Mavs, facing Raptors, attempt to move past stunning loss

Author:
Sportsnaut

The Dallas Mavericks will get an immediate opportunity to try to shake off one of the most stunning losses of the NBA season.

One night after losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers on a 59-foot shot at the buzzer, the Mavericks continue their road trip with a game against the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday.

P.J. Washington sank a layup to give Dallas a one-point lead with 2.6 seconds remaining in Cleveland. The Cavaliers inbounded the ball, Max Strus heaved a shot from well beyond half court, and it swished through the net for a 121-119 win.

“As much as this one hurts, we’ve got to turn the page,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said.

Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving, who scored 30 points, added, “You don’t flush it. We’re human. This one’s got to sting a little bit. You’ve got to let some emotion out. You’ve got to yell when you get to your hotel room or talk to whoever you’ve got to talk to, then you flush it out. There’s a process.”

Of the decisive play, Kidd said, “We’ve got to understand they had no timeout, so we’ve got to press up to make them go backwards and not let them come forward.”

Dallas star Luka Doncic said, “That was my fault. I should have pressed up more.”

That was one of few missteps on the night for Doncic, who turns 25 on Wednesday. He finished with 45 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in the defeat.

“I’m getting old (Wednesday),” Doncic quipped. “I need extra treatment. No, I’m just having fun playing basketball. Obviously, this one’s tough to swallow, but we’ve got our next game (Wednesday) and I’m enjoying playing basketball.”

The Mavericks, who have lost two in a row immediately after a seven-game winning streak, now will face a Toronto team riding its best run of the season.

The Raptors have their first three-game winning streak of the campaign after defeating the Indiana Pacers 130-122 on Monday to complete a two-game road trip.

Coach Darko Rajakovic said he would make good on a promise to take the team to dinner when the Raptors won three in a row for the first time this season.

“I told them I would treat them to a nice meal, but since we have such a group of humble guys, they said, ‘We don’t need fancy, we can go for pizza,’” Rajakovic said after the game. “We’ll negotiate, but I’ll treat them to dinner.”

Scottie Barnes had 21 points, 12 rebounds and matched his career best with 12 assists on Monday. It was his fourth triple-double of the season, a single-season franchise record. Barnes also had five blocked shots.

Toronto’s RJ Barrett added 24 points and rookie Gradey Dick had 18 points, making two key 3-pointers late in the game.

“This is just the beginning (for Dick),” Rajakovic said. “He’s going to have good games, he’s going to have bad games, but he needs to continue winning in those situations, continue to learn and get better.”

Over his past nine games, Dick is averaging 12.9 points in 21.2 minutes while shooting 59.2 percent from the field.

The Raptors lost center Jakob Poeltl during the Monday game due a sprained left ankle. He was listed as questionable for the Wednesday contest, the opener of a four-game homestand.

–Field Level Media

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