The Dallas Mavericks lost to the New Orleans Pelicans 113-111. Things looked shaky from the get-go against a Pelicans squad that was missing a big chunk of talent with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram out with injuries. Dallas battled back from a 16-point first-half deficit to lead by seven early in the fourth, but the lead slipped away and a buzzer-beating game-winning attempt from Luka was off the mark.
3: Fourth quarter turnovers
Dallas actually won the turnover battle for the night, coughing it up just 12 times compared to New Orleans’ 14. However, of those 12, three came in the fourth quarter as Dallas was trying to claw its way to victory. New Orleans turned Dallas’ mistakes into seven points while Dallas wasn’t able to convert either of their two takeaways into points.
27: Points scored by Mavs players other than Luka, Dinwiddie, and Wood
It’s hard to be mad at the three guys who accounted for over 75% of Dallas’ offensive output. On the flip side, Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock both played 35 minutes a piece and contributed just seven points between the two of them. They got outscored by JaVale McGee’s eight points in just 12 minutes.
Now, by and large, Finney-Smith and Bullock are out there to be defenders. However, that wasn’t going so well either as New Orleans shot nearly 58% from the floor and 44.4% from three.
2: Numbers of makes on Luka’s 13 3-point attempts
Now, again, feels weird to criticize a guy who still managed to shoot 16-of-30 on the night and put up 37 points. The more frustrating aspect of this stat was one missed three in particular — the way-off buzzer-beater attempt. Of course, it was a shot we’ve seen Luka take and make (from that exact spot, even) multiple times in his career.
However, it felt like an odd choice when, down three, Luka opted for a quick layup with four seconds left on the clock. Dallas then had to play the foul game. When they got the ball back — now down two with 2.9 seconds left — they ran an out-of-timeout look for Luka that he ultimately missed. I’m not sure what the correct call is in that situation. It could very well be Luka prefers to get the ball from out of bounds rather than dribbling up the court, but New Orleans was able to get its defense set which ultimately resulted in a shot that wasn’t a particularly good look.
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