March Sadness: Mavs Lose a Game They Couldn't Afford to Lose

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Dirk Nowitzki cheers on the Mavericks from the bench.

    Welcome to March Sadness.

    From my floor-seat view last night in American Airlines Center, Dirk Nowitzki’s potential game-winning shot looked good. Until it was bad. Real bad. Instead of going in, it awkwardly, haplessly caromed off the side iron an backboard, cementing a painful, debilitating 123-122 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and reminding us all that most times in sports the bounces even out.

    Anyone remember Dirk’s game-winner from the same spot on the floor in New York … off the backboard?

    After painstakingly climbing out of a 22-point hole all night and withstanding a triple-double by Ricky Rubio, the Mavs were perched for a dramatic victory. They led by five in overtime, and by one with 20 seconds remaining. But, inexplicably, Devin Harris and Shawn Marion allowed Kevin Love to wedge between their double-team and make a jump-hook in the lane for a Minnesota lead. Enter, Nowitzki.

    He got the ball in his “office” – 17 feet away in the free-throw circle – with Love in his face. A dribble. A pump-fake. A fadeway.

    Clank.

    Dirk capped an ugly 11-of-27 shooting night with one last miss, and the Mavs suffered a damaging loss to both spirit and standings.

    “This is a tough one,” Nowitzki said afterward. “This feels like a playoffs loss.”

    The overtime loss is only the Mavs’ second this season when scoring 120 points. You simply can’t lose at home when you score 122 points against a team barely over .500.

    If the Mavs somehow don’t make the playoffs, it’ll be because of their infuriating, head-scratching play against the lower end of the Western Conference. Against the Timberwolves and Nuggets, Dallas is now 1-6. And, yep, wouldn’t you know who comes to town on Friday – Denver.
     

    A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.