Let’s be clear. They had their chances.
Down two points with under a minute to play, Dirk Nowitzki had a look at a trail three from the top of the key that clanked off the front iron.
Seconds later, Devin Harris had an even more wide open look on the wing that he pushed wide.
Let’s also be clear about something else. Dallas was the beneficiary of a terrible no-call.
With the Mavericks (34-34) down 97-95, Harris fed Nowitzki on the high post, a play Dallas runs on a nightly basis. But Nowizki was knocked off balance by Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving, who looked like he tugged on Nowitzki’s arm to free himself.
The result was a steal, made free throws for Irving, and a gut-wrenching 99-98 Dallas defeat.
A change of pace:
For the second game in a row, head coach Rick Carlisle altered the Mavericks’ starting lineups, inserting Raymond Felton for Zaza Pachulia. In fact, Pachulia did not see the floor until late in the third quarter – but he had an impact once he entered the game.
“Everything is going to be on the table in terms of who plays,” Carlisle said after the game. “We have a lot of different pieces that can help us win. Tonight is a great example of where we are. Pachulia really helped us. We rode it to the very end and we got unlucky. There was one whistle we could’ve gotten and didn’t get.”
The struggle continues:
Wesley Matthews continued his absolute dismal scoring stretch, providing just five points. Chandler Parsons, who has come on strong as of late and leads the NBA in three point percentage at 48.6% since January 18 had an off game, scoring six points.
Combined, Dallas’ wings scored 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting.
Unless the Mavericks knock off Golden State on Friday night, Dallas will drop to below .500 – a mark it has not seen this late in the season since the 2012-2013 campaign. The Warriors will enter the contest with a league best record of either 61-6 or 60-7, depending on the outcome of its game tonight.
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