January 31, 2013

Questionable call hands Mavericks another road loss

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle says the officials missed a crucial call late in the game against the Golden State Warriors.

OAKLAND - After witnessing what he called some suspect officiating down the stretch for the second straight game, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle couldn't take it any more.

Carlisle heavily criticized the officials after the Golden State Warriors edged the Mavs, 100-97, Thursday night at ORACLE Arena. The loss was the third in four games for the Mavs, who are now 19-27 going into tonight's 8 p.m. game in Phoenix.

What got Carlisle upset was a blocked shot credited to Warriors center Andrew Bogut when Brandan Wright went up for a shot not far from the rim with 6.2 seconds left in the game. At the time, the Warriors were leading, 98-97, and Carlisle seriously felt Wright was fouled on the play.

That led to this postgame rant by Carlisle:

“The game came down to the call that wasn't made," he said. “Brandan Wright got hit in the arm, and it's obvious and it's two nights in a row and it's very tough to take with as hard as our guys are fighting to not be on the free throw line with a chance to go ahead with six seconds left in the game.

“I'm disappointed and I'm very concerned. Concerned about what's happening at the end of games with the officials. I can only be honest."

This past Tuesday in Portland, guard OJ Mayo was whistled for charging into Ronnie Price with the score tied 104-104 with 1.5 seconds left. Blazer forward LaMarcus Aldridge then hit an 18-footer at the buzzer to lead Portland to a 106-104 victory over the Mavs.

The next day, the NBA issued a statement that said Price should have been whistled for a block and that Mayo should have been at the line shooting a pair of free throws that possibly could have led to a Dallas win.

With that piece of knowledge on top of what happened Thursday, Carlisle couldn't help but vent. Especially since the Mavs also had to play without forward Dirk Nowitzki, who sat out with a strained right adductor.

“Dirk's the Top 12 player in the history of the game, I would have to say that it's tough (to play without him)," Carlisle said. “But look, we've played without Dirk a lot this year, we know what it's about.

“We've put ourselves in position, and again, whatever you want to call it at the end. Unlucky. Whatever you want to call it. Screwed. It happened."

And now that it's happened - again - the Mavs find themselves five games behind Houston for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff spot . After what Carlisle believes was a botched no-call, Jarret Jack buried a pair of free throws with two seconds left to give Golden State a three-point lead. Then, Vince Carter's desperation three-pointer at the buzzer hardly had a chance.

Owner Mark Cuban, who wasn't at the game, chimed in via his Twitter account about the game's stretch drive. Cuban tweeted: “Cant wait to see what the NBA says about this no call with 2 secs left. #2gamesinarow.”

Wright, who also thought Bogut should have been whistled for goaltending on one of his shots when the Mavs were down, 95-92, with under four minutes left, tried to give the officials the benefit of the doubt.

“We've had some tough calls lately, but I'm going to stay out of that," Wright said. “I'm not in the business of getting fined, so I'm going to leave it the way (Carlisle) said it.

“But you (media) guys saw the play, so you be the judge. Officiating is a tough thing to do. They're human, so they're going to make mistakes. We just got to hope it goes the other way next time."

The Mavs, who got 18 points and a season-high 17 rebounds from Shawn Marion, never led in the game, which was tied five times. It could have been tied for a sixth time, but Mayo, who tallied a team-high 25 points, missed one of two free throws with 43 seconds left, leaving the Mavs down 98-97.

Meanwhile, Nowitzki didn't want to take a chance on playing after his body appeared to betray him again.

“I felt a little pull in the fourth quarter of the Portland game and I told the trainers already during the game about it," Nowitzki said. “After the game it was already pretty sore and the other night I was hobbling and (Wednesday) was not very good, but the meds actually kicked in pretty nicely so actually I gave it shot before the game, but I just really couldn't get loose.

“Pushing up sideways and making a hard move, it was just bothering me. So I didn't really want to risk anything and we'll see how it responds the next 24 hours."

Carlisle said its doubtful Nowitzki will play Friday against the Suns.

Dallas was also without center Chris Kaman, who flew home following Thursday's shoot around after missing the Portland game because he suffered a concussion in Monday's practice.

The Mavs are now 0-2 on this four-game road trip and must win Friday in Phoenix or face the prospects of going to Oklahoma City on Monday trying to avoid getting swept on this trip away from home.

Following a 99-93 loss at the Los Angeles Clippers on Jan. 9, the Mavs had dropped 10 of 11 games and were languishing with a pitiful 13-23 record. Then they caught fire, won five of six games and appeared as though they had turned the corner.

Now this.

“I've never been one to make it about the officials, so I don't want to wallow in this too much, but it's a fact,'' Carlisle said. “Two nights in a row missed calls have really hurt and we're disappointed."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

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