Sometimes, when we do these takeaways, there are many areas to examine.

In this particular instance, there is only one.

So we’ll dispense with any pretense about the Mavericks’ 106-105 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks coming down to anything other than really, really crummy free-throw shooting.

That’s it.

But since these remain the plural version of a takeaway, we will break down this one unpardonable sin of basketball into three parts.

THE 15-FOOT MENACE: The Mavericks were 10-of-24 from the free-throw line. Sixth-grade teams can beat the tar out of that. It’s just an aberration, of course. The Mavericks haven’t had an epically bad free-throw game like that since . . . well, hopefully never. And never again. The Mavericks missed their last six free throws, one by Dwight Powell, three by Tim Hardaway Jr. and two by Dorian Finney-Smith. If misery loves company, then the Mavericks are OK. But even if you take away those six misses, they were 10-of-18 before that stretch. That’s still a terrible night of free-throw shooting. As Luka Dončić said afterward: “It starts with me. You got to make the free throws. It’s a free shot, nobody’s guarding you. You just got to take your time and knock it in.” But it just didn’t happen on this night.

MEANWHILE: The Bucks hit 19-of-23 free throws. That’s nine more points than the Mavericks got at the stripe on one less shot. There’s nothing more to say.

AND, IN OTHER NEWS: OK, we’ll pile all the other takeaways into one nice bundle for you. The rebounding again wasn’t great. The Mavericks got 43 of them to the Bucks’ 51. And when you break it down further, the Mavericks really had only one good quarter, the third. That’s when they ran over the Bucks 36-21 and took a 12-point lead. And late in the fourth quarter, Giannis Antetokounmpo would foul out on the play that gave Hardaway three free throws. It looked like a turning point that would send the Mavericks to their fourth win in a row. Sadly, it could never happen because the Mavericks had to relearn the lesson that the best things in life for free – unless you miss them when they are there for the taking. And by the way, Dončić was really close to making up for his 4-of-10 free-throw shooting with his crazy dunk in the third quarter over Jrue Holiday. He still thinks his dunk in Denver in his second season was better, but this one wasn’t bad and had Luka in a better mood when asked about it: “I’ll probably be drug-tested the next day. I don’t know how that happened. I just went for it. It was great. The crowd was cheering. We went up 12 so it was a big moment for us.”

Twitter: @ESefko

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