Dallas dropped a must-win game as the playoff picture in the West began to solidify itself.
The Mavericks lost to the Hornets 117-109 and lost their second straight home game and lost two games under .500. This, for Charlotte’s shorthanded lottery-bound team on the second night of a consecutive game. After scoring the opening points of the game, Dallas lost the lead and never saw it again for the rest of the game.
Do not ask for whom the bell tolls; It’s a fee for the Dallas Mavericks.
Luka Doncic came just short of a triple-double, putting up 34/8/10 in the loss. Freshman Jaden Hardy had some positive moments, and it was his energy and shots in the second half that made it look like Dallas might get over the hump. Unfortunately, no luck.
Seven Hornets scored in double figures including all five starters, but PJ Washington led the team with 28.
Fourth Quarter Vapors
The Hornets were the team on the back-to-back, but Dallas were running out of stock late on after fighting back from a 21-point deficit.
The addition of Kerry should have resolved some of Dallas’ woes in the fourth quarter at least, as he reached Dallas as the league’s highest scorer in the final quarter. Instead, it was a 0-for-4 shooting performance from depth that stalled a Dallas comeback after they closed out the Hornet’s lead by one. It’s possible he’s still dealing with a foot injury, but it wasn’t easy to watch him miss these opportunities.
A title that would be cause for celebration in another timeline. In this one, though, the former Mavs guard was digging a deep three (after winning a coaches’ challenge on Doncic’s block) that ended any hope of a Dallas comeback.
It would almost be poetic if Edgar Allan Poe wrote the poem as a kind of gothic horror, which was an accurate description of what the Mavericks have watched for much of this season.
Bring out your dead
With the loss, Dallas drops below . 500 again at the worst possible time. What’s the point of this team, which seems to have been plagued by injuries to all of its stars, in hopes of getting them through the post-season in some form of good health? Is there any point in stripping across the line to the tenth seed?
Much has been made about the toxicity of the online part of the Mavericks fanbase, but that sentiment is now starting to bleed inevitably into real life. With Maverick Governor in attendance and making a shirt-based fashion statement regarding his latest agreement with league management, the home crowd showered some boos on the team as they headed to end 18 Dallas.
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