NEW YORK — After blowing the past three games in mind-boggling fashion, the Dallas Mavericks are hoping for a completely different outcome at 7 p.m. Friday when they face the Brooklyn Nets at the brand new Barclays Center.Asked how do the Mavericks regroup after blowing a 25-point lead and losing 90-84 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, forward Vince Carter said: Win. Its no rhythm or reason. Its no special ingredient. Weve got to go win.In a span of four days, the Mavericks lost to the Los Angeles Lakers by four points, to the Milwaukee Bucks by five points and to the Grizzlies by six points. The losses are coming during a critical juncture of the season.Dallas will try and reverse some of the pain when it takes its 25-32 record into tonights game against the Nets (34-24).Meanwhile, the losses keep coming for the Mavericks because they simply havent figured out a way to put 48 effective minutes together. The Mavericks have delivered some heavy punches for two or three quarters, then resort to too many swings and misses the rest of the game.Weve just got to go out there and play, leave it on the floor, forward Shawn Marion said. Thats all we can do right now theres nothing else to be said or had.At this point we know what it is. But weve got to believe and weve got to go out there and make it happen.Still friendsThe Mavericks want Dirk Nowitzki to become the second-best player on their squad. And they were close to making that happen last summer during free agency.Unfortunately, point guard Deron Williams didnt follow the Mavs long-range plans all the way through.Williams was one of the NBAs top free agents last summer and had narrowed his decision to between the Mavericks and Brooklyn Nets.Williams chose the Nets, leaving the Mavericks to scramble. As a result, Dallas has had point guards Darren Collison, Derek Fisher, Mike James, Rodrigue Beaubois, Dominique Jones and rookie Jared Cunningham running their offense at times.But the Mavericks say they have no animosity directed toward Williams, who simply made a business decision that he would be better off playing with Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez than he would have been with Shawn Marion and Nowitzki.Hes still a friend of mine, Nowitzki sad. Obviously he didnt come join us. I wished him luck then. They have a good team, especially if Joe Johnson plays.A native of The Colony, Williams wound up signing a five-year, $98 million contract with the Nets.Still believingThe encouraging aspect of the Mavericks three-game losing streak is that they havent lost much ground to the Houston Rockets, who sit in the Western Conferences eighth and final playoff spot.The Mavericks are only four games behind Houston in the loss column. And they can make up two of those games when they play at Houston on Sunday, and when they host the Rockets on Wednesday.But first, the Mavericks have to find a way to close games, and try and defeat an improved Brooklyn team tonight.You go through ups and downs during the season, forward Dirk Nowitzki said. And its definitely down, and weve got to stop the bleeding.Time to push itIn accentuating the positive, Dirk Nowitzki said one of the reasons they suffered that Wednesday night meltdown against the Memphis Grizzlies is because they stopped pushing the ball up the floor.It was obvious again [Wednesday] that were best when we get stops and when we run, Nowitzki said. Our half-court offense isnt really good enough to compete against good defenses, so weve got to make sure we speed the game up.The only way you can do that is by getting stops.
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice