Dallas Mavericks all but eliminated after abysmal loss to the Heat
By Tyler Watts
The Dallas Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat 129-122 on Saturday night. It was the first of a back-to-back set for the Mavs, and they desperately needed a victory. The loss puts Dallas at 37-41 with just four games remaining in the regular season. They are now one game behind the Thunder for tenth in the Western Conference, but Oklahoma City holds the tiebreaker for the final spot in the Play-In Tournament.
Luka Doncic had a monster performance on April 1. He finished with 42 points, ten rebounds, eight assists, and two steals in 44 minutes of action. Doncic made 17 of 25 from the field in Miami, and he looked unstoppable, despite battling through rolling his ankle in the contest.
The Mavericks' offense did enough to get the win on Saturday night, but it was again the defense and rim protection that resulted in the loss. Dallas shot over 60 percent from the floor, but it was not enough. Here is a closer look at the game before taking a glance at where Dallas goes next.
Dallas Mavericks all but eliminated after an abysmal loss to the Heat
Doncic had the magic on display on Saturday night as he went off in Miami. It was Luka’s 14th 40-point game of the season and just another wild stat line from the 24-year-old. See an incredible play from number 77 below.
Tim Hardaway Jr. could not miss on April 1. He finished with 31 points on 11 of 15 shooting, including hitting six 3-pointers. THJ also chipped in seven assists and six rebounds as Dallas outscored the Heat by ten in his 40 minutes on the floor.
Kyrie put up strong numbers too. The Mavericks' offense was not the issue against the Heat. Dallas just could not get a stop. They allowed 44 in the opening quarter and 76 in the first half. The Mavs stepped up the defense a bit in the second half, but it was not enough on April Fool’s Day.
Jimmy Butler had 35 points as the Heat had five players score 15-plus against the Mavericks. Kevin Love attacked the rim several times in the first half, and Dallas had zero answers. Their rim protection has been problematic since the Kyrie Irving trade, and it was on full display in Miami. Dallas not being able to get stops with their season on the line says everything fans need to know about this campaign.
The Dallas Mavericks get zero time to rest as they travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Sunday evening. Luka Doncic and company have lost nine of their last 12 games, and they have no choice but to win out if they want to make the postseason. Can they start it with a win over the Hawks on April 2? Tune in to find out.