The Mavs had cough-ups galore, which was "the undoing in the game,” coach Rick Carlisle said, noting, “We had seven (turnovers) for 10 points in the first quarter and 10 for 15 points in the first half. But they overcame those to own a 95-94 lead and possession with 31.6 seconds remaining. But Dirk Nowitzki committed another turnover that led directly to a Milwaukee bucket and their lead. And then Deron Williams missed a 17-footer for the win as time expired.
“We got a good look for the win: D-Will with a good up-fake and a one-dribble pull-up,” Nowitzki said, obviously hoping for the same D-Will dramatics that won Dallas a previous game this week at the double-OT buzzer against the Kings. “I’ll take that all day. It just didn’t go.”
Dirk will also take the blame for the loss-causing turnover.
“That was a bad turnover on my part there when we were up one,” said Nowitzki, who scored a team-high 20 points. “I saw Zaza flashing there and I thought I could get it to him in the lane and he could swing it maybe for a good shot on the weak side. But ... that was a bad turnover.”
This game was also marked as one in which Dallas unleashed threes at a high rate. ... 44 of them, to be precise. That's an NBA season high-tying number of attempts and sets an NBA season high for a half with 26 3-point attempts in the first half.
"There are a lot of threes being taken in the NBA right now and you're going to have to defend that," said Bucks interim coach Joe Prunty, the former Mavs assistant who is subbing for Jason Kidd while Kidd recovered from hip surgery. "You're going to have to contest those shots; your assignments are going to have to be on-point. Then you have to finish them out and get those long rebounds. Our team defense was very, very good."
Dallas has earned its reputation as a clutch team, and Wisconsite Devin Harris (19 points) and the late shooting of Wes Matthews and Raymond Felton were just that. But the errors early and late -- which interestingly contrast with Dalas having tied the franchise-low with just four turnovers during a 10-point win over the Bucks just two weeks ago -- manifested themselves a 55-39 halftime deficit and eventually included a 56-32 points-in-the-paint deficit. Zaza Pachulia, who used to play for the Bucks, tried to solve that by contributing nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds but the biggest Zaza storyline here turns out to be his unhappiness with Milwaukee fans who taunted him, which in the end drew an apology from the Bucks organization.
The loss to the 15-23 Bucks drops the Mavs to 21-16. This three-game roadie ends with Sunday’s game in Minnesota. ... and hopefully starts differently than this one did.
“The first half we came out very soft and we were just out there showing up,” Pachulia said. “We weren’t playing basketball. Defensively, no energy. Very soft. Offensively, we weren’t sharing the ball. It was very individual basketball. I’m disappointed because that’s not our personality, and that’s not how we play.’’