Last year’s Western Conference Finalist, the Dallas Mavericks, were put to the test on Wednesday to open up their season. They matched up with the Phoenix Suns, the team they eliminated in the Western Conference Semifinals last season. Despite building a 22-point lead, the Mavericks lost the game, 107-105, courtesy of a game-winning shot by Damion Lee in the closing minutes.

Dallas big man Christian Wood blamed his poor free-throw shooting in the season opener for costing the Mavs the game. He went 3-of-10 from the stripe. However, this didn’t reflect on his shooting efficiency; Wood took 15 shots and only missed six, finishing the night shooting 60 percent from the field.

When addressing his free-throw struggles after the game, the 27-year-old admitted that he just wants to be better and admits that what happened was “inexcusable.”

“It’s just getting the jitters out,” said Wood. “Just attack it. Try to be better next time. You’ve got to take it day by day.”

Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who finished the contest with 35 points and nine rebounds, did not seem concerned about the issue.

“I went through it a lot,” Doncic told Wood. “And probably will go again – hopefully not.”

Cleverly, Doncic knocked on Wood’s head to not jinx himself.

Dallas will play their next game against the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday in the home opener. 

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