Everything seemed to be going perfectly for the Mavericks on Monday night.
They stayed close in the first quarter, fought back to take a small lead after the second quarter, and for one of the few times this year, they outplayed their opponent convincingly in the third quarter.
Then everything just fell apart.
With a seven-point lead against an opponent with a record almost as bad as the Mavericks, the outcome looked like it was foregone conclusion.
But, the Mavericks fell apart and scored a mere 16 points in the half on their way to their 23rd loss in just 31 games.
Coach Carlisle once again did nothing but state the obvious after the game.
“You have to give credit to Phoenix; they beat us badly. Bad starts and poor finishes are the recipe for losses.”
Harris gave an even better Capt. Obvious quote, stating, “Execution is a big part of it. Tonight we gave up too many paint points, especially in the fourth quarter.”
Unfortunately, that is what we have seen from the Mavericks most night save a few games during a stretch where it looked like the Mavericks were finally starting to turn things around.
Fans have now been treated to this same debacle two games in row, with the Mavericks losing to the Spurs during their last game when the Spurs closed out the game with a 13-0 run for a two-point victory.
As bad as the loss to the Spurs was, it was almost understandable because of the talent gap between the two teams.
However, losing in this fashion to a team like Phoenix is simply unforgivable.
I just have to wonder how much longer Cuban is going to allow this to go on.
Zeke Elliott spent his first night back in Dallas courtside, but even his appearance was not enough to inspire the Mavericks to a win.
Barnes led the Mavericks in scoring, putting down 26 points. Kleber led the team in rebounds with eight.
Nowitzki had a miserable night, scoring only 5 points and grabbing four rebounds in 25 minutes. His +/- was also second worst on the night, with a -15.
The Mavericks (8-23) have another difficult game tomorrow night against the Detroit Pistons (17-13). With an 8-8 away record, fans can probably expect more of the same from the Mavs.