the night. He is averaging over 11 attempts from the charity stripe per game in his last five contests.
He also added to his highlight reel with a stepback three or two, a nice coast to coast finish, and then getting poked in the eye by the lead official. An eventful night for the rookie during a nationally televised game. The 19 year-old Slovenian continues to impress.
Luka Doncic tallies a career-high 32 PTS for the @dallasmavs at Staples Center. #MFFL #NBARooks pic.twitter.com/F9LmpczNty
— NBA (@NBA) December 21, 2018
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