PHILADELPHIA -- Not even a very surprising lineup change could shake the Dallas Mavericks out of their doldrums.
Evan Turner and Thaddeus Young combined for 42 points, and the Philadelphia 76ers barely hung on for a 100-98 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday night at Wells Fargo Center.
It was the Mavs' seventh loss in their last 10 games and dropped their record to 7-8 while the Sixers improved to 9-6. And that's not exactly a comfortable feeling as the Mavs complete this short, two-game road trip at 7 tonight in Chicago.
"We're all disappointed, but disappointment is one thing," coach Rick Carlisle said. "I'm not dismayed because I like the effort.
"I believe our guys have the right spirit about what they're trying to do. We have just got to put it all together -- and it's work. There's no other way to put it -- it's work."
The Mavs were in position either to send the game into overtime or win it at the end. Trailing 100-98 with 2.2 seconds left, O.J. Mayo stepped to the line for the potential tying two free throws.
Mayo's first free throw, however, went in and came out, and then he missed the second one on purpose. The ball eventually landed in the hands of rookie Jae Crowder, whose 3-point attempt as time expired hit the backboard but bounced off the front of the rim.
"I thought it was in," Mayo said of his first attempts. "Obviously I'm pretty mad and upset.
"That's the way it goes sometimes. But I've got to make it."
Carlisle juggled his starting lineup with the biggest shakeup being the fact that point guard Darren Collison was out of it for the first time this season. Collison was coming off a two-point, four-turnover and 1-of-10 field goal-shooting performance during Saturday's 115-89 humbling loss at home to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dominique Jones started in Collison's place against the Sixers and finished with two points and four turnovers.
"Am I happy about the situation? Nah," Collison said. "...I know how hard I worked, and I'm still going to try to lead this team to victories in the near future, and I'm still going to try to make an impact like I tried to do today."
Collison finished with 12 points, six assists, five steals and four turnovers in 30 minutes in one of his better games of the season. Afterward, he admitted to playing with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
"But to be honest, my motivation was just winning the game," Collison said. "... I really just wanted to come in the game and just try to help my teammates out. I'm not in for all that drama stuff."
Carlisle tried to downplay the fact that he removed Collison from the starting lineup.
"He's our starting point guard, but tonight he came off the bench," Carlisle said. "Jason Terry was our starting two-guard, but he came off the bench for four years, so it's not that big a deal.
"The big deal is that we've got to quit doing the things that are making us shoot ourselves in the foot."
The Mavs, who got a team-high 20 points from Chris Kaman, shot a few holes in their feet Tuesday by committing eight turnovers in the fourth quarter after having only seven in the first three quarters combined.
In his return to Philly, where he played the previous four seasons, Elton Brand played his best game of the year, finishing with a season-high 17 points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes.
"Regardless of who we played, the juices were going to be turned up after that Laker embarrassment," Brand said. "I couldn't wait to practice, couldn't wait to play."
The Sixers led 13-4 early, forcing Carlisle to call two timeouts. The Mavs eventually mounted a 48-39 lead midway through the second period only to squander it because of repeated blunders in the fourth quarter.
"I love the effort," Carlisle said. "I thought we fought our butts off, hung in to give ourselves a chance at the end.
"And we got unlucky when O.J. missed the first free throw."
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760