The Dallas Mavericks entered Thursday’s game against the Golden State Warriors as the worst team in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 32.7 percent.
But that percentage will go up after the way the Mavs dialed it in during the 147-116 loss to the Warriors at American Airlines Center.
The Mavs converted 15 of their 29 shots from downtown in first half against the Warriors, and actually had hit 18 of their 36 shots from 3-point range at one point. Overall, the Mavs were 20-of-50 from beyond the 3-point arc for a very respectable 40 percent.
However, they couldn’t keep pace with the Warriors, who scored a season high in points.
“The nature of NBA basketball is to fall into a shot-trade type of back-and-forth when you’re hitting shots and when the other team is hitting shots,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It just feels like the game’s flowing and one team can outscore the other. It’s a very dangerous situation to get in, especially with a team like Golden State that is highly skilled.
“They’ve got Steph Curry, who really has changed the NBA game with his ability to shoot and what he does with screening and movement and passing the ball. Look, this is a difficult lessons, but we’re going to get our rest tomorrow, and Saturday obviously we’re going to have to be way, way better.”
For the Mavs, Kristaps Porzingis was 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point line, Tim Hardaway Jr. was 5-of-11, and Jalen Brunson was 3-of-5. Meanwhile, the Warriors were 22-of-43 from downtown for 51.2 percent, including 7-of-10 from Kelly Oubre Jr., who poured in a career-high 40 points.
The Mavs and Warriors will meet again on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at AAC.
Numbers are deceptive: Despite his greatness, Mavs point guard Luka Doncic is shooting just 29 percent from 3-point range and also is averaging 3.9 turnovers per game. But those numbers are not anything coach Rick Carlisle are fretting over.
“His three numbers to me are always deceptive,” Carlisle said. “He’s one of these guys that has no reservations to shoot a 60-foot shot at the end of a quarter. He expects those shots to go in, and the misses don’t faze him at all.
“He is making shots that are big shots, though. Like the three he hit at the end of the first half (Wednesday) night (against the Atlanta Hawks) was a huge shot. We’re down six and he hits a step-back in front of our bench to make it a 3-point game at halftime.”
Doncic has shot above 37 percent from downtown in just five games this season, and he’s had five or more turnovers in six games.
But Carlisle noted there are mitigating circumstances involved in both of those cases.
“A lot of his shots I like,” Carlisle said. “They are in rhythm, he’s sitting down into them, and I think as the season goes along he’s going to make more and more of them.
“In terms of the turnovers, I really believe that as we’ve gotten our guys back we’re getting a feel for each other, our spacing is getting better and I think those will go down for everyone as we move forward.”
Black History Month: In honor of Black History Month, coach Rick Carlisle read a passage before Thursday’s game against the Warriors commemorating something historical that happened with an African-American figure. Carlisle will be reading a passage prior to every practice and game in the month of February.
On Thursday, Carlisle said: “Washington Football Team assistant running backs coach Jennifer King was promoted to her current position on Jan. 26, 2021 after serving as the team’s full-time coaching intern. With her promotion, King becomes the first African American female assistant position coach in NFL history.
“She also becomes the second female assistant position coach in the NFL behind Tampa Bay Buccaneers assistant defensive line coach Lori Locust. So big progress made there on Day 4.”
While the Mavs were in the bubble in Orlando last summer, before every game and after every practice, Carlisle read a moment in history where African-Americans were treated unfairly.
Briefly: Thursday’s game was the 12th in 18 days for the Mavs. Couple that with the fact that the Mavs have had more player/games missed due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols than any other team, and it’s been a struggle to stay afloat. “The big challenge for us has been some of the COVID protocol stuff and the density of the schedule,” coach Rick Carlisle said before Thursday’s game. “We’ve just been through a very thick period of scheduling. This is the second night of a back-to-back of kind of I think (an 18-) day really, really tough stretch. That’s been hard, but we just got to slug through it.” The Mavs are just 3-9 over the last 12 games. . .The Mavs have now lost six straight games at home and are only 2-7 during games played at American Airlines Center this season. “We’re just not playing good basketball,” forward Kristaps Porzingis said.