Loss to Lakers leaves Mavericks with a bad taste

DALLAS -- Watching film of Saturday's 115-89 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks found that it was just as bad the second time around as when it happened live.

The rerun showed a total collapse by the Mavs from top to bottom. But coach Rick Carlisle noted that nothing can be accomplished by pointing fingers.

"We had a lot of guys struggle," Carlisle said. "Today is not a day to single out one guy.

"Today is a day to circle the wagons and work to get better as a team and that's what we've done, and we've got another practice tomorrow and then we've got to hit the road."

The Mavs leave today for a two-game road trip that starts Tuesday in Philadelphia and ends after Wednesday's game in Chicago. By Tuesday's tipoff, the Mavs (7-7) hope to have Saturday's debacle completely flushed out of their system.

"You've got to just forget about it," point guard Darren Collison said. "I mean, it's a lot to learn from it.

"I think, team-wise, we didn't play nearly as good of a defense as we normally can. You think about all the layups that they had in the first five minutes that kind of hurt us, and it gave them a little momentum throughout the whole game.''

The lopsided loss to the Lakers was the worst of the season for the Mavs, who have dropped six of their last nine games after bolting out of the gate with a 4-1 record. That ugly setback also meant extra time in the film room.

Carlisle said: "We have to study [Saturday's] game and take the relevant things from it, apply them to [Sunday's] practice, apply them to [today's] practice, and we've got to get ready for Philly on Tuesday."

Chants peeve Mavs

A strange and embarrassing moment occurred late in Saturday's 26-point loss to the Lakers when, out of nowhere, a lot of folks in American Airlines Center started chanting: "Let's go Lakers."

The Mavs players, of course, took exception to the chants and probably wondered how all those Lakers fans got tickets to the game.

"It was embarrassing before the 'Let's go Lakers' chants," forward Elton Brand said. "We were down 30 points to a team we beat with Steve Nash playing [on opening night], and this is a different coach.

"I thought it was embarrassing well before that. Hopefully that's etched in our memory and we will be able to play them harder next time."

It's certainly etched in the memory of Darren Collison.

"That was pretty tough to hear that," Collison said. "But that's what we get.

"We didn't come out to play and that's what happens when you didn't come out to play right away."

Thoughts with McHale

Coach Rick Carlisle sent his condolences to Houston Rockets coach Kevin McHale, whose 23-year old daughter, Alexandra, died Sunday morning from complications related to lupus.

"I'm deeply saddened and I've expressed my deepest condolences to [McHale] and his family," Carlisle said after Sunday morning's practice at American Airlines Center. "He's going to be in my thoughts and prayers for a long time because of this."

As players, Carlisle and McHale were Boston Celtics teammates from 1984-87 and won an NBA title together in 1986.

Jobs up for grabs

Rick Carlisle would like nothing better than to have a standard rotation finalized for a team 14 games into the season. Dallas, of course, is still missing injured star Dirk Nowitzki.

"But it hasn't shaken out that way yet," Carlisle said. "There's a lot of jobs up for grabs.

"It's very competitive and the guys that are the best competitors are going to step up and grab them."

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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