No matter how they look at it, the Dallas Mavericks know they should have found a way to get out of Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with a victory.
After all, the Mavs held a 16-point lead with just 4:14 remaining in the fourth quarter. But the Thunder somehow forced the game to go into overtime, then created enough positive plays to win it, 117-111.
Unfortunately, Saturday’s game bore too much resemblance to the regular season opener when the Mavs held a 22-ppint lead against Phoenix in the third quarter, but wound up losing to the Suns, 107-105.
“We don’t play with a lead very well, which obviously is concerning,” guard Spencer Dinwiddie said. “But we’re also getting a lead.
“It’s weird, man. It’s not like the intent is bad. We just got to do better, because we’ve dropped several leads now.”
Here are the three takeaways from the 117-111 overtime loss to the Thunder.
BENCH SCORING: One of the deciding factors in Saturday’s game was the firepower the Thunder got from their bench. Darius Bazley (15 points), Isaiah Joe (15 points) and Jalen Williams (13 points) led a parade of players which helped the OKC reserves outscore the Mavs’ reserves, 50-27. Joe even buried the key three-pointer with 15.8 seconds left in the fourth quarter which sent the game into overtime.
MISSED THREES: One game after the Mavs converted 20-of-40 shots from behind the three-point stripe against Brooklyn, they were only 8-of-40 from beyond the three-point arc against the Thunder. That lack of marksmanship from long distance played a key role in the Mavs’ inability to get over the hump against an OKC team that’s in a rebuilding mold.
DONCIC NEEDS HELP: Luka Doncic recorded his second consecutive triple-double, finishing with 31 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists. But the Mavs know they missed too many wide open three-pointers while the defense was ganging up on Doncic. “I think when you look at being able to guard the ball, we can’t just rely on Luka,” coach Jason Kidd said. “Someone’s got to step up and make a shot or make a play.”
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