Give Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle a lot of credit.
The Mavs played Sunday’s game against the Sacramento Kings without starters Chandler Parsons (season-ending right knee surgery) and Deron Williams (left abdominal muscle strain).
But after the Kings pounded the Mavs 133-111 at Sleep Train Arena, Carlisle didn’t use the absence of two of his best players as an excuse for the poor performance against the NBA lottery-bound Kings.
We’re in a tough spot personnel-wise. But every team in the league has got some injuries and some guys banged up, so we’ll get through it.
Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
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“I’m not giving in to that defeatist line of thinking,” Carlisle said. “I know that this is an execution game, it’s a togetherness game, it’s a hard work game, and we’re going to find a way to get through this and do better.
“We’re in a tough spot personnel-wise. But every team in the league has got some injuries and some guys banged up, so we’ll get through it.”
The Mavs are 35-38 and seeded ninth in the Western Conference standings. They’re also 0-3 on this four-game road trip that concludes with Monday’s 8 p.m. game in Denver.
The Kings shot 62.2 percent from the field, and also scored 102 points by the end of the third quarter. There was a lot of matador defense by the Mavs, who looked overmatched by the Kings.
Asked if the Mavs were going through the motions, shooting guard Wesley Matthews said: “I don’t know. I don’t think so. I don’t want to think so. One hundred and thirty however many points in the past however many games? That’s crazy.”
The 133 points are the most the Mavs have allowed in a game this season, eclipsing the 130 the Golden State Warriors scored on the Mavs in Dallas on March 18.
“It’s pride, it’s all pride, man, it’s pride,” Matthews said. “Keep your guy in front of you, everybody talk early, everybody get back on defense, everybody bump and cut.
“It’s everybody. Everybody. Me included. We’VE all got to do better. Everybody’s got to do better. It’s a pride thing.”
So along, arena
Carlisle got a bit nostalgic Sunday when asked about his team’s last appearance in Sleep Train Arena.
“This is one of the few places left I actually played in,” Carlisle said. “This building’s had a good run.
“There was a period of time that this was one of the loudest, most raucous places to play, and that’s a credit to the fans here and the teams that they put together during some of those periods. And they’re still great fans.”
The Kings had been playing in Sleep Train Arena since they moved from Kansas City in 1988.
“We’ve driven by the new arena downtown and it looks like something out of The Jetsons,” Carlisle said. “It’s a pretty cool looking building.”
Madison Square Garden, Oracle Arena (Golden State) and The Palace of Auburn Hills, where the Detroit Pistons play, are the only other arenas remaining that Carlisle played in.
Carlisle played in the NBA from 1984-89.