NBA regular season

Mavericks plan to protest loss to Warriors


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Mavericks plan to protest loss to Warriors

SHOWDOWN. Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (right)) drives to the basket past Warriors guard Stephen Curry.

Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

After a controversial game, Steph Curry and the Warriors slightly move ahead of Luka Doncic’s Mavericks in a crucial battle for playoff positioning

The Dallas Mavericks plan to file a formal protest to the NBA after claiming a mistake by referees late in the third quarter led to their 127-125 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night, March 22 (Thursday, March 23, Manila time), according to a report by The Athletic.

Referees supposedly changed a call without alerting Dallas’ bench, causing the Mavericks to set up on the wrong side of the floor during a Golden State inbounds play. 

The mishap allowed Warriors center Kevon Looney to get a wide-open dunk, giving Golden State a 90-87 lead with just under two minutes left in the third.

“For those wondering about the play with 1:54 to go on the third, let me explain what happened. The ref called Mavs ball. The announcer announced it. Then there was a timeout,” Dallas owner Mark Cuban said in a tweet. 

“During the time out the official changed the call and never told us. Then when they saw us line up as if it were our ball, he just gave the ball to the Warriors.

“Never said a word to us. They got an easy basketball. Crazy that it would matter in a two-point game. Worst officiating non-call mistake possibly in the history of the NBA. All they had to do was tell us and they didn’t.”

This isn’t the first time Cuban has resorted to a protest, as he also filed for one after a 111-107 road loss to the Atlanta Hawks on February 22, 2020.

Sean Wright, Michael Smith, and Andy Nagy were the officials for the contest.

West playoff race

Jonathan Kuminga had a team-high 22 points off the bench, Draymond Green and Stephen Curry hit key hoops down the stretch of the Warriors’ controversial match against the Mavericks.

The result had major short-term ramifications in the Western Conference playoff race, with Golden State (38-36) not only moving 1 1/2 games up on Dallas (36-37) but also gaining a tiebreaker advantage by claiming the season series at 2-1.

The game was tied at 120-all when Green drove into the heart of the Dallas defense and dropped in a layup while getting fouled by Christian Wood with 1:32 to play.

After Green completed the three-point play, the Mavericks countered quickly with a Wood hoop to get within one, then got an opportunity to take the lead after a missed triple by Donte DiVincenzo.

But Luka Doncic misfired on a three-pointer, after which Curry drove for a layup that allowed Golden State to build the lead back to three with 8.5 seconds left.

After another Doncic miss, this on a layup attempt, Looney dropped in two clinching free throws with 1.7 seconds left as the Warriors finished a five-game trip with consecutive wins after losing the first three games.

The tightly contested game, in which neither team led by more than 9 points, saw the Warriors go up 113-105 on a Kuminga dunk with 6:35 remaining.

But Dallas, seeking to avoid a second straight loss, stormed back immediately with two three-point hoops from Jaden Hardy and an interior basket from Doncic in a 54-second flurry that forged a tie and set up the exciting finish.

Curry finished with 20 points and a team-high 13 assists for the Warriors, who prevailed despite shooting just 12-for-39 on three-pointers and getting outscored 51-36 from beyond the arc.

Looney also recorded a double-double with 12 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Jordan Poole finished with 16 points, and Green and DiVincenzo 14 apiece.

In his return from a five-game absence due to a strained thigh, Doncic paced the Mavericks with 30 points while also finding time for a game-high 17 assists and a team-high 7 rebounds. He shot just 11-for-27 overall and 2-for-10 on three-pointers, however.

Reserves Hardy and Wood had 27 and 19 points respectively for the Mavericks, who were missing Kyrie Irving, out with a sore right big toe. Reggie Bullock chipped in 15 points, Dwight Powell 13, and Josh Green 12. –

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