DALLAS — Somehow the Dallas Mavericks managed to beat the LA Clippers 103 – 101 at the American Airlines Center.

Yet, the win felt deflating.

Almost through incredulous fashion, Dallas blew a 25-point lead to LA in one half of basketball. For those who watch the Mavericks often, it was a familiar sight. The Mavs bugaboo all season has been blowing large advantages. There was opening night against the Phoenix Suns. That mishap was followed by Dallas’ historical collapse against Oklahoma City.

In total, Dallas has blown four games it has led by double digits. Tuesday night’s affair was nearly the fifth. The trend has caused head coach Jason Kidd to worry about his team’s overall effort on the defensive end amidst tenuous stretches. Tuesday night was different. Dallas managed to hold on, despite losing the lead. And it forced Kidd to acknowledge the grace and fortitude found in his bunch, which took the best of what a hobbled Clippers team offered and fought back.

“We’re giving up a lot of big leads, just like we drew it up,” Kidd said. “I thought the group handled the situation with grace in the sense of things weren’t going our way. But we didn’t self-destruct. We just stayed together and found a way.”

Dallas’ context to blown leads

But that is what is deflating about watching the Mavericks: They keep finding themselves in similar situations by repeating similar mistakes.

With a 25-point cushion, Luka Doncic humming, the perimeter shooters grooving, and super-sixth-man Christian Wood feasting, Dallas shouldn’t have needed a late-clock 3-point heave to secure a win.

Yet, it did.

“I was a bit lucky,” Doncic said after scoring 35 points in 39 minutes. “I just shot it and it was two seconds on the floor. It went in. Just a little bit lucky, but we’ll take it.”

And in typical Kidd fashion, he explained away the situation as being a byproduct of how hard it is to stop the other great teams in the league. But he also offered a needed comment on Dallas’ defense that hasn’t shown up in critical moments throughout games.

“I think just understanding it’s hard to play with the lead in this league, especially with the way everybody shooting threes,” Kidd said. “Sometimes when you don’t score, you’re going to have to play a little defense – but we didn’t. We gave up the big lead.”

Lately, wins feel like losses for Dallas. And if not for Reggie Bullock and Dorian Finney-Smith stepping up late, Dallas could have come out on the losing side of another blown lead.

And it appears as if Doncic agrees.

“We’ve been blowing leads,” he said. “We have to learn how to not blow leads.”

Related Dallas Mavericks reading

“Jason Kidd reveals what needs to improve for Luka Doncic and the Mavericks to win big.”

“Mavericks: Jason Kidd has a worrying message about Luka Doncic.” 

Feature image via Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports.