If the Dallas Mavericks have decided they’re going to keep hoisting 3-point attempts regardless of what’s happening in the game, they need to start making a larger share of them.
If they don’t, the team’s three-game losing streak might keep growing.
During Monday’s 109-90 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Mavericks made two of their first three 3-point attempts before missing 20 of the next 22 in a game they once trailed by 32.
The nightmarish performance from 3-point range comes on the heels of Sunday’s collapse in a 116-114 overtime loss at Denver.
The good ones we’ve got to take, but we’re always looking for more paint penetration. And like every other team in the league, our paint penetration numbers are better than our non-paint penetration numbers.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
In that game, the Mavericks led 93-85 with 7:59 remaining, then missed their next seven shots. Five of those misses were from 3-point range, as the Nuggets went on a 10-0 run to lead 95-93 with 3:06 left.
“We had some really good looks at threes [Sunday] night that didn’t go down,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I’d trade them for layups, of course.
“But you’re in the fourth quarter and you’ve got an active team defending you — that’s a good shot.”
Because the Mavericks (33-31) don’t plan on backing away from their long-range strategy, they hope the 3-ball will begin falling on a regular basis starting Wednesday when they host the Detroit Pistons (32-31) at American Airlines Center.
The Mavericks are tied with the Pistons for 21st in the NBA in 3-point shooting at 34.3 percent. Dallas is fifth in the league in 3-point attempts per game at 28.3, and sixth in 3-pointers made per game at 9.7.
“The good ones we’ve got to take, but we’re always looking for more paint penetration,” Carlisle said. “And like every other team in the league, our paint penetration numbers are better than our non-paint penetration numbers.”
The Mavericks are 23-9 against teams that would miss the playoffs if the season ended today. But against the teams that would qualify, they’re only 10-22.
That includes two wins over the eighth seed (Chicago) in the East, and a win over the eighth seed in the West (Houston). It also includes a victory over the defending champion Golden State Warriors, who were without an injured Stephen Curry when the Mavericks beat them 114-91 on Dec. 30.
We’ve got a brutal stretch coming up. We’ve laid some eggs against some teams we needed to beat, and now the schedule is picking up tremendously. Now at this point, we’ve got to worry about making the playoffs.
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki
With two wins over Boston and one each against the Los Angeles Clippers and Warriors, the Mavericks are a combined 4-15 against the top four teams in the East and West.
In all, 13 of the Mavericks’ final 18 games are against teams in current playoff position.
“We’ve got a brutal stretch coming up,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “We’ve laid some eggs against some teams we needed to beat, and now the schedule is picking up tremendously.
“Now at this point, we’ve got to worry about making the playoffs.”
Thirteen of the Mavericks’ final 18 games are against teams in current playoff position.
Three Mavs games in April will be broadcast on KTXA/Ch. 21: April 8, Memphis Grizzlies, 7:30 p.m.; April 10, at L.A. Clippers, 2:30 p.m.; April 11, at Utah, 8 p.m.
KTXA also will broadcast any first-round Mavericks playoff games.