OKLAHOMA CITY -- By the time the Dallas Mavericks' four-game road trip ended with Monday's 112-91 embarrassing loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, they knew they had missed out are a pair of golden opportunities.
The Mavs opened up the road trip with a controversial 106-104 loss at Portland on Jan. 29. They followed that up last Thursday with a controversial 100-97 loss at the Golden State Warriors.
Then this past Friday the Mavs finally broke through and defeated the Phoenix Suns, 109-99, before getting drilled by the Thunder.
In other words, forward Shawn Marion spoke for all of his teammates when he said: "The first two games were murder. This should have easily been a 3-1 trip. Instead, it was a 1-3 trip.
"I would have been OK if it was a 2-2 split.''
The Mavs were tied with Portland at 104-all when guard OJ Mayo was whistled for charging into Ronnie Price with 1.5 seconds left. From there, LaMarcus Aldridge poured in an 18-footer at the buzzer to win the game for the Trail Blazers and break the Mavs' hearts.
Then the very next day the NBA issued a statement which said Price should have been charged with fouling Mayo, and Mayo should have been at the line shooting a pair of free throws which possibly could have given the Mavs a victory.
In the game against Golden State, the Mavs trailed the Warriors, 98-97, when coach Rick Carlisle thought center Brandan Wright was fouled by Golden State center Andrew Bogut during a shot attempt with 6.2 seconds left. No foul was called, and Carlisle was later fined $25,000 by the NBA for publicly criiticizing the referees after the game.
That, in a nutshell, is how this horrific road trip went for the Mavs. Indeed, a possible beautiful 3-1 trip turned into an ugly 1-3 duckling real quick.
-- Dwain Price
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