On Monday night, the Mavericks lost for the second time in a row, this time falling 114-96 to the Cleveland Cavaliers at home.
Through the first three quarters, the Mavs shot a poor 26-of-70 from the field (37.1 percent), falling to a 24-point deficit.
Despite the team’s poor performance, Mavs star Luka Doncic played well, shooting an efficient 7-of-11 from 3-point range, and finishing with 25 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
After the game, Doncic emphasized that the team must weather the storm and stay locked in:
“Yeah, this is what real teams do – in tough times they stick together. It’s easy to stay together when it’s all good. The tough times, that’s when you got to stay together.”
Doncic's teammates didn’t provide much support; the second-leading scorer (Dorian Finney-Smith) finished with only 14 points.
With the exception of a major highlight dunk, Kristaps Porzingis struggled to get into a rhythm, posting 9 points on 4-12 shooting from the field. Furthermore, Porzingis sprained his right ankle during the third quarter.
Now let's hear the Mavs talk:
Doncic on the Cavaliers’ play and Mavericks’ problem:
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"Obviously, Jarrett Allen was the key to their win (28 points, 14 rebounds). Their whole team played great, but we've got to control our emotions. We've got to be better on defense."
Jason Kidd on his team’s trust:
“We got to continue to trust. Luka could easily not pass it to anyone because no one’s making shots. And so, he has to continue to trust and make the right basketball play. He has a triple-double, which is an incredible feat in itself when we can’t make shots.”
Kidd on the Mavs’ shooting struggles:
“You have to keep working. No one said it’s easy to make shots. But we’re getting wide-open shots . . .They’re just not going in.”
Kidd on the Mavs’ slump:
“No one’s going to feel sorry if you’re in a slump, offensively or defensively. It tends to test your character. It tests you mentally and physically to (not) point the finger at someone else.
The Mavericks (10-9) will aim to move back towards the win column on Wednesday night when they face the struggling Pelicans (6-17) in New Orleans.