Without stars Luka Doncic (left ankle soreness) and Kristaps Porzingis (left knee contusion), the Dallas Mavericks dropped their second straight home game on Saturday.
And there might be more woes on the way …
In their fourth straight home loss, the Mavs shot a poor 34 percent from the field.
After the game, Dorian Finney-Smith (14 points) stressed that performing well in the NBA is challenging:
“Sometimes you think it’s easy because we feel like we’ve got a better team in the locker room than last year," said Finney-Smith. "But the NBA is hard.”
He continued, “It’s hard to win in the NBA and I think we’ve got to realize that as a team.”
Dallas was led by Tim Hardaway Jr., who poured in 29 points off the bench, and Jalen Brunson who had 15 points and eight assists.
The Mavs were able to cut the 16-point deficit to five late in the fourth, but ultimately that wasn’t enough.
Now - as the 11-11 Mavs deal with injury issues involving Luka, KP and Tim Hardaway with a Tuesday visit from the Nets on tap - let's hear the Mavs talk:
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Finney Smith on the late comeback attempt:
“I think we kept fighting and we showed some resiliency. We just didn’t get enough stops down the stretch.”
Jason Kidd on his team’s fight:
“Those guys that were in uniform tonight fought and they gave themselves a chance to get back in the game. It was just the little things down the stretch that we just couldn’t capitalize on.”
Kidd on what the Mavs can take away:
“There were a lot of positives — the effort, just the little things. We got (Memphis) to miss. We just couldn’t come up with the rebound."
Hardaway Jr. on playing without Doncic and Porzingis:
“We’ve got to go out there with that energy and that motivation to go out there to have that next man-up mentality, and when you’re out there be precise, don’t be hesitant and just go out there and compete.
Hardaway Jr. on where his team stands:
“I feel like we’re 10th right now (in the Western Conference) and we’re just trying to make something happen as a team. We just got to do a better job of trying to will these wins out and try to make sure we put the ball in the basket.”
On Tuesday night, the Mavericks will try to flip the script when they face the Brooklyn Nets at the American Airlines Center. And yes … the task might again be “hard.”