Coming off of a thrilling win over the league-best Utah Jazz to start the week, the Dallas Mavericks were brought back down to earth on Wednesday night in a 102-93 loss to the lowly Houston Rockets.
Said Luka Doncic: “Anybody can play a bad game, right? So we played a horrible game as a team.”
The loss snaps Dallas' five-game winning streak and dropped their record to 28-22 on the season.
Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis lead the Mavs in this one by scoring 23 points each. Doncic also tallied nine rebounds and five assists, and Porzingis grabbed 12 boards himself.
Doncic, though, was visibly frustrated throughout the night, as he shot just 9-for-26 from the field and 1-for-9 from three to go with five turnovers.
Porzingis on the other hand shot the ball well, going 10-for-19 from the field and 2-for-4 from deep.
Oddly, KP didn’t get a shot off in the fourth quarter. Why not?
“Good question,” he said. “It's just the plays we were running.”
As for the other three starters... well, they just didn't rise to the challenge in this one, and more specifically, Josh Richardson struggled badly.
Richardson was coming off of a 5-for-5 shooting night against Utah on Monday, but went 0-for-9 here while only scoring a single point. It was such a bad night for Richardson offensively that head coach Rick Carlisle subbed him out of the game for a four-minute span in the second half in favor of two-way contract rookie Nate Hinton.
If it's a 'feast or famine' situation in regards to the Josh Richardson, the wheel definitely landed on 'famine' here.
Hopefully Richardson can shake this one off and continue playing the kind of good basketball we've seen from him since the All-Star break.
Things will turn around quickly for the Mavs, as they make the short trip home to Dallas to take on the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night on the second night of a back-to-back. It's yet to be known if the Mavs will opt to play either of their star players or choose to go with the load management strategy we've seen throughout the course of this season.