Dallas Mavericks

Mavs need to find a way to play better at home

DALLAS – It looks as though the Dallas Mavericks have gotten to the point where they’re a team that plays better on the road than they do at home.

That’s not exactly the blueprint a team wants. Especially a team that aspires to win an NBA title.

But that’s the corner the Mavs have back themselves into following Wednesday night’s 108-95 loss to the Detroit Pistons at American Airlines Center.

The Mavs are an impressive 13-5 on the road, but a woeful 13-6 at home. But they’ll never admit that they can’t wait to get back on the road, where they just completed a three-game road trip this past Monday night with a victory in Brooklyn.

"I think each game is a new entity and every night is one night to compete at a high level,’’ coach Rick Carlisle said. "You’re in a full arena, there are opportunities, you’ve got to jump on them and we didn’t do it tonight, so it’s disappointing.’’

The Mavs play 12 of their 16 games this month on the road. They open a three-game road trip in Los Angeles on Saturday against the Clippers.

And if they don’t play better against the Clippers than they did against the Pistons, that roads trip won’t get off to a pleasant start.

"That’s a tough loss (against Detroit), especially going out West again here coming up,’’ forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "We’ve got to address the home, obviously, if we want to be a good team and a tough road team in the West.

"We’ve got to win at home. We’ve got to win big games at home. . .and we just didn’t do that tonight.’’

Detroit never trailed and won for the seventh consecutive game in raising its record to 12-23. Meanwhile, the Mavs are 11-0 against the East on the road, but just 5-4 at home against the East.

Carlisle, however, wasn’t about to admit that a single home game sandwiched between a pair of three-game road trips to each coast had anything to do with what transpired Wednesday.

"We just didn’t compete well enough,’’ Carlisle said. "I’m not going to make an excuse.

"We’ve been winning. I don’t want to get into that stuff.’’

The Mavs (26-11) will practice Thursday and try to correct whatever ailed them against the Pistons.

"If we’re a team that’s trying to be a great team our competitive edge has got to be there all the time,’’ Carlisle said. "I’ve got to look at the film first before I tell you that we really didn’t compete.

"I just know Detroit competed at a very high level and we didn’t match it.’’

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @dwainprice

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