If what happened Tuesday night is any indication, this is going to be a long five-game homestand for the Dallas Mavericks.
The Cleveland Cavaliers rolled into the American Airlines Center and completely destroyed the Mavs 127-94. It was the fifth loss in seven games for the Mavs and dropped their record to 41-25.
The Mavs also fell behind San Antonio and into seventh place in the Western Conference. In addition, Dallas is just three games ahead of Oklahoma City in the loss column for the eighth playoff spot.
In handing the Mavs their worst loss of the season, the Cavs looked like they were just prepping for the upcoming playoffs. The Cavs totally manhandled the Mavs and scored an amazing 101 points after the first quarter.
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That left coach Rick Carlisle with the difficult task of trying to analyze this disaster, which dropped the Mavs to 21-11 at home.
“I’ve got to look at the film, I’ve got to ask some hard questions about where we’re at,” Carlisle said. “I’ve got to watch the film first, though.
“Our guys know that this is not who we are and this is not how we’re going to play. And we’ve just got to circle the wagons and we’ve got to get ready for Friday.”
Led by LeBron James, the Cavs (41-25) had four players score at least 21 points. Cleveland shot 50.6 percent from the field, converted 15 of 32 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and outrebounded the Mavs 50-42.
It was not one of the Mavs’ finer hours, as they shot just 40.7 percent from the floor and made just 5 of 20 from 3-point range. It was a total flop at both ends of the floor in one of the most anticipated games of the season. King James was making his lone appearance in Dallas.
James didn’t disappoint, finishing with 27 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. But he received help from Kyrie Irving (22 points), Kevin Love (21 points, 14 rebounds) and J.R. Smith (21 points, eight rebounds).
Chandler Parsons scored 10 of his 18 points in the first quarter, which ended promisingly as Dallas led 31-26. But the Cavs outscored the Mavs 101-63 for the rest of the game, including 41-22 in the second quarter as they led 67-53 at the half.
“We got beat, we got to play harder, we got to believe in one another, we got to stay confident,” Parsons said. “We are still in a good situation.
“I know it feels like rock bottom — it’s an embarrassing loss. We can’t hang our heads because we have another really good team coming in on Friday night.”
The Mavs also got scoring support from Monta Ellis (17 points), Amar’e Stoudemire (15 points) and Dirk Nowitzki (13 points). But this is the Mavs’ 14th loss by 10 or more points, with nine of them by 15 or more.
The Mavs lost forward Al-Farouq Aminu to a left shoulder injury in the first half, and guard Devin Harris re-injured his bruised right hand.
With the Los Angeles Clippers coming to town Friday, things may get worse before they get better. The Mavs need to stand up and put up a decent fight, which was not the case against the Cavs.
“We are going to go through rough patches,” Parsons said. “This one hurts and feels like the end of the world. But we’ve got to get back at it tomorrow, watch film and be a much better basketball team Friday night.”
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760