How it happened: The Mavericks offense was an absolute mess in the fourth quarter.
The Mavs blew a 13-point lead to the Hawks in the final frame, when Dallas missed on 16 of 19 field goal attempts and scored only 12 points.
The Hawks finished the game on a 21-7 run, capped by center Al Horford hitting the game-winning, 20-foot jumper with 4.2 seconds remaining. Mavs sixth man Vince Carter missed a contested 22-footer at the buzzer.
Mavs point guard Jose Calderon, who scored 16 points to help the Mavs build a 17-point lead, sat out the entire fourth quarter due to a sprained right ankle. Power forward Dirk Nowitzki matched Calderon with a team-high 16 points, but Nowitzki was only 1-of-5 from the floor in the fourth quarter, including a missed midrange jumper just before Horford’s go-ahead shot.
Atlanta point guard Jeff Teague scored a team-high 25 points, nine of which came in the fourth quarter. Horford added 17 points and 12 rebounds.
What it means: The Mavs have lost three of four entering Saturday night’s home game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, including a couple of road losses that came down to the last possession. Dallas suffered just its second loss in seven games against Eastern Conference foes. The Mavs are 10-7 overall.
Play of the game: A frazzled possession ended with Horford knocking down the go-ahead 20-footer with 4.2 seconds remaining. After a deflection, Horford ended up with the ball a few feet above the left elbow, facing up against Blair. The 6-foot-10 Horford easily shot over the 6-foot-7 Blair, who defended as if he was concerned that Horford would drive by him.
Stat of the night: For the second straight game, Monta Ellis did not attempt a free throw. It marks the first time since March 2007 that Ellis didn’t get to the free throw line in consecutive games.