After trailing by as much as 24 points against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks staged an insane 30-0 run in the fourth quarter to erase the deficit and even take a six-point lead. In the end, however, their efforts went to waste as the Thunder held on for the 126-120 victory.
The Mavs had a real shot at winning the game and completing what would have been the best and most intense comeback this 2023-24 season. Unfortunately, a number of crucial mistakes in the end–including a bad Doncic pass that led to a turnover and a score for the Thunder with 39 seconds left–broke their momentum and allowed Oklahoma to get back on top for the win.
While several fans commended the Mavs for fighting hard and staging an epic comeback despite the absences of Kyrie Irving and Tim Hardaway Jr., many others couldn't help but feel frustrated with the heartbreaking turn. After all, the win was within reach, and after losing to the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, the team really needed that W.
Instead, the Mavs now drop to 11-8 on the season after a hot start. They are also on a two-game skid, which is definitely a bad sign for a team looking to compete for an automatic playoff spot.
Mavs fans disappointed
“Most painful Mavs loss I've ever seen,” a fan wrote. Another one had similar sentiments, noting: “That was the most emotional roller coaster 4th quarter of a regular season Mavs game that I’ve ever watched in my 30 years as a Mavs fan. Gut wrenching loss are going on a 33-0 run to get back in the game and take the lead.”
A third supporter couldn't contain their anger and disappointment, saying: “ALL THAT S**T FOR NOTHING MAN! WTF. This is a horrible loss Mavs.”
Others commended the performances from Luka Doncic and rookie Dereck Lively II, though they couldn't hide how much the loss stings. Doncic had a monster triple-double of 36 points, 15 rebounds and 18 assists along with two steals and two blocks, while Lively had a double-double of 20 points and 16 rebounds on top of seven blocks.
“Tough loss for the Mavs. That was all theirs after the crazy run.. but the rookie Lively with 20 points, 16 rebounds, 7 blocks, 1 steal, super fire,” a fan wrote. A fifth commenter said, “Hell of a game for Doncic. I thought he was going to get a 30-20-20 game! Great comeback, but tough loss.”
“Valiant effort but a loss is a loss,” another Mavs faithful noted.
It's understandable why the loss left a bitter taste in the mouth of Mavs fans. The comeback was commendable for sure, but it's useless if they couldn't get the job done.
At the end of the day, though, Dallas can only move on and focus on what the team needs to do next. The Mavs will have some rest before returning to action on Wednesday against the Utah Jazz.
Hopes are high that Dallas will be able to end their current two-game losing skid and get back to the win column. Perhaps the team will also be able to get back to full health and have Irving and THJ back as they look to return to the top of the West standings. They have fallen to sixth and getting closer to the Play-In seedings rather than an automatic playoff qualification spot.