The Mavericks were on the verge of beating San Antonio twice in one week, something that is not done very often, and now we know why.
The Spurs were outplayed for virtually the entire game, but managed to put on a defensive display over the last 4:11 of the game that was truly remarkable.
During that span, the Mavericks failed to score a single point, watching their 96-85 lead turn into a 98-96 loss.
I just have to wonder what Carlisle was thinking as this happened, because he clearly was not coaching.
The Mavs called a timeout after Barea committed a shooting foul at the 3:59 mark, but did not try to get the team regrouped again until there was about a minute left in the game.
At that point, the Mavericks were in pure panic mode and holding on to a 2-point lead for dear life.
After the Spurs tied the game. Matthews was trying to inbound a pass. He was running out of time and tried to throw the ball off Ginobili, but it bounced right back and hit Matthews to create yet another turnover, the one that would lead to another basket for the Spurs and cap their 13-0 run.
There was plenty of frustration afterwards, with Nowitski summing it up perfectly.
Nowitski stated, “We did everything right to lose.”
“We missed shots offensively, bad turnover, gave them some offensive rebounds. Letting Ginobli go left down the stretch to lay it in. We literally had to do everything perfect to lose this one and we did,” Nowitski also stated.
And by perfect, he mean perfectly bad.
As good as the Mavericks played for the first 44 minutes of the game, it is the last four that will define them and is a perfect example of how this season has been so horribly mismanaged and coached thus far.
Nowitski took advantage of a huge mismatch to go 8 for 13 from the field for 19 points.
The Mavericks offensive rebounding woes continued, gathering in only four offensive boards to nine for the Spurs.
The Mavericks (8-22) come back to American Airlines Arena on Monday night to host the Suns (10-21). The Mavs need to regroup and get their ship righted, as this is a game they should win handily.