How it happened: Down three with two seconds to go. It's the kind of game where the Dallas Mavericks could have really used their 7-foot sharpshooter.
But they didn’t have him. Dirk Nowitzki missed his first game since his return with a strained right adductor muscle. So instead, the ball went to Vince Carter, who couldn’t knock down the last-second 3 in a 100-97 loss at Golden State.
Still, it was a valiant effort by an undermanned Dallas squad that was also without Chris Kaman. The Mavericks endured numerous instances in which the game could have easily escaped them quietly.
Instead, they managed to claw back time and again and even managed to outrebound the Warriors, 47-46. How impressive is that? Consider this: Golden State entered the game No. 4 in the league in rebounding, but the Mavs -- down to a front line consisting of Elton Brand, Brandan Wright and Bernard James -- managed to battle all night long.
After falling being by 13 three minutes into the fourth quarter, the Mavs took advantage of ice-cold shooting by Golden State and stormed back to tie the score at 92-92.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson erupted for a game-high 27 points but was held scoreless in the critical fourth quarter.
What it means: After winning back-to-back road games against Sacramento and Orlando, the Mavs have now dropped two close ones in a row away from American Airlines Center. Road struggles continue to be an issue for this veteran team. The loss could be considered understandable given the absences of Nowitzki and Kaman, but the Mavs will have to turn it around quickly to have a shot at a second-half charge to the playoffs. Dallas is now 7-18 in road games and trails Houston by five games for the No. 8 playoff seed.
Play of the game: Wright secured a missed tip by Andrew Bogut, setting up a scenario in which the Mavs, down one, could hold for a final shot and a chance to win the game. But the ball kicked around and eventually ended up in Wright’s hands five feet from the basket. He was guarded tightly, and Bogut rejected his go-ahead attempt. Jarrett Jack ended up with the ball and sunk two free throws, and Carter’s final 3-point attempt sailed left.
Stat of the night: With the loss, the Mavs now have one more win (19) than starting lineups used (league-high 18 after a new one Thursday).