Mavericks Final Score: Dallas falls at the hands of Steph Curry again, 122-120

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

A crucial game in the Western Conference playoff race ended with a Curry game winner in overtime, as the Mavericks go just 4-4 on their eight-game homestand.

The Mavericks played a quarter and a half of good offense, and maybe half a quarter's worth of good defense -- if that. The Warriors shot 57 percent from the field, shot 30-of-42 at the rim and had wide open shots from Klay Thompson and Steph Curry all night.

And somehow, regulation still ended in a 108-all tie, sending this pivotal Western Conference match-up into overtime for the fourth time in the eight-game Mavericks homestand.

But Curry hopped back and buried a long 2-pointer over Jose Calderon, leaving only a fraction of a second, and the Warriors took the game in overtime, 122-120. The Mavericks ended their eight-game homestand just 4-4, and now face a grueling final seven games -- five coming on the road.

The third quarter almost saw it fall apart before the Mavericks even made it to the extra period. The Mavericks gave up their nine-point lead, allowed several uncontested layups (including a particularly egregious one out of an inbounds play), played really bad zone defense and failed to feed Dirk, who had a scorching 23 in the first half. After a 9-of-14 first half, Dirk was 4-of-7 in the final 29 minutes.

Devin Harris was particularly bad for 12 minutes -- and then, out of no where, hit two crucial 3-pointers to keep the Mavericks afloat in the first few minutes of the fourth quarter.

Then, Dirk and Monta traded some big buckets late in the fourth quarter. But with 40 seconds left, Dirk couldn't free himself in the high post and Monta forced up an incredibly tough stepback jumper that fell several feet short.

In overtime, the Mavericks lost a four-point lead. Tied at 120, Monta drove and floated a layup up that Jermaine O'Neal grabbed out of the air. Dirk said the referee told him the ball was going to be "two feet short," which, as you can see from this replay, is not the case. But is it a goaltending? It looks like it to me, but it's very, very close.

4-1goaltend_medium

(thanks to the great Jason Gallagher for the gif)

Had goaltending been called, the referees could have reviewed the play since it was in overtime. However, play continued, Steph Curry found Jose Calderon guarding him and the game was over as simply as that.

This game might have been a crucial game for playoff positioning, but the Mavericks were apparently not informed of this until the first timeout. I barely looked up and the Warriors had rolled out a quick six points. The lethargic and uninspired start quickly blossomed to 14-6 before Carlisle had enough of it.

The Mavericks temporarily banished the bad offense thanks to six first-quarter points from Dirk (who took seven shots in the frame!), but the bad defense stuck around. Dirk barely moved an inch on an Iguodala reverse layup. Not getting back let Steph Curry dunk the ball. On another transition attempt, Iguodala dribbled the ball in a direct line from his own free throw line to the Mavs' basket for a dunk. And of course, Mavs killer Jordan Crawford got into the action with 13 first half points on 5-of-8 shooting (he'd finish with 19)

But even with the Warriors shooting 56 percent, the Mavericks were the team taking a 62-53 lead into halftime on the backs of Dirk and Vince. The two would each explode for a trio of three pointers -- Vince from 5:24 to 3:28 and Dirk from 2:41 to 0:49, with another mid-range jumper thrown in the middle.

  • The Mavericks botched a major chance to tighten up their playoff chances -- not just in this game, but in the homestand in general. Losing four of the eight games, all in heartbreaking fashion, does not bode well in a playoff race that may go to a pair of teams with 49 or even 50 wins.
  • Hey, Devin Harris: Stop it. That 2-for-1 thing where you hold the ball, dribble into a long 3-pointer and miss it off the front of the rim. That miserable play that we can literally predict minutes before it happens. The 2-for-1 is a great strategy...IF you get two good shots. Or even two okay ones. Or literally anything other than what Devin is doing right now. If two rushed threes are the result of the 2-for-1, then it's actually the other team you're giving an advantage to.
  • The Mavs' defensive showing was simply circus-level comedy. It was embarrasingly, painfully awful. I'm not sure what prompted Carlisle to go to the zone defense -- I mean, I'm sure it was because his entire team sucks at man-on-man defense, but that's just a hunch -- but this squad quickly showed that it wasn't as easy as the 2011 Mavs made it look. The zone must have resulted in at least a dozen blown coverages and open layups.
  • Unfortunately on #VinceforVI night (promoting his sixth man campaign), Vince was only good for that two minute stretch of hitting those three triples. No hard feelings -- he's played fantastic over the stretch. It wasn't his night. (I could mention that he had his fair share of screw-ups on defense, but who on the Mavericks didn't?)
  • The disappearing Dirk shot attempts as the game goes on is literally the worst and most frustrating thing about Carlisle and the Mavericks.
  • Seriously, if not for those two 3-pointers, I would have spent a lot more time talking about Devin Harris. He pushes the ball recklessly when he shouldn't, slows down when he should attack and failed to execute several relatively simple passes. He's really regressed ever since that game winner several weeks back. I don't know what to make of him, and from the way he's being handled, I'm not sure the Mavs do either.
  • Tough schedule ahead. Tough loss last night. This sucks. Sports are weird. Goodnight.
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