The Mavericks fell behind 23 points in the first half with some truly terrible basketball on both ends. Headed into a timeout, there were a few boos heard around the American Airlines Center.
Scattered boos at the AAC. Can't blame Mavs fans. This is horrendous basketball.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) February 27, 2016
It's been a minute since I recall hearing boos at AAC. I know #Mavs fans booed their own Steve Nash at Reunion Arena.— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) February 27, 2016
It was the first time Wesley Matthews had heard the home crowd boo him, he said, and it clearly had rubbed him the wrong way.
"I'm not going to sugarcoat it, we didn't play great," Matthews said. "We played terrible basketball. But we played terrible basketball. Our effort wasn't questioned. Our execution might have been off, but our hearts were in the right place. We're not trying to lose games, we're not trying to be down 23. Credit them, they're still an NBA team. I don't care what their record is, they just beat the Clippers at their place. So we won the game. So for those of you who left early, cool, I hope you got stuck in traffic."
Dallas responded late in the second quarter and briefly took a lead in the third, before falling back behind to Denver. A frantic fourth quarter comeback forced overtime, where Dallas stole a 122-116 win.
"We can't keep doing (that)," Matthews said. "We can't keep relying on the fact that we're a veteran team and we can make shots and all that kind of stuff. We have to make a stand and come out with an urgency like we did in the second quarter, start of the third. We can't keep putting ourselves down (in games)."
Matthews is right, of course. The problems that caused the Mavericks to fall down 23 points are still very, very apparent, and against most other teams, there wouldn't have been a comeback. But in Matthews' eyes, the boos were not warranted.
"(The boos) kind of threw me off, but to the fans who didn't booed, the fans who stayed, we appreciate that, because we never lost faith in ourselves, we never lost confidence in ourselves," Matthews said. "For them to get loud and for them to cheer, it means a lot. We're going out there working. We may not play the best all the time, but we're giving our all. So for the boos, it's for the birds."