Mavs fall to the Rockets in a close game

Mavs fall to the Rockets in a close game

DALLAS – The Dallas Mavericks had a chance to win a close game against the Houston Rockets, but fell short 94-93. The Mavs have lost 10 of their last 11 games and dropped percentage points behind Memphis for the second-worst record (27-39) in the Western Conference.

Dallas trailed by as much as 12 points, but had a chance to win at the end. James Harden missed a driving layup and the Mavs rebounded the ball seven seconds remaining. Coach Rick Carlisle showed faith in young players Jalen Brunson and Luka Dončić and did not use a timeout. “I decided not to call a timeout and go,” coach Carlisle said. “I always feel in those situations, it you have playmakers you trust, you can have a better chance to get an open look if you go, and it didn’t work out.”

Dončić got the ball across midcourt and was shortly met by three members of the Rockets. He passed the ball in the right corner to Brunson, but his shot was blocked by Chris Paul at the buzzer. Slovenian point guard would have preferred a timeout to set up a last shot for him. “There was not a lot of time,” Dončić said. “I think honestly we should have called a timeout. It was the last play, and I always want to get the last shot. I think a timeout would have been good. It didn’t work out, so we learn from this.”

Dončić scored 19 points, a career-high 15 rebounds, nine assists, two steals and two blocks. In the first time in his career he reached a double-double status by halftime. This was his 17th double-double. The most likely rookie of the year felt a “pop” in his right knee in the final quarter. Dončić remained in the game, which is likely a good sign. “I just felt a pop. We’ll see,” Dončić said.

Dallas will host the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.