Teague Dominates As Mavs Fall To Hawks 112-97
Riding a two-game winning streak, the Mavs faced the second leg of a back-to-back on Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks, beginning a rough four-game slate. With momentum finally back in their favor, the Mavs looked to extended that win streak against a team that narrowly defeated them back in December at the AAC.
But here, “Every time we made a mistake,'' Dirk Nowitzki said, "they made us pay for it.''
A chronological look at what went wrong in this 112-97 loss ...
Unfortunately for Dallas, things got off to an extremely rough start in the first quarter, with the team shooting just 21 percent from the field and one-of-eight from three. ... and losing Deron Williams to a hip contusion that the team expresses great concern over. Meanwhile for Atlanta, Kyle Korver scored nine points on three three-pointers, with the Hawks shooting over 50 percent from the floor. Dallas would trail by 12 heading into the second quarter, scoring just 15 points to the Hawks 27.
“We had shots early, and they didn’t go in,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "And that may have taken some of the energy out of us. ... But by-and-large, they outplayed us. It’s as simple as that.''
The second quarter stayed that "simple,'' and wasn't much better for the Mavs to start, as they continued to struggle from the floor. The Big German however, sporting a brand new haircut that has made him the good-natured butt of locker-room jokes (both locker rooms!), did his best to keep the Mavs in striking distance with 12 first-half points and some pesky defense. Wes Matthews also started to heat up, helping the Mavs close the Hawks' once-16-point lead to just seven heading into the half.
The third quarter was a frustrating one for the Mavs, as it seemed like every time they made a move against the Atlanta lead, the Hawks would answer right back with a run of their own. Most of the frustration on the Mavs end was due to their inability to check Jeff Teague on the perimeter, as the Hawks point guard lit up Dallas with a season-high 32 points in the game. The injury to D-Will earlier in game certainly didn't help the Mavs chances in that area, either. With the Mavs' floor general sidelined, their perimeter D really suffered throughout the rest of the game.
The fourth quarter proved to be more of the same, due to the Mavs inability to slow down the Hawks offensive attack. For the game, the Hawks would dominate the Mavs inside, winning the rebounding battle 50-37, as well as outscoring the Mavs in the paint by a 48-36 mark. Also, despite turning the ball over 15 times, the Hawks out assisted Dallas 29-14 in the game.
“We got beat pretty bad,” Carlisle said. “I think you’ve got to credit Atlanta. They came out and played the kind of game that desperate teams play. … I think the missed shots early were a factor, and we were playing uphill. That’s not an easy thing to do on the road against a good team.”
One bright spot for the Mavs, however, was the continued success of Chandler Parsons, who finished the game with his second double-double of the year, accumulating 19 points and 11 rebounds on 50-percent shooting. Additionally, Matthews became the second-fastest active player in the NBA to achieve the 1,000 three-pointers mark.
Moving forward, the Mavs (28-23) will not have a lot of time to dwell on this loss, as they head down to Miami to take on a surging Heat team, followed by a date the San Antonio Spurs (39-8) on Friday. With the All-Star Break looming in just eight days, the Mavs must find a way to salvage something from the remaining games before their 10-day rest period. Otherwise, The Mavs risk falling even further behind Memphis (10-2 in their last 12) in the Western Conference standings, where the Houston Rockets will be hot on their tail.