‘Just really mad’: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks try to explain latest loss to Wizards

‘Just really mad’: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks try to explain latest loss to Wizards

Updated: 5 days, 15 hours, 59 minutes, 1 second ago

The Washington Wizards’ visit to Dallas for Tuesday night’s game against the Mavericks sparked tangible memories and discussion of their big-swing trade a year ago — even if Kristaps Porzingis watched from the sideline in a gray suit and black button-down while nursing a left ankle sprain.

Oh, how Mavericks fans are hollering for a similar turnaround spark.

Dallas lost 127-126 in American Airlines Center to the lottery-bound, trade-deadline-selling Wizards despite Luka Doncic tallying 41 points — without hitting a 3-pointer — and adding 15 rebounds and six assists in 38 minutes.

The 23-year-old superstar’s 10th 40-plus-point game of the season — as many as he tallied in the past two regular seasons combined — wasn’t enough to mask the Mavericks’ allowance of at least 127 points for the fourth time in the last seven games.

Dallas, loser of seven of its last nine games and eight of its last 11, failed to stop the Wizards from matching several key buckets in the final minutes.

After Porzingis trade-inclusion Spencer Dinwiddie hit a left corner 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining, putting Dallas ahead 123-121, the Wizards scored five consecutive points.

Though Doncic hit a jumper with 36.4 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 1 point (126-125) and then poked a steal to force Washington to foul him under the basket in transition, he missed the second of his two free throws that would’ve given the Mavericks a lead with 12.5 seconds remaining.

He pulled his jersey over his head, ripping the front in frustration.

No better feelings moments later, when the Mavericks deployed a double-team defense on Washington forward Kyle Kuzma and Doncic fouled Kuzma out of bounds with five seconds remaining, a call officials upheld after coach Jason Kidd’s challenge.

After Kuzma hit the second of his two foul shots, former Maverick Delon Wright twice thwarted the Mavericks’ attempt at the final shot of the game.

First, Wright first tipped the ball out of bounds after Spencer Dinwiddie’s inbound pass to Doncic. Then, he stole Doncic’s bounce-pass to Dinwiddie on the left wing, the Mavericks’ intended final look after anticipating a double-team.

Jason Kidd declined to call the current slide “a funk,” but Dinwiddie didn’t hide his urgent disappointment.

“We shouldn’t be in a game like that with them,” Dinwiddie said. “We should be able to stop them enough to where our 126 points beats their 125 or less. Like, that’s really all it comes down to. I mean, we just got to be better in that respect. They’re not playing for nothing, for real. You know what I mean?

“They’re just coming out here firing. Like, they’ve got people coming off the bench just firing because at the end of the day, for them, it’s a showcase. They’re over there trying to get paid, not trying to play winning basketball. For a team that has real aspirations and has an MVP, went to the conference finals last year, we have to be better to a man.”

The funny thing is they don’t play winning basketball 🤣🤣🤣✌🏽✌🏽✌🏽👋🏽🤡 https://t.co/O4klCwulLG— kuz (@kylekuzma) January 25, 2023

What a welcome back for Porzingis, now 3-0 in games against the Mavericks since they swapped him for Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans minutes before the 2022 trade deadline.

The Mavericks played a video tribute to their former Doncic co-star between the second and third quarters, showcasing 3-pointers, dunks, community service and silly promotional clips from his three years in Dallas.

He received applause from the American Airlines Center crowd, and returned it while standing at the Wizards’ bench, wearing a gray suit with a black button-down underneath, the formal bench attire many Mavericks fans remembered from his injury-riddled stretches on the other side.

Though he missed just five of the Wizards’ first 46 games before Tuesday, Porzingis still missed both contests against the Mavericks this season — also sitting Dallas’ Nov. 10 loss in Washington with a left groin strain.

No consolation for fans who hoped to see a true reunion game back in Dallas after free-agent-departee Jalen Brunson suffered a hip injury the outing before the Knicks played in AAC in late December.

Aside from one moment in the first quarter, when Porzingis laughed in disbelief at Doncic’s high-looping baseline jumper, he commanded little focus throughout the game.

The Mavericks had more pressing matters to address as a pair of slides continued.

One: They’ve lost four consecutive games to the Wizards since November 2021 despite Washington’s perennial draft-lottery status, and the Mavericks’ lofty playoff aspirations.

Two: Dallas hasn’t won twice in a three-game stretch, since Jan. 2-7 in beating the West-worst Houston Rockets and severely shorthanded Pelicans with a blowout loss to the Celtics sandwiched between.

Frustration showed throughout.

Early in the third quarter, Doncic drew his 11th technical foul of the season — five from the NBA’s one-game suspension threshold. Officials then whistled Kidd for one in the fourth.

“It was on me, this game,” Doncic said. “I was just really mad.”

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) misses a free throw in the final seconds of a...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks players huddle around center JaVale McGee (00) before the take the court...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives past Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. holds basketballs at the teams warm up before an...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. watches pregame introductions before an NBA...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic takes the floor before an NBA basketball game against the...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic warms up before an NBA basketball game against the...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) scores past Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) scores past Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) scores past Washington Wizards forward Anthony Gill...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) celebrate a...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) is fouled by Washington Wizards center...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) wrestles Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3)...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) wrestles Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3)...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic reacts after missing a 3-point attempt during the first...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis watches wearing street clothes during the first...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis watches a video tribute to his time with the...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) scores past Washington Wizards guard Monte Morris...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards forward Taj Gibson (67) scores past Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd during a timeout in the first half of an NBA...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic reacts after a foul call went against the Mavericks...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) is fouled by Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green (8) shoots over Washington Wizards forward Will Barton (5)...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) scores past Washington Wizards guard Delon...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) reaches for a rebound over Dallas Mavericks...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans (44) scores past Washington Wizards guard Delon...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) is fouled as he tries to drive to the basket...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks forward Christian Wood (center) watches from the bench between Davis...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) passes the ball over Washington Wizards forward Deni...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) scores past Washington Wizards guard Delon...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) is fouled by Washington Wizards forward Corey...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock (25) puts up a 3-point attempt during the second...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. watches from the sidelines during the second...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban smiles as he stands on the court during a timeout in the...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell looks on during a free throw in the second half of an...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) defends against Washington Wizards guard Bradley...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban points to the court during a timeout in the second half of...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) shoots a 3-pointer over Dallas Mavericks guard...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Washington Wizards guard Delon Wright (55) steals the ball from Dallas Mavericks guard Luka...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after being called for a foul sending...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) and center Dwight Powell (7) watch as a free throw...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts as he misses a free throw in the final...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after being called for a foul sending...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) misses a free throw in the final seconds of a...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks players huddle around center JaVale McGee (00) before the take the court...

(Smiley N. Pool / Staff Photographer)Dallas Mavericks players huddle around center JaVale McGee (00) before the take the court...Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) drives past Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway...Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. holds basketballs at the teams warm up before an...Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway Jr. watches pregame introductions before an NBA...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic takes the floor before an NBA basketball game against the...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic warms up before an NBA basketball game against the...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) scores past Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford...Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) scores past Dallas Mavericks forward Tim Hardaway...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) scores past Washington Wizards forward Anthony Gill...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) and forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) celebrate a...Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) is fouled by Washington Wizards center...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) wrestles Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3)...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) wrestles Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3)...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic reacts after missing a 3-point attempt during the first...Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis watches wearing street clothes during the first...Washington Wizards center Kristaps Porzingis watches a video tribute to his time with the...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) scores past Washington Wizards guard Monte Morris...Washington Wizards forward Taj Gibson (67) scores past Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell...Dallas Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd during a timeout in the first half of an NBA...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic reacts after a foul call went against the Mavericks...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) is fouled by Washington Wizards forward Deni Avdija...Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green (8) shoots over Washington Wizards forward Will Barton (5)...Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) scores past Washington Wizards guard Delon...Washington Wizards center Daniel Gafford (21) reaches for a rebound over Dallas Mavericks...Dallas Mavericks forward Davis Bertans (44) scores past Washington Wizards guard Delon...Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) is fouled as he tries to drive to the basket...Dallas Mavericks forward Christian Wood (center) watches from the bench between Davis...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) passes the ball over Washington Wizards forward Deni...Dallas Mavericks guard Spencer Dinwiddie (26) scores past Washington Wizards guard Delon...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) is fouled by Washington Wizards forward Corey...Dallas Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock (25) puts up a 3-point attempt during the second...Washington Wizards head coach Wes Unseld Jr. watches from the sidelines during the second...Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban smiles as he stands on the court during a timeout in the...Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell looks on during a free throw in the second half of an...Dallas Mavericks center Dwight Powell (7) defends against Washington Wizards guard Bradley...Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban points to the court during a timeout in the second half of...Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal (3) shoots a 3-pointer over Dallas Mavericks guard...Washington Wizards guard Delon Wright (55) steals the ball from Dallas Mavericks guard Luka...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after being called for a foul sending...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) and center Dwight Powell (7) watch as a free throw...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts as he misses a free throw in the final...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) reacts after being called for a foul sending...Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) misses a free throw in the final seconds of a...

Twitter: @CallieCaplan

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