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Free Throw Shooting Dooms Dallas Mavericks in Game 4: 3 Game-Changing Plays

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Free Throw Shooting Dooms Dallas Mavericks in Game 4: 3 Game-Changing Plays


The Dallas Mavericks had this game won. They were up 10 at the end of the first quarter, 11 at halftime, 14 early in the 3rd quarter, and by 8 with eight minutes to go. All they had to do was make free throws and some of their usual shots. They just couldn’t and would fall at the end 100-96, being out-scored 28-16 in the final 8 minutes of the game.

We’ll get to it more at the end of the article, but Kyrie Irving and Luka Doncic struggled to score or get momentum all game. When the two superstars are shooting the ball this inefficiently and the team as a whole can’t make free throws, it’s hard to overcome that.

Still, Dallas had their chances. Where did it go so poorly?

READ MORE: Dallas Mavericks Squander 14-Point Lead in Game 4 Loss Against OKC Thunder, Tying Series

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It started in the second half. For the third quarter, Dallas was just 5/20 from the floor. Not ideal, but they held OKC to 8/24, so they kept them at arm’s length.

In the 4th quarter, both teams were over 40% from the floor, but the biggest difference was Dallas’ 1/5 shooting from deep, while OKC was 4/8 from three. Pair that with a 23/24 free throw performance from OKC while Dallas was 12/23 and that’s your ball game.

Let’s get into some of these plays.

Over the final five minutes of the game, Dallas made just three field goals and this was one of them. If there has ever been a more “no no no no YES” shot, I’d like to see it. Lu Dort had just made a 3 on the other end to extend the lead to 4, the Thunder’s biggest lead of the night to this point, and Dallas was desperate on offense.

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Credit to Tim Hardaway Jr. for knocking down a shot, but it shows how tough life was for Luka Doncic in this game. He gets in the post and turns to be double-teamed and all five members of OKC have a foot in the paint ready to help. It’s a miracle this “pass” even got out to Hardaway.

A few seconds later, this sequence happens. Jalen Williams receives a pass but fumbles it, while Dereck Lively II gets in his body space assuming Williams had dribbled. It certainly looked like he did, commentator and former All-Star Grant Hill thought so on the broadcast, and Dallas was confused about why he was allowed a live dribble again. Williams would finish the play with a dunk.

Here is what referee Zach Zarba said after the game regarding the play: “We felt Williams never gained control of that basketball.  Therefore, he’s allowed to initiate a dribble after he secures it.  Post-game video review confirmed our on-court ruling.”

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Then when asked to clarify what gaining control constitutes: “It’s got to be a controlled dribble, possession of the ball, generally something that you would reset the shot clock on if it was a turnover.  For example, if that would have been stolen and that action would have occurred you would not have reset the shot clock on that play because it’s not deemed a possession.  That was more a bat that was more of a bat than a fumble than a controlled dribble therefore he’s allowed after he secures it to initiate the dribble.”

With that explanation, it makes sense. But it’s a huge swing in that moment of that game. Dallas could’ve had a turnover going the other way with the clock stopped to get something set up. Instead, Williams gets a free dunk at the basket.

READ MORE: Dallas Mavericks Exclusive: P.J. Washington Details Hot Playoff Shooting After Trade Adjustment

The game ended here, in my opinion. It’s a great after-timeout set by Jason Kidd and his staff to get Doncic free and running toward the basket, but he’s fouled and sent to the line.

Then he misses the first free throw. Any chance of sending this game to overtime instantly got much harder. If OKC made both free throws at the other end, they were almost guaranteed to foul on the ensuing offensive possession for Dallas, which is what happened. PJ Washington missed the first and made the second, the opposite of what Dallas would’ve preferred.

Doncic has to be better than this. He knows it. The team knows it. I imagine he’ll respond in a big way for Game 5. He finished with a triple-double, 18 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists, but he was just 6/20 from the floor, 2/9 from three, and 4/6 from the charity stripe with 7 turnovers in this game. Somehow, he was the only Maverick above 50% from the free-throw line in this game.

Kyrie Irving also has to be better. He was dishing the ball well in the first half but couldn’t score: 9 points and 9 assists while shooting 4/11 from the floor. It’s the second time this series he’s been held under 10 points and the first time in his playoff career he’s been held under 10 points twice in a series. He can’t be taking the fourth-most shots on the team most nights. He’s been fantastic down the stretch in these playoffs for Dallas and this is more than likely a blip but it can’t become a trend.

P.J. Washington has found his rhythm from 3, going 5/11 from distance in this game. However, he was just 2/8 on 2-point attempts. He usually has that push shot in the paint working, but it wasn’t falling. For the third straight game though, he led the Mavericks in scoring.

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On the other end, it was a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander show, who finished with 34 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and zero turnovers. Dallas has to find a way to get the ball out of his hands moving forward. Jalen Williams hasn’t played great, Chet Holmgren has been hit or miss throughout the series (he was good in Game 4), and Lu Dort isn’t a shot-creator. If the Mavericks want to come away with this series, it starts with how they defend SGA.

Game 5, with the series tied 2-2, is back in Oklahoma City on Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. CST. There will be a Game 6 in Dallas no matter what on Saturday.

READ MORE: Former Dallas Maverick Believes Mavs Will Win NBA Finals in Next Two or Three Years

Stick with MavericksGameday for more coverage of the Dallas Mavericks throughout the NBA Playoffs 

Follow Austin Veazey on Twitter

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Dallas, TX

Live Election Results: Dallas County

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Live Election Results: Dallas County


It is election day for the 2024 Texas primary runoffs in Dallas County.

Polls were supposed to close at 7 p.m., but due to this morning’s bad weather polls will stay open until 9 p.m. 

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Results will begin to come in shortly after.

Dallas County Election Results

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Click here for more election results.



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Lil Wayne and fresh Texas names light up Dallas’ first TwoGether Land hip-hop festival

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Lil Wayne and fresh Texas names light up Dallas’ first TwoGether Land hip-hop festival


The TwoGether Land event over Memorial Day weekend in Dallas set the tone for a hip-hop festival that respects the city’s influence on mainstream pop culture. When the lineup was announced in February, it teased Hollyhood Bay Bay’s Dallas All-Stars, which included Big Tuck, Erica Banks, Yella Beezy, Chalie Boy, Dorrough, and more.

This was Dallas’ moment to inspire a new generation of listeners who came to see Lil Wayne, Latto, or Key Glock that Dallas hip-hop is ours and ours only. Preserving its history at Fair Park on the TwoGether Land stage, with the African American Museum as a backdrop, felt like a win for the unsung heroes keeping the sound alive.

When walking into Fair Park, TwoGether Land offered a little bit of everything: a day party, an outdoor concert featuring hip-hop and R&B, an Art Overdose experience showcasing artists and vendors, and hangout spot near a roller rink and a mechanical bull to test your skills. Or you could chill with rapper Curren$y at his JetLife Lounge, which gave out samples of his Jet Life THC Soda.

The sponsor activations were unique activities in-between sets, especially Martell’s Vibe Check Bar, which had participants get their brainwaves scanned using brain-sensing headsets to interpret their emotions through vibrant colors and patterns, mapped out to signature cocktails you got to choose from based upon your results.

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Rapper Dorrough performs at the first TwoGether Land hip-hop festival in Dallas.(Eric Diep)

Over at the TwoGether Land Live Stage, there were opportunities to sit in on a live recording of a podcast. Concertgoers could catch Texas’ Marcus Adams of Mazi’s World interviewing rap group Dirty South Rydaz about their early mixtapes.

“It was kind of new to us,” Dirty South member Big Tuck said of their popularity at the time. “For the most part, we were just trying to make good music for the city. Represent the city the right way.”

Chalie Boy, who had Victoria Monét sample his song “I Look Good” on “On My Mama,” was interviewed next and shared his thoughts on his 2009 song remaining a Dallas classic. “When you remix a song or you recreate a song, it gives new life to the new one and renewed life to the old one,” Chalie Boy said.

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During a weekend when the Dallas Mavericks were up in the NBA’s Western Conference Finals, D-Town pride and celebration spread throughout TwoGether Land. If it wasn’t Chalie Boy’s “I Look Good” getting spun by numerous DJs around the fairgrounds, Cali Swag District’s “Teach Me How to Dougie” got some play too, which spawned from the homegrown D-Town Boogie movement.

It was all build-up to Bay Bay’s afternoon slot on Sunday that captured the best representation of Dallas hip-hop from the early beginnings to the current era. Certainly, other festivals have been held in Dallas and featured Post Malone, but none have attempted to spotlight an entire Texas music movement like TwoGether Land has.

Due to North Texas storms, Sunday’s set times were pushed back and gate openings were delayed. The 5:15 p.m. time slot worked in Bay Bay’s favor, as the crowd stuck around after a set from That Mexican OT, another rising Texas rapper who went viral for his song named after the Vietnamese Houston jeweler Johnny Dang.

Bay Bay, who is always animated, started his show with dancers before bringing out Tum Tum for “Home of Killaz.” Bay Bay wanted to summon the old Dallas swag, bringing out Big Tuck for a DSR reunion as Tuck and Tum Tum performed “Southside Da Realist” and “Not a Stain on Me.”

Then it was time for North Dallas to get recognition, as Bay Bay called on Mr. Lucci to perform “Diabolical” solo before being joined by Mr. Pookie for “Crook for Life.” For the average rap fan, these names aren’t immediately recognizable and are considered underground unless you were jamming to them in high school or college. Think of it as an important history lesson, bringing attention to these rappers performing at a festival in their city.

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Bay Bay then treated fans to a D-Town Boogie blitz of artists, shouting for Fat Pimp, who did his dance to “Rack Daddy,” Lil Wil for “My Dougie” and “Bust It Open,” Trap Starz Clik, and Dorrough for “Walk That Walk,” “Get Big” and “Ice Cream Paint Job.” Bay Bay’s connections to the city’s talent run deep, continuing with Chalie Boy for “I Look Good” and “Thick Fine Woman.”

Fans were treated to The Party Boyz, Treal Lee and Prince Rick for “Throwed Off,” and even GS Boyz who hit the Stanky Legg like it never left. Fans saw Yung Nation, M.E., Lil Ronny MothaF, and Big Homie Sho serving up jiggin’ dance songs for a full-blown party.

But Bay Bay wasn’t done yet.

He turned his attention to the Dallas rap stars of today, bringing out Erica Banks for twerk anthems “Buss It” and “Toot That.” Though it wasn’t explained, Yella Beezy was absent from the set. Instead, Bay Bay capped it off with Gunna Meize and OG Bobby Billions, who performed “Outside (Better Days)” as a Mo3 tribute, and Montana 700 with Zillionaire Doe.

It wasn’t the big finale we expected since the audience was unfamiliar with some names. It could’ve used someone like BigXThaPlug or buzzing Dallas artist 4Batz, who was seen walking around TwoGether Land on Saturday. But the sentiment of promoting the new Dallas faces was appreciated.

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If you went on Saturday and Sunday, the organization and flow of TwoGether Land made it easy for fans to schedule what they wanted to see and arrive whenever they desired through an app that gave reminders of when the next act was on.

Rapper Lil Wayne performs at the first TwoGether Land hip-hop festival in Dallas.
Rapper Lil Wayne performs at the first TwoGether Land hip-hop festival in Dallas.(Eric Diep)

Lil Wayne, Latto, Jeezy, and Gucci Mane were the most scheduled by fans, but the joy of TwoGether Land came from its balance of R&B acts with Amerie, Dru Hill, The-Dream, and Summer Walker if you felt moved by slower jams. The lineup was a well-curated, regional set of Southern pillars that mixed artists from Memphis, New Orleans, and Atlanta with Texas names.

Some highlights of both days were Shaboozey teasing his new album and single with BigXThaPlug, Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul joking that the sweat on his shirt made the shape of Texas, Gucci Mane sharing the stage with his wife Keyshia Ka’oir for “Freaky Gurl,” Jeezy saying he always got love for Dallas, The-Dream commenting that his real fans have kids because they listened to his music, and Latto channeling her heavily sexual “Big Mama” persona.

By the time Lil Wayne was getting ready to close out the weekend, it was a victory lap for artists of Wayne’s generation who reached mainstream sustainability. After a slight delay due to a few fans suffering from heat exhaustion, Wayne soldiered through a tight 45-minute set covering his Hot 100 singles, guest features, mixtape cuts, and Tha Carter III classics like “Lollipop” and “A Milli.”

As the night went on, Wayne was amazed by the crowd rocking with him after being in the sun for hours. He was thankful that fans skipped the Mavericks game to be with him, telling us who won in case we didn’t check the score. He was happy to still rap in front of an audience after all these years.

“This is love,” Wayne said.

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The crowd kept cheering for him. His parting words are his standard if you’ve seen him live before, but telling us he isn’t anything without us rang true more than ever at the first TwoGether Land. Texas loves you, Weezy. And Weezy loves us back.



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National reaction to Stars’ Game 3 win: Dallas sports are 3 wins away from ‘Bonkersville’

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National reaction to Stars’ Game 3 win: Dallas sports are 3 wins away from ‘Bonkersville’


The Dallas Stars took down the Edmonton Oilers in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, and in doing so put a bow on what was perhaps the best three-day weekend in the history of Dallas professional sports.

The Stars have taken two straight games in the series vs. Edmonton and now lead 2-0. That’s after their American Airlines Center cohorts, the Dallas Mavericks, have roared out to a 3-0 lead in the NBA’s Western Conference finals.

Two more Stars wins, and one more Mavs victory, and Dallas sports fans will be in double-Finals pandemonium.

Here are some reactions from the Stars’ thrilling win, one that featured a wild comeback, a controversial call and a hat trick for Jason Robertson.

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Five thoughts from Stars-Oilers Game 3: Jason Robertson hat trick gives Dallas series lead

Twitter: @dmn_stars

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Find more Stars coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.





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