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Mavs blow 14-point 4th quarter lead in loss to Thunder; Secure first losing season in 17 years.

Mavs blow 14-point 4th quarter lead in loss to Thunder; Secure first losing season in 17 years.

Mavs Fanatic (45 of 59)

 

It’s been a very long time since the Dallas Mavericks had a losing season, but 17 years later, here we are. With 5 minutes remaining in the 4th quarter, the Mavs led the Oklahoma City Thunder, 88-74. A minute and a half later, Yogi Ferrell hit a big three to make it 91-78, Mavs. That’s when Russell Westbrook, and a few questionable calls (or no-calls) happened. Over the last 3:30 of the 4th, the Thunder finished on a 14-0 run, securing their 92-91 comeback win on a Westbrook midrange jump shot with 7.2 seconds remaining. Westbrook also notched his 37th triple double of the season, scoring 37 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.

 

 

3 Positive Takeaways

 

1) Although the Mavs lost in one of the most painful ways possible, the truth is, making the playoffs even before this game was looking like a major long shot. This loss should shift most of the fanbase’s focus to this summer’s NBA Draft. Dallas already has more young talent on its roster than it has in a very long time, so it’ll be fun to see if they can select a franchise-changing player. Whether they get lucky in the lottery (very unlikely) or simply find a gem in the 9-10 range, it’ll be nice to see the Mavs add another young piece to its already-young core. There are all kinds of mock drafts out there, but the one on Tankathon is one of my personal favorites to keep up with.

 

2) Nerlens Noel continued to prove his value to this team. In only 27 minutes of action, Noel scored 15 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to go along with 4 steals and 2 blocks. He was very active all night and was a big reason why the Mavs had a 50-35 lead at halftime. Noel turns 23 years old in a few weeks, and Mavs fans are excited to watch him grow into being our franchise center. 

 

 

3) Wesley Matthews is alive. Although he still didn’t have a great shooting night (5-of-13), he scored 15 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. As the game went on, he seemed to run out of gas, but it was good to see Wes knock down a couple of shots after the rough few months he’s had. Before the Noel trade, Wes pretty much was the Mavs defensive anchor. He shouldered a lot of the burden, and now, late in the season, it’s starting to show. Maybe if this team can stay healthy going into next season, Wes won’t have to overexert himself so much and preserve some energy for the final stretch of the season.

 

 

Players of the Game

 

 

Nerlens Noel – 15 points (6-of-12), 8 rebounds, 4 steals, 2 blocks

Wesley Matthews – 15 points (5-of-13), 4 rebounds, 4 assists

Yogi Ferrell – 13 points (5-of-10), 5 assists, 4 rebounds

 

 

Up Next

 

After splitting a 4-game home stand, the Mavs now face a 5-game road trip. Their first stop will be in New Orleans, as they take on DeMarcus Cousins, Anthony Davis and the Pelicans. This game could have big draft position implications, as both teams have a record of 31-42 and are tied for the 9th worst record in the league.

Born and raised in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I received my Bachelor's degree in Business Administration - Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern Mississippi. If you're unfamiliar with Southern Miss, think Brett Favre. I'm currently working full time as a salesperson for my family business. My fiancé and I are huge MFFLs, and we never pass up a chance to see the guys play in person.

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