Another Rough Night for Dallas Mavericks Helps Put a Painful Lid on Lost Season

There is a lyric in a U2 song that attempts to be a metaphor for things getting worse before they get better.

“Always pain before a child is born,” Bono sings in the song “Yahweh.”

The Dallas Mavericks hope this season, which concludes next Wednesday in San Antonio, is the pain before the franchise is reborn.

Friday night’s 122-112 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies at American Airlines Center was another painful example of playing out the string.

Three Mavericks starters did not play — Luka Doncic, Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell — and eight Grizzlies players were unavailable.

The outcome meant nothing to the standings, the playoffs, or the lottery seeding. In reality, there was just one aspect of Friday’s game at American Airlines Center worth of your attention.

If you’ve been under a rock for the past few months, let me fill you in. Dirk Nowitzki, the 40-year-old Mavs legend in his 21st season, played his second to last game in Dallas … probably.

Nowitzki, the NBA’s sixth all-time leading scorer, hasn’t officially announced his retirement, but all signs point to him hanging up the high tops after the season.

He’ll play his final game at the AAC on Tuesday night in the Mavs’ home finale. They finish the season the next time in San Antonio. Nowitzki had 12 points and seven rebounds — all defensive. It moves him to within one more defensive rebound of 10,000. Only four players had more.

The best part of the night, in fact, came in the game’s first 18 seconds. Nowitzki took a feed from Courtney Lee for driving drunk, his first of the season.

“It was a big highlight. It was one of the few,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. “We just didn’t play hard enough. They just played with more force really from start to finish. They were just more aggressive.”

Dallas fell behind by 12 at the half and trailed by as much as 22. The Mavs tried shooting their way back into it in the fourth but the 3s weren’t falling. The were 17 of 47, including 6 of 17 in the fourth quarter.

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SOURCE: Star Telegram, Stefan Stevenson