Rick Carlisle received a five-year, $35 million contract extension Thursday, but the Dallas Mavericks’ coach probably had a difficult time celebrating the occasion.
The Charlotte Hornets feasted on Dallas’ porous defense all night en route to upending the Mavericks 108-94 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,635 at American Airlines Center.
With the loss, the Mavericks are 2-3 and have dropped both of their home games this season. They also are 0-2 on this homestand, which ends Saturday against the New Orleans Pelicans before they hit the road to play the Pelicans again Tuesday in New Orleans.
Mavericks lose to Charlotte in Dallas for the first time since Jan. 24, 1998.
Carlisle decided to rest small forward Chandler Parsons in the first half and make the unorthodox move of only playing him in the second half. It was a decision the Mavericks probably regretted.
Dallas was only down 54-53 at intermission, but with Parsons on the floor for 14 minutes in the second half, the Mavericks were outscored by 16 points and looked disjointed.
Obviously, that’s not how we saw it going.
Chandler Parsons said of the move to play him only in the second half.
“It was something that I asked for and it’s almost like the basketball gods said, ‘Here ya go for the dumb idea,’ ” Parsons said. “But ah, it was worth a shot, and we can’t hang our heads on one game.”
But playing Parsons only in the second half is not a move Carlisle pointed toward as the reason the Mavericks lost to Charlotte in Dallas for the first time since Jan. 24, 1998.
“You can’t blame the loss on that,” said Carlisle, whose team shot 39 percent from the floor. “That’s just not what this is about.”
Parsons had played a total of 26 minutes — all in the first half — in the previous two games and was lobbying to be on the court in the second half. His wish was eventually granted Thursday, but the results were not up to his lofty standards.
“Obviously, that’s not how we saw it going,” Parsons said of the move. “We got nothing going in the third quarter, from not being able to make shots to them scoring at will and scoring easy shots.
“It was worth a shot. We tried it out and things just really escalated in the third quarter. We couldn’t come back from it.”
We’ve played poorly two consecutive games, and that’s not good. I’ve got to look at this objectively and see where we need to get better.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
Parsons spent part of the first half working out on the Mavericks’ underground practice court so he could keep warm, but to no avail. He finished with only two points and one rebound, and was only 1-of-6 shooting.
The Hornets quickly jumped to a 71-59 lead by the time Parsons went to the bench with 5:34 remaining in the third period. But Carlisle reminded everyone this was a total team effort on the part of the Mavericks, who were led by Deron Williams with 15 points.
“It’s harder to be effective on offense when you’re taking it out of the basket,” Carlisle said. “That’s a universal truth about basketball, really, on any level.
“We’re going to have to defend better, no doubt about that, and we’re missing some shots that we normally should make. From that standpoint we’ve just got to stick to the process and keep stepping into them, and that’s where we are.”
With Al Jefferson (31 points, nine rebounds) and others powering inside, the Hornets scored 58 points in the paint to 36 for the Mavericks. Marvin Williams (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Jeremy Lamb (16 points) also made life miserable for Dallas as the Hornets slapped the Mavericks around inside the paint the same way Toronto did during the Raptors’ win in Dallas on Tuesday.
“We’ve played poorly two consecutive games, and that’s not good,” Carlisle said. “I’ve got to look at this objectively and see where we need to get better.”
“I don’t think it’s necessarily as much an effort thing as it is we’ve got to be more physical; I think our mindset has to be more physical. Two nights in a row we’ve really been beaten up by physical teams, so we’ll look at adjustment for that.”
Obviously, no one knows how different Thursday’s outcome might would have been if Parsons would have played in only the first half as he continues to remain on a 15-minute restriction.
“It’s easy to say now that it was a stupid idea, but it was just a thought,” Parsons said. “We gave it a shot. That’s one thing I respect about coach Carlisle. He’s very open to ideas like that, and clearly it didn’t work.”
Pelicans at Mavericks
7:30 p.m. Saturday, FSSW