The San Antonio Spurs handed the Dallas Mavericks an old-fashioned beatdown Wednesday night at the AT&T Center that was as embarrassing as the final score indicated.
Be it scoring, rebounding or defending, the defenseless Mavs broke all basketball etiquette in suffering a meltdown of epic proportions. The Spurs’ 112-90 victory was the worst loss of the year for the Mavs, dropping them to 20-16 on the season and forcing them to take serious inventory of themselves.
“This is a disappointing night,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It was a rough night.”
The Mavs got walloped on the boards by a massive 55-32 margin and allowed the Spurs to make 52.6 percent of their shots. Dallas also shot just 41.9 percent from the field, attempted a season-low eight free throws, and only had two players score more than nine points.
In short, it was an indescribably inept performance by the Mavs, who have now lost 11 of their last 13 games against the Spurs, including the last seven. They haven’t scored more than 91 points in the past six games in the Spurs’ arena.
“It is tough, especially against the Spurs,” center Brandan Wright said. “We have stunk it up against them the past two years.”
The Mavs were so abysmal they can’t even use the loss of Shawn Marion (shoulder/ribs), or the fact that they were playing on the second leg of a back-to-back as a legitimate excuse. That’s because the Spurs played without superstar Manu Ginobili (hamstring) and were also playing the second leg of a back-to-back after winning Tuesday night in overtime at Memphis.
“It was ugly from the get-go offensively,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a season-low eight points on 3-of-14 shooting. “We couldn’t get any bounces, we couldn’t get anything to go, but we kind of hung in there surprisingly still until halftime.
“We fought all the way back to a seven-point game, which is where you want to be on the road. But they just kept pouring it on there in the third — we couldn’t really get any stops.”
The Mavs trailed only 45-38 at the half. But the third quarter was a total nightmare for Dallas.
Make that, Tony Parker was a total nightmare for Dallas in the third quarter.
Without Marion around to throw up some sort of defensive wall against him, Parker had 14 of his game-high 25 points in the third quarter, when the Spurs converted 13 of 16 shots and outscored the Mavs 37-24.
“He diced up whoever was guarding him and our team didn’t do a good job, so the third quarter was a demolition,” Carlisle said. “We weren’t shooting it well and they were, and we never had enough defensive traction all night and we got out-competed.”
The Southwest Division-leading Spurs (28-8) kept pouring it on in the fourth quarter until their lead grew to 29 points, 99-70, with 5:08 left following a 3-pointer by Patty Mills.
“We’re not the only team that loses in here,” Nowitzki said. “If you look at their home record [14-5], they’re pretty good.”
Monta Ellis led the Mavs with 21 points and Vince Carter added 14. But take away the combined 16 of 32 from the field between Ellis and Carter, and the rest of the Mavs were 23 of 61 from the floor and scored only 55 points.
“I just didn’t have it today,” Nowitzki said. “I had some great shots.
“I was just running in quicksand out there today.”
So, apparently, were the rest of the Mavs.