4

Dirk Misses. Mavs Lose. Carlisle Confounds. Again.

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Couldn't find the game on TV out here in the Arizona desert, but after watching the highlights I didn't need to. I've seen this Mavericks movie a lot recently.

The good guys die in the end.

Last night in Portland the Mavs made their first 11 shots, hit almost 60 percent for the game, and somehow lost to the Blazers, 104-101. Dirk Nowitzki had a chance to force overtime, but, after a nifty pump fake provided him a clean look, his 3-pointer from the corner bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Hard to blame Dirk considering he produced 28 points and 11 rebounds, but that's now twice in the last week he's missed game-deciding shots at the buzzer against playoff opponents on the road. I realize the bar is irrationally high, but that's unacceptable.

As you can probably tell, my angst these days comes more from Jason Terry. He committed three costly turnovers in the fourth quarter last night when, apparently, he should have been on the bench in favor of Roddy Beaubois.

Right?

Beaubois made four of his first six 3-pointers and had 16 points when he sat down with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. He didn't return until eight seconds were left and Dallas was down to its final possession.

Someone please explain this to me, because I've given up attempting to figure out Carlisle's patterns, much less his thinking behind them.

With the loss -- their fourth in six games -- the Mavs dropped to third in the West behind the Lakers. Dallas has now lost four consecutive games to potential playoff opponents (Portland, Memphis, New Orleans and L.A.) in the past 10 days.

Not good.

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