NEW YORK — Despite a frantic push at the end and extending the game through free throws, the Dallas Mavericks fell short 107-106 at the hands of the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night. After getting back to .500 on the road, Dallas has now lost back-to-back games away from American Airlines Center. The Nets have now won nine of their past 10 games.
How it happened: As both teams struggled from the field in the first quarter, Nets forward Mirza Teletovic came out of nowhere and was the spark off the bench as he scored 24 points in the first half, all of them coming in the second quarter. He started the game a perfect 7-of-7 from the field en route to a 34-point night on 12-of-18 shooting.
The 34 points in 26 minutes marked a new career high for Teletovic. His previous high was 19 on Dec. 27, 2013, against the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored those 19 points in 31 minutes against the Bucks.
Dirk Nowitzki returned after sitting out the team’s last game against the Toronto Raptors and showed some rust as he went 5-of-15 from the field for 18 points. The Nets made it a challenge for Nowitzki to get going as he had to earn every shot attempt he had. He was also sporting a sleeve on his left knee -- potentially a cause for concern.
Devin Harris easily had his best game since making his season debut last week. The Mavs' backup guard had 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. He also added four assists in the losing effort. His aggression got the better of him, as he fouled out in just 15 minutes of action.
Turnovers have started to become an issue again for Dallas. The team had 15 Friday, which turned into a total of 23 points for the Nets. The Mavs had a combined 16 turnovers in games against Portland and Cleveland. It’s hard to win a game on the road when you’re playing sloppily.
What it means: With another disappointing loss, Dallas’ three-game road trip ends with a thud. By barely holding on at the end against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday, the Mavs nearly avoided a disastrous 0-3 record on their swing East. They head back home with more questions than answers. Dallas will now start a four-game homestand with a game against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Play of the game: As the Mavericks were trying to make another comeback effort with less than nine minutes left, Vince Carter turned the ball over to Andrei Kirilenko. Deron Williams collected the ball and threw a deep pass to Kirilenko, who leaked out after the theft, and the versatile forward finished with a slam dunk. That made the score 91-82 in favor of the Nets. Despite a scare here and there, Brooklyn never lost its lead.
Stat of the night: Dallas barely outscored Teletovic in the second quarter as it was 25-24 in favor of the Mavericks. Teletovic’s total in that frame marked the third-most any player has scored in a quarter this season. Joe Johnson had 29 in the third quarter against Philadelphia on Dec. 16 and Portland’s Damian Lillard had 26 in the fourth quarter against Sacramento earlier this month.
Teletovic went 6-of-7 from 3-point range in the second quarter. He was just two made 3s away from tying the NBA record for one quarter. The record is currently held by Michael Redd (2002) and Brooklyn’s Johnson (2013).