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Sunday, March 23, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nets 107, Mavs 104 (OT)

By Tim MacMahon


DALLAS -- The Mavericks blew a double-digit, fourth-quarter lead before suffering a 107-104 overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets on a dreadful night for superstar Dirk Nowitzki.

How it happened: The Mavs couldn’t close the door with Nowitzki struggling through his worst shooting outing of the season.

Nowitzki finished the night with 10 points on 2-of-12 shooting. He was 1-of-10 in regulation, including a couple of missed one-legged fadeaways while the Mavs were protecting a small lead in the final couple of minutes.

After Nowitzki air-balled his final regulation attempt, Brooklyn’s Joe Johnson drove for a layup to tie the score with 9.9 seconds remaining. The Mavs settled for Monta Ellis launching a long, off-the-dribble 3-pointer at the buzzer, a shot that missed off the back iron.

Johnson scored five of his team-high 21 points in overtime, including a 3-pointer with 3:57 remaining that gave Brooklyn the lead for good.

Ellis hit a couple of 3s in the final minute of overtime, giving him a game-high 32 points, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the win. He missed a running 3 at the buzzer that would have sent the game into a second overtime.

Arguably the best performance of Mavs center Samuel Dalembert’s season was wasted. He set season highs with 15 rebounds and seven blocks, as well as scoring 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

The Nets went on a 14-0 run early in the fourth quarter, fueled by the 3-point marksmanship of Marcus Thornton (20 points, 7-of-11 shooting) to take the lead. The game was tight for the rest of regulation.

What it means: At 42-29, the Mavs are back in eighth place in the Western Conference. They’re percentage points behind the Memphis Grizzlies and only a half-game ahead of the Phoenix Suns. The Nets improved to 37-31, including 27-10 in 2014.

Play of the game: Shaun Livingston picked off a Shawn Marion pass and streaked down the floor for an uncontested layup to give the Nets a five-point lead with 2:16 remaining. That was Brooklyn’s biggest lead of the game at that point.

Stat of the night: Nowitzki was 7-of-27 from the floor in two games against the Nets, who are coached by former Mavs point guard Jason Kidd.