It’s never easy to win in the NBA, but there are some games that you just can’t lose. On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks hosted the lowly Oklahoma City Thunder.
OKC snapped a seven-game losing streak when they defeated the Blazers Monday night, and Dallas was coming off a tough road loss against the Magic Sunday night, so the thought was Dallas(29-23) would come back strong against the Thunder(16-34).
However, Lu Dort scored 30 points; Tre Mason added a career-high 29 points as the Thunder defeated the Mavs 120-114 in OT at American Airlines Center.
At one point, Dort scored 14 straight for OKC in OT, and he scored 14 of the team’s 17 points in the extra session.
Luka Doncic led the Mavs with a game-high 40 points, five rebounds, 10 assists, and three steals. Reggie Bullock came off the bench for a season-high-tying 23 points to go with a season-high-tying eight rebounds, and Jalen Brunson contributed 20 points, five rebounds, four assists.
Dallas had an opportunity to win this game in regulation, but they could not hold the lead down the stretch. With the Mavericks leading 103-101, OKC’s Kenrich Williams made a layup over Doncic to tie things up at 103. Doncic had an opportunity to get the win, but he missed a three at the buzzer.
After the game, Doncic took full responsibility for the loss. First, on defense.
“I mean, this game is on me, you know,” he said. “The last two possessions shouldn’t happen. By far, my worst defensive game this year for sure, and it’s just on me.”
Doncic also was not happy with his final shot at the end of regulation.
“It was a tight game,” he said. “I expected the double [team], and I saw it wasn’t there. I decided to do a step-back, but it was a bad decision.”
Despite the bad losses, Brunson says the locker room is still positive.
“We’re still positive,” he said. “We know what we’re capable of, and we just got to reset focus. Every team has NBA players. You have to treat every team with respect no matter what their record is. Props to them tonight.”
You have to win all the winnable games you can in the NBA. In the last four games, all against teams below .500, Dallas went 2-2, and the two losses came against teams with a combined 28-75 record. Plus, OKC did not have their best player in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, so that’s unacceptable.
The Mavericks continue their six-game homestand against the 76ers Friday night.