The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night, 106-105. Their 12th loss of the season came as a result of missing 14 free throws, giving up an easy bucket on the final play, and being unable to get a decent look to end the game despite time on the clock.
Following the game, head coach Jason Kidd talked, as did Luka Doncic. Dorian Finney-Smith spoke as well. Here’s what they had to say.
(On the free throw shooting tonight…)
“If you’re shooting 42% that’s not very good. 10-for-24. In a one-point ballgame, the small things matter. I think in the fourth, we were 7-for-15. So, we’re getting to the line, especially there late. We’ve got to step up. We do practice free throws all the time and it’s a part of the game. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t make them at the right time.”
(On the execution of the last two plays to win the game…)
“Yeah, I wanted to give Luka [Dončić] a chance. We had too many people run to screen for him so it was a little crowded for him, and then to be able to execute the last play, we just couldn’t get a screen. They switched it and we had a tough shot. Give them credit. They made plays late [and] we didn’t.”
(On if there is added pressure on the other players when teammates miss at the line…)
“That’s a great question. I don’t know. You would have to ask them. Everybody’s different. Some can handle pressure. Some don’t know what someone else shot from the free throw line. I would say a lot them probably think about themselves and don’t worry about going up to the free throw line to help the team. Unfortunately, we didn’t make them.“
(On the Bucks’ final play where Brook Lopez got open…)
“Yeah, it was a breakdown defensively. Give them credit. They ran a great play and got an easy look. They set a great screen, great pass. Give them credit.”
(On defending Giannis Antetokounmpo tonight…)
“Yeah, again, I thought the bodies in front of Giannis – you’re not going to stop him. He’s going to get his looks and he’s going to score, but I thought we made it tough on him. We tried to show multiple bodies [and] make him a passer. He’s seen all the defenses, but I thought the guys did a really good job trying to keep guys in front of him. But, he’s still going to get to the basket. He’s so long and he played a really good game there in the second half.”
(On the final shot of the game…)
“There was 2 seconds. It’s a tough shot. We’ve got to work on that. We tried to change and they pre-switched. I think it was a miscommunication on the players’ side. We wanted him to switch so I didn’t have Jrue (Holiday) on me.”
(On the late game free throw shooting…)
“I think we’ve just got to practice, and me the first one. I’ve got to set the tempo for my teammates. They look to me. If I have energy, then they have energy. It starts with me. Got to make the free throws. It’s a free shot, no one is guarding you, so you just got to take your time and knock it in.”
(On how the Mavs bounce back after this game…)
“The locker room is kind of tough right now because we had the game, but just keep it going. It’s not the first time and it’s not the last time, for sure. We just keep trusting. I think we are playing amazing basketball. We had a win in our pockets basically, against a team like the Bucks, which is one of the best teams in the league. We’ve just got to keep trusting it.”
(On if he should have reentered the game earlier in the 4th quarter…)
“It’s a lot of minutes, but I don’t know. That’s coach’s decision and he knows what’s best for us. We kind of blew it a little bit there, but we had the game basically in our pocket. We’ve got to make our free throws”
(On how Brook Lopez got open on the game winning shot…)
“I don’t know man. We just got to go back and look at it. Obviously that can’t happen – an open layup. We’ve just got to go back and look at what happened, and look at what went wrong.”
(On the defense of Bobby Portis…)
“He is one of the best, if not the best guard defenders for me. He doesn’t get a lot of praise for how he can guard, but for me it’s tough to go against him. I’m surprised he’s never been Defensive Player of the Year or something. They have a great team overall. Obviously Giannis (Antetokounmpo), it’s really hard to stop him. We kind of stopped him, but he still had 28 so it’s almost impossible to stop him.”
(On his dunk over Jrue Holiday…)
“I don’t know how that happened. I just went for it. It was great, we had momentum in the whole gym. The crowd was cheering, and then we hit another 3. I think C-Wood (Christian Wood) hit it. We went up 12, it was really a big moment for us. I really enjoyed it.”
(On the final defensive play)
“I should have switched it. We’ve got to call that. That’s on me. Especially being a defender, I should have let go on the free throws and stayed in the moment, but they made a good play.”
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