A win today and the Mavericks controlled their own destiny of moving up in the Western Conference standings. But yet another disappointing fourth quarter prevented them from walking away victorious. While the refs didn’t do Dallas any favors in the 134-131 defeat to Portland, there are many other factors that led to the loss:
61: Damian Lillard’s Point Total
It’s no secret that Lillard is one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA. This entire game the Mavericks defense was constantly dissected in the pick-and-roll. Kristaps Porzingis was unable to recover and wall off the paint after trying to protect the baseline. Through three quarters, Lillard had scored 39 points.
While calling Lillard a prolific scorer is an obvious statement, it’s even more clear that he’s lethal in the clutch. “Dame Time” was apparently scheduled for tonight as he scored 21 points in the fourth quarter, with 11 of those points came from the free throw line. While I don’t agree with a majority of the calls Lillard received in the fourth, he forced the calls and was offered freebies. He didn’t miss a single one of his 11 attempts from the charity stripe. Did the Mavericks take advantage of their opportunities the same way?
68.4: The Mavericks Fourth Quarter Free Throw Percentage
No, they didn’t. The team shot 13-for-19 on their attempts from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, an inexcusable showing when you’re trying to win a game. It’s especially painful when you consider that Dallas was a perfect 14-for-14 from the line heading into the fourth quarter. Of the six Mavericks that shot a free throw in the fourth quarter, four shot 50 percent or lower:
- Hardaway Jr: 6-for-6
- Porzingis: 3-for-4
- Doncic: 2-for-4
- Kleber: 1-for-2
- Wright: 1-for-2
- Kidd-Gilchrist: 0-for-1
A common crutch for the Mavericks once again showed it’s ugly head at the worst time, costing them yet another close game.
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.