Mavs reeling from rugged road trip

DALLAS -- They may be back home for a two-game homestand, but the Dallas Mavericks are still reeling from a two-game road trip over the weekend.

The Knicks beat the Mavs in New York on Friday 104-94.

That was not a surprise because the Mavs were battling the undefeated Knicks without Dirk Nowitzki (right knee surgery) and Shawn Marion (sprained left knee).

But the stunner came Saturday, when the lowly Charlotte Bobcats rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half to shock the Mavs 101-97 in overtime.

It was the Mavs' first loss ever to the Bobcats.

Guard O.J. Mayo offered his own analysis on how the Mavs disappeared down the stretch against the Bobcats.

"We need to play how we got the lead," Mayo said. "Once we get to the fourth quarter we tend to be a little tentative and not as aggressive as we need to.

"It's like we're waiting for the time to run out, or for them to go ahead and give us the game. But in this league teams are trying to win, especially early, so you've got to go out there and take the win and move on to the next game."

The next game for the Mavs (4-3) comes tonight at American Airlines Center when they play host to the Minnesota Timberwolves (4-2).

Dallas will also host the Washington Wizards on this brief homestand before hitting playing at Indiana on Friday.

The Mavs led the Bobcats 91-87 with 26.6 seconds left in regulation after a pair of free throws by Mayo. From there, the Mavericks made a series of mistakes that allowed the Bobcats to send the game to overtime.

"I thought we got a little casual as far as a little soft on both ends of the floor thinking they were going to lay down," Mayo said. "It's about playing hard and playing hard an entire game."

The Mavs also have to execute better than they did on the East Coast.

They shot 40.7 percent from the field against the Knicks and turned the ball over 20 times, then shot 40.5 percent from the field against the Bobcats and committed 19 turnovers.

"It's definitely a lost weekend as of now," forward Elton Brand said. "But we have a great staff and we're going to watch a lot of film and turn this lost weekend into a positive, and learn from it."

Marion re-evaluated

The Mavs plan to re-evaluate forward Shawn Marion today to see how the 14-year veteran is progressing from his injury.

Marion has missed the past three games after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Nov. 5 against Portland. The 34-year old averages 10.6 points and a team-high 9 rebounds per game.

"The leading rebounder, playmaker, he's a great addition to our unit," Elton Brand said of Marion.

"Just a veteran player, knows how to play, so hopefully we can get him back because he means so much to the team.''

Murphy seeking niche

Since joining the Mavs as a free agent on Nov. 2, forward Troy Murphy has been trying to find his niche.

In five games, Murphy has 16 points, 26 rebounds and made just 6 of 22 field goal attempts.

But the 6-foot-11, 245-pounder is coming off his best game of the season, eight points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes against Charlotte.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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