The Dallas Mavericks fell at home Tuesday evening to the Phoenix Suns, 133-104. The Suns were led by a flame-throwing Devin Booker, who poured in 32 points. Luka Doncic scored 21 for an uninspiring Dallas Mavericks team.
Following a tribute to Kobe Bryant to start the game, the Dallas Mavericks played a listless first quarter of basketball. Dallas turned the ball over on their first two possessions and the Suns jumped out to a quick lead which would only grow. Luka Doncic and Rick Carlisle each picked up technical fouls arguing with the same bad inconsistent referee. The Suns poured 22 points in the paint and shot 62% from the floor, while Dallas couldn’t buy a bucket, hitting only seven shots the entire frame. After one, the Suns led 32-19.
The Mavericks broke out J.J. Barea to start the second frame a and the Mavericks finally found a rhythm offensively, scoring on eight straight possessions. Unfortunately, that energy didn’t translate into many defensive stops. Dallas did whittle down the lead to four at one point, but DeAndre Ayton continued his paint feasting. The Mavericks eventually cut the Suns lead down to five at the half, but poor shooting continued to plague Dallas through the first half. The Mavericks trailed the Suns, 55-60. Oh and Tim Hardaway Jr. picked up a tech as both teams walked off the floor to half time.
Things went badly very quickly for the Mavericks. A five point lead grew to as many as 31 points as Dallas came apart at the seams. Looking lethargic on both ends, Dallas seemed trapped in quicksand. A hockey shift change didn’t do much for Dallas, with the larger Suns punishing the smaller Mavericks in the paint. It was perhaps the most embarrassing effort in a quarter for Dallas this season, with Dallas giving up a franchise record 48 point quarter to Phoenix. Dallas trailed 77-108 after three periods.
The fourth quarter things just got worse and Dallas simply tried to make it out alive. Phoenix dominated Dallas, 133-104
Now, some things:
The way the Dallas Mavericks play at home is a legitimate problem
There’s no specific thing which stands out but for a team that has 29 wins to only have 13 of them at home, to pair with 12 losses, is baffling. Dallas often comes out flat or has massive lapses in focus resulting in getting embarrassed playing at American Airline Center. It’s easy to chalk up this one to dead legs following a short road trip or perhaps the weird emotion in the crowd with the Kobe tributes, but there’s something else at play.
Whatever it is, Dallas better figure it out. This has gotten silly.
Willie Cauley-Stein appears to be a professional basketball player
That’s all I’ve got. He missed an open dunk and then turned it over during his run when the game was close. The fourth quarter minutes aren’t really a place for analyzing either, with the game out of control.
Luka Doncic hit free throws!
After a three game stretch where he went 9-18 from the charity stripe, Luka went 6 for 7 and his shot looked nice. His three point shot still looks busted though.
Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.