O.J. Mayo called it like he saw it, although he probably was a little too harsh on himself.

Mayo went to the free-throw line Thursday night with 43 seconds left and the Mavericks down 98-96. It was similar to the situation Mayo had in Philadelphia earlier this season, when he missed the first free throw and purposely had to miss the second.

This time, he hit the first, but missed the second, leaving the Mavericks a point behind.

"I guess I … choked, huh?" he said. "Hopefully I'll get that (chance) again tomorrow, just like that."

Mayo, like most of the Mavericks, played a stellar game, finishing with 25 points, six assists and five rebounds. He was a big reason why the Mavericks had a chance to win, so pinning this 100-97 loss on him is unfair.

"We played well and we played hard," he said. "We're hoping to be in that position again tomorrow."

The Mavericks clearly are getting more frustrated with the mounting losses in games that are there to be won. A tough officiating call has hurt them in the last two outings.

But all the mistakes mount up – missed free throws, failure to rebound at the defensive end and careless turnovers. They had them all on Thursday.

It adds up to another painful learning experience, not to mention a painful loss.