Sports

Mavericks falter in final minute, fall to Thunder

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Rick Carlisle looked exhausted and frustrated after Monday's 95-91 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.

What upset the Dallas Mavericks' coach was a late foul on center Ian Mahinmi with 46.2 seconds left and the Mavs clinging to a 91-90 lead. Mahinmi fouled out on the play, which ended when Serge Ibaka made a pair of free throws to put the Thunder ahead for good at 92-91.

"I'm in disbelief that there was a foul called on Mahinmi," Carlisle said. "I just watched the play five times and it was a block. "And that's an enormous play. I'm at a loss."

Mahinmi said he thought it was a bad call.

"I didn't think I fouled him,'' Mahinmi said. "I think I went straight up. I think I got a good swipe at the ball, and no contact on the body."

After the two free throws by Ibaka, the Mavs were called for a 24-second shot clock violation when Jason Terry's shot under duress missed the rim. Kevin Durant (22 points, seven turnovers) then made one of two free throws to put the Thunder up 93-91 with 13.9 seconds remaining.

Terry then missed a shot from the corner with 3.8 seconds left after he first passed it near the basket to a surprised Jason Kidd.

"Very odd play," Carlisle said. "Kidd broke wide open under the basket, but Jet didn't see him because [Kendrick] Perkins was there. It was just an unusual play, but it never should have come to that. We should have won the game.''

The Mavs, who lost the season series to the Thunder 3-1, held a 91-87 lead when Dirk Nowitzki made his third consecutive 3-pointer with 2:44 left.

Russell Westbrook (24 points) closed the scoring when he connected on two free throws with 1.8 seconds left as the Thunder ended the game on an 8-0 run.

Mahinmi was pressed into action after starting center Brendan Haywood sprained his left ankle 31 seconds into the game and never returned after landing on Perkins' foot. Haywood said X-rays were negative, but he likely won't play tonight against the New York Knicks.

"It's a little sore, but you've got to wait, you got to see what the swelling is going to look like this morning and how you're feeling," Haywood said. I might have to miss a game or two. I might not. It's hard to say right now.''

Nowitzki led the Mavs with 27 points, Terry had 18 points and a game-high seven assists, Mahinmi finished with 13 points and five rebounds, and Shawn Marion had 10 points and 10 boards.

The Mavs (22-17) lost for the fifth time in the past six games.

"There's a lot of scrambles at the end of the games," Carlisle said. "That's why it's important to play from in front when you can."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

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