You know those ugly games where you sit there afterwards thinking, “Can I get those two hours back?”
Well, that’s what tonight felt like for Mavs fans as they fell to the Bulls, 109-107 in Chicago. The first half looked promising though with little rhythm as Dallas led by nine at halftime but the Bulls outscored the Mavericks by 17 in the third quarter, putting Chicago in the drivers seat.
And through it all, the Mavs had a shot at the end following back-to-back three-pointers from Doe-Doe to bring Dallas within two after a Chicago free throw, Luka had a heave from halfcourt with 2.6 seconds left to steal the game.
“The third quarter was obviously our downfall,” Carlisle said postgame. “They came out of the locker room with great intensity and we just didn’t respond well to it.”
"We gave ourselves a chance to win…"
— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOXSportsSW) March 3, 2020
Despite holding a double-digit lead in the first half, there just wasn’t much energy from the Mavericks tonight as a collective. Five players scored in double-figures led by THJ with 26 points. Luka finished with 23 points, five rebounds, nine assists and an ugly 1-8 from downtown.
Double-doubles for both Maxi and Boban as well as 18 points for Dorian Finney-Smith.
Even without Kristaps Porzingis and Seth Curry, that’s no excuse for the Mavericks to lose this game as the Bulls were without Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen, their two best players.
Tonight’s loss was a dud and that’s a given. But it’s not the end of the world as Mavs Twitter may believe you to think it is.
Should Dallas have won this game? No question. But giving KP and Curry a rest on a night like this against a lower-funnel team like the Bulls on a back-to-back, I don’t argue Carlisle and company one bit.
Long-term is the goal. Playing healthy basketball in April and potentially May is the goal.
So, is tonight’s loss disappointing? Sure, absolutely. But it’s not the end of the world.
Dallas will regroup on Wednesday as the Pelicans come to town for a showdown on ESPN.
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