Free throws doom Mavericks in Milwaukee Bucks comeback win

Dec 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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Dallas Mavericks: Dorian Finney-Smith; Milwaukee Bucks: Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis
Dec 9, 2022; Dallas, Texas, USA; Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

Takeaways from Milwaukee Bucks comeback win against Mavericks: What happened to the Mavericks at the free throw line?

The Dallas Mavericks reclaimed the lead on the first of two free throws by Spencer Dinwiddie, 95-94. Dinwiddie missed the second free throw and he Bucks got arguably the biggest shot of his short season from Pat Connaughton, a 3-pointer that gave the Bucks a two point lead 97-95.

Did that 3-point shot rattle Dallas on the basis that they had been outscored by 13 points in six minutes? Perhaps, Dallas’ next scoring opportunity came from Luka Doncic at the free throw line, like Dinwiddie he made the first and missed the second, leaving the lead with the Bucks. Two free throws by Giannis, who was a respectable 7-for-10 at the free throw line, a jumper by Luka and two made free throws by Josh Green, the Mavericks reclaimed a 100-99 lead, over the final four minutes of the game, no player from Dallas would complete a trip to the free throw line without missing.

The Bucks got a massive 3-point shot from George Hill to take the lead back 102-100, followed by a 1-of-2 trip to the free throw line from Dwight Powell. Shortly after, Giannis Antetokounmpo fouled out with 28 points, ending his streak of consecutive 30 point games at eight. Giannis had scored 15 points in the fourth quarter and left the Bucks to play the final three minutes of the game without their best player.

Giannis fouled out by running into Tim Hardaway Jr. on a 3-point attempt, Hardaway missed all three free throws! Khris Middleton took over the role of closer and made a jump shot to give the Bucks a three point lead. Spencer Dinwiddie made another dunk that got the crowd back into the game over DPOY candidate Brook Lopez. Two possessions later the Mavericks took the lead on a layup by Luka Doncic. The Bucks missed their next shot and the Bucks fouled Dorian Finney-Smith on the Mavericks inbound with 10.7 seconds remaining.

Finney-Smith missed not one, but BOTH of his free throws, leaving just a one point deficit for the Bucks to overcome. Following a rebound by Jrue Holiday on the second miss and a timeout, Mike Budenholzer drew up a play with George Hill inbounding who could not have thrown the ball closer to the hoop without it going through the rim, hit Brook Lopez for the game winning shot, the only field goal Lopez registered in this game.