Regardless of loss to champs, Mavericks’ progress is obvious

The are still a work in progress.

Except now, the progress appears to be speeding up a bit.

The Mavericks took the defending champion Golden State Warriors (30-8), an All-Star team in itself, to the wire in a 125-122 loss at the American Airlines Center Wednesday night.

As with most games he’s involved in, was the difference-maker, hitting a game-winning 3-pointer with 10 seconds to go.

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“We made a great comeback. When you’re 10 or 12 down with 3 minutes to go, you’ve got to pitch a shutout pretty much. We did some great things defensively. We got some steals and hit some 3s. [Harrison] Barnes made a great play to tie it back up after the [Klay] Thompson play,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “Then they ran it back at us. We had a foul to give, but we were unable to give it so Curry got the shot. There you go.”

It was the Mavericks’ third meeting against the champions this season.

▪ On Oct. 23: Lost 133-103 at home.

▪ On Dec. 14: Lost 112-97 at Golden State.

Coaches, and some fans, will point to the fact that a loss is a loss. Others will site players being rested, injured or the back-to-back schedule scenarios.

All of those are legitimate factors.

However, there’s a bigger picture involved.

After being the worst team in the league, record-wise, for most of the season, the Mavericks are four games out of a playoff spot.

Say what?

The Warriors snapped the Mavericks’ four-game winning streak, dropping them to 13-26. The record doesn’t sound pretty because it’s not.

But compare today’s record to that of being 2-14 on November 17 and the progress is clear.

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At least today.

The team-ball aspect is also alive and well.

Seven Mavericks scored in double figures against the Warriors. They were Wesley Matthews (22), Dwight Powell (21), Dennis Smith Jr. (14), J.J. Barea (13), Dirk Nowitzki (12) and Yogi Ferrell (11). The Mavericks had seven players in double digits for the second time in their past three games and the fifth time this season.

Playmakers are being playmakers and will need to continue to be playmakers if the Mavericks hope to make a full recovery.

“Any game I go out there, I will give it my all,” said Smith. “I think I played very well regardless of the outcome.

“You want to win every game but I think everybody on our team came out and gave it everything they had so you can’t ask for more than that.”

The Mavericks are still in a deep hole. It’s just not as deep as it was on November 17, when the Mavericks were 2-14 and coming off a 111-79 home loss against Milwaukee.

The four-game home stand continues Friday against Chicago, Sunday with New York and Tuesday against Orlando. Three winnable games that can pull the Mavericks a little further out of the hole.

Dallas Mavericks Schedule

Dallas Mavericks 2017-18 schedule

Date

Opponent

Time

TV

Oct. 18

Atlanta

L, 117-111

Oct. 20

Sacramento

L, 93-88

Oct. 21

@ Houston

L, 107-91

Oct. 23

Golden State

L, 133-103

Oct. 25

Memphis

W, 103-94

Oct. 26

@ Memphis

L, 96-91

Oct. 28

Philadelphia

L, 112-110

Oct. 30

@ Utah

L, 104-89

Nov. 1

@ L.A. Clippers

L, 119-98

Nov. 3

New Orleans

L, 99-94

Nov. 4

@ Minnesota

L, 112-99

Nov. 7

@ Washington

W, 112-99

Nov. 11

Cleveland

L, 111-104

Nov. 12

@ Oklahoma City

L, 112-99

Nov. 14

San Antonio

L, 97-91

Nov. 17

Minnesota

L, 111-87

Nov. 18

Milwaukee

W, 111-79

Nov. 20

Boston

L, 110-102

Nov. 22

@ Memphis

W, 95-94

Nov. 25

Oklahoma City

W, 97-81

Nov. 27

@ San Antonio

L, 115-108

Nov. 29

Brooklyn

L, 109-104

Dec. 2

L.A. Clippers

W, 108-82

Dec. 4

Denver

W, 122-105

Dec. 6

@ Boston

L, 97-90

Dec. 8

@ Milwaukee

L, 109-102

Dec. 10

@ Minnesota

L, 97-92

Dec. 12

San Antonio

W, 95-89

Dec. 14

@ Golden State

L, 112-97

Dec. 16

@ San Antonio

L, 98-96

Dec. 18

Phoenix

L, 97-91

Dec. 20

Detroit

W, 110-93

Dec. 22

@ Miami

L, 113-101

Dec. 23

@ Atlanta

L, 112-107

Dec. 26

Toronto

W, 98-93

Dec. 27

@ Indiana

W, 98-94

Dec. 29

@ New Orleans

W, 128-120

Dec. 31

@ Oklahoma City

W, 116-113

Jan. 3

Golden State

L, 125-122

Jan. 5

Chicago

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 7

New York

6 p.m.

FSSW

Jan.9

Orlando

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 10

@ Charlotte

6 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 13

L.A. Lakers

1 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 16

@ Denver

8 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 20

@ Portland

9 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 22

Washington

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 24

Houston

7 p.m.

FSSW/ESPN

Jan. 26

Portland

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Jan 27

@ Denver

8 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 29

Miami

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Jan. 31

@ Phoenix

9:30 p.m.

FSSW/ESPN

Feb. 3

@ Sacramento

9 p.m.

FSSW

Feb. 5

@ L.A. Clippers

9:30 p.m.

FSSW/NBA-TV

Feb 8

@ Golden State

9:30 p.m.

FSSW

Feb. 10

L.A. Lakers

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Feb. 11

@ Houston

6 p.m.

FSSW/NBATV

Feb. 13

Sacramento

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Feb. 16-18

All Star Weekend Los Angeles, Calif.

Feb. 23

@ L.A. Lakers

9:30 p.m.

FSSW/ESPN

Feb. 24

@ Utah

8 p.m.

FSSW

Feb. 26

Indiana

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

Feb. 28

Oklahoma City

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 2

@ Chicago

7 p.m.

FSSW

March 4

New Orleans

6 p.m.

FSSW

March 6

Denver

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 10

Memphis

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 11

Houston

6 p.m.

FSSW

March 13

@ New York

6:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 16

@ Toronto

6:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 17

@ Brooklyn

6:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 20

@ New Orleans

7 p.m.

FSSW

March 22

Utah

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 24

Charlotte

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 27

@ Sacramento

9 p.m.

FSSW

March 28

@ L.A. Lakers

9:30 p.m.

FSSW

March 30

Minnesota

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

April 1

@ Cleveland

5 p.m.

FSSW/NBATV

April 3

Portland

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

April 4

@ Orlando

6 p.m.

FSSW

April 6

@ Detroit

6 p.m.

FSSW

April 8

@ Philadelphia

Noon

FSSW/NBATV

April 10

Phoenix

7:30 p.m.

FSSW

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