After a rather embarrassing 107-81 loss to the Indiana Pacers, there was an ominous feeling throughout the Dallas Mavericks’ locker room.
Sure, the Mavs have lost their fair share of games this season prior to Wednesday night’s disappearing act at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. But none took on the ugly flavor of this one.
None featured the helpless feeling that the Mavs endured after halftime — when the Pacers scored almost as many points in the fourth quarter (32) as the Mavs scored in the entire second half (34).
The 26-point stinker was the Mavs’ worst loss of the season, their lowest scoring game, and dropped their record to 14-12.
“We played very poorly in the second half,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “From start to finish, we allowed our inconsistency with shot-making to affect our energy in the game.
“We got to hang in and keep playing. We hung in the first half and stole the lead at halftime. But in the fourth quarter, it was ugly.”
The ugliness actually began in the third quarter, when former Mavs shooting guard Monta Ellis scored 13 points and Paul George added 11 of his 19 as the Pacers outscored Dallas 30-17 in that 12-minute segment.
Ellis missed all eight of his field-goal attempts in the first half, but wound up hitting seven of his final eight and finished with 19 points.
“I had some good looks [in the first half], but they just weren’t going down,” Ellis said. “Coach just told me to continue to attack and keep taking my shots.”
While Ellis was attacking, Dallas converted just 17 of 42 shots in the first half, and 16 of 48 in the second half.
“It was a tough outing offensively for us,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who was 6-of-16 shooting with 13 points and seven rebounds. “But offensively, keep moving the ball.”
Dallas took a 47-45 lead into intermission thanks to a late 3-pointer by Raymond Felton. But then the bottom, and everything else, fell out.
Wesley Matthews left the game with a right shoulder injury but later returned, finishing with only four points on 2-of-10 shooting.
The Mavs also lost Devin Harris to a right hamstring injury, leaving his status in doubt for Friday’s home game against Memphis.
“I tweaked the hammy a little on a drive, and it started to pull a little bit,” Harris said. “It’s not really that bad. I just got to see how it responds to treatment.”
The Mavs also have to see how their offense responds Friday night against Memphis’ stingy defense. Other than Nowitzki, Felton (16 points) was the only other player in double figures.
“We couldn’t get any stops, and I thought our offense had some good looks,” said Chandler Parsons, who scored seven points on 3-of-9 shooting while playing a season-high 29 minutes. “We have to win games when our shots aren’t falling.”
The Mavs shot 36.7 percent from the field and made just 8 of 33 from 3-point range. The 34 points after intermission was their lowest-scoring half of the season.
Lack of aggressiveness also showed up at the free-throw line, where the Mavs attempted a season-low 10, making seven.
Mavericks vs. Grizzlies
7:30 p.m. Friday, FSSW