Mavs "horrible" blur

Terrible game for Carlisle's team against Rockets who had five losses in a row. Bad Doncic and terrible percentages in a day to forget.


This game was to have been played on February 19, when it was postponed by the unusual snowstorm that covered Texas. And there the Mavericks seemed to stay, a specter that never assumed it was their turn to play, as if it was guided only by the original schedule and this Wednesday it had not started, reality was how stubborn it wanted to be. Maybe it was a cabalistic thing: the Mavs had five victories in a row and did not add six since April 8, 2016. Just today is five years old. And so it will continue, for now. Because the Mavs played a horrifying game and lost in Houston (102-93). The Rockets had tied, the reverse of their neighbor, five losses in a row. They had only won 13 games before this one (now 14-37, a win more than the Timberwolves) and they haven't had an even finish since, glups, on Jan. 28.

In the NBA there are bad losses. By calendar, by rival, by circumstances. This is a bad defeat for the Mavericks, who had been thrown and are now (28-22) two games away from the Blazers (sixth in the West) and three and a half away from the Lakers (fifth) in their career for trying to avoid play in which they border (seventh), suddenly with more air in front than behind, where the Grizzlies press (26-23). If Rick Carlisle's men want to avoid that previous round, they can't lose games like this. Nor can they play that bad. They stayed at 37.9% in shots (33/87), 25% in triples (10/39, terrible 6/23 at halftime) and barely gave 16 assists for their 9 losses. Carlisle warned after the game that the defense had been as disappointing as the attack, although a zone collapsed to some Rockets who did not score on the outside when the difference was 13 points, already in the third quarter.

Tim Hardaway Jr recognized the cold water jug: "I don't know if people have noticed, but Portland had lost the day before and we had to win this game." And while Luka Doncic focused on the day to forget theory ("Everybody can have a bad day, right? It was a horrible day for the team"), Kristaps Porzingis went further when asked why not. he hadn't had a shot in the fourth quarter: "Good question. These are the plays we make ... and it's something that has happened before." And he acknowledged, another bad news, that his wrist problems are not going to go away by magic: "I will have to deal with it when the season ends, for now I have to continue and I hope I can cope with it."

So for the Mavs, who arrived in a state of complete happiness, it was better that this game had stayed in February. Because, to add insult to injury, they screwed it up when they looked about to fix it in the fourth quarter after turning a 78-69 into an 89-89 with two and a half minutes to go. Then they fell nine points in a row (98-89) from the Rockets, seven from a John Wall who returned like a cyclone after four games of loss: 31 points, 7 assists, 4 steals. Christian Wood finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, Olynyk grabbed 18 rebounds and Kevin Porter Jr, a great talent with a very bad head, participated in that final takeoff with a block and a dunk and closed the game with 14 points. An unexpected joy for the Rockets in a terrible season for them and their coach, a Stephen Silas who jumped to the head coach position from the assistant position… of Rick Carlisle in the Mavericks.

Doncic had one of his worst nights of the season: 23 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists but 5 losses, 9/26 shooting and 1/9 on triples. Porzingis finished with 23 + 12 but frustrated in the last minutes, and on a frigid day for Richardson (a player without a middle ground and too many bad days) and Melli, they pushed from the bench Hardaway Jr (18 points) and one that almost never fails, Jalen Brunson (14). But it was too little, even against a low-minimum opponent. And the Mavericks suddenly see everything a little less bright. But this is the NBA, and revenge opportunities come on the fast track. Tonight, back to back, the Bucks. A tremendous rival to smile again ... or twist the gesture a little more.

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