The Dallas Mavericks started their three-game road trip with a 125-112 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night. They wasted a Luka Doncic masterpiece at the TD Garden as Dallas did not find their defense until the fourth quarter.
Credit to the Celtics. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were fantastic as they both went for 30-plus, and it felt like Boston never missed on Nov. 23. The Mavs made a bit of a comeback in the second half, but the game was never truly in doubt because of the Celtics' white-hot shooting.
What can Mavs fans take away from Wednesday’s loss in Boston? It was an ugly defensive performance from Dallas, and here are three discouraging things from the blowout.
Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks loss to Celtics: 3. Free throws
It was another bad shooting night from the foul line for the Mavs. They made just five of nine in the first half as they trailed by 21 at the break. To make matters worse, the Celtics were shooting 54.5 percent from the field and had already made 11 3-pointers after 24 minutes.
Dallas went just 13 of 21 from the foul line on Wednesday night. They shot 53.7 percent from the field and still lost 13. The free throws certainly did not help in Boston.
It furthered a trend for the Mavericks. Coming into Wednesday’s game, they took the third-most free throws per game in the league, but they were 26th in percentage.
Things may not improve either. Luka Doncic and Christian Wood both struggle from the foul line, and they have not shown signs of improvement this season. Giving up free points will be costly, and it was again on Wednesday night.