Despite an early stumble, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle
said there’s no need to panic. Los Angeles Clippers coach Vinny Del
Negro might find reason to if his team doesn’t start playing better
coming out of halftime.
Looking to rebound from their first loss, the Mavericks play
their road opener Sunday against a Clippers team still trying for
its first victory under Del Negro.
After defeating Charlotte 101-86 on Wednesday, Dallas (1-1)
committed nine of its 20 turnovers in the fourth quarter of
Friday’s 91-90 loss to Memphis. The Mavericks, who are shooting
51.0 percent from the field, also missed 12 of 18 shots in the
final 12 minutes.
“Bad execution down the stretch,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who is
averaging 27.5 points and 10.0 rebounds while shooting 78.6 percent
(22 of 28) from the floor. “We had enough chances. We had the ball
with six seconds left, that’s plenty of time. But we didn’t even
get a look. It’s a bad loss, a game we’ve got to win.”
Carlisle, who led the Mavericks to an NBA-best 27-14 road record
in 2009-10, knows his team has to take better care of the ball, but
he’s not overly concerned at this point as his team looks to win
its seventh straight over Los Angeles.
“Look, this is two games out of 82, so come back in two weeks
and we’ll see where we are,” he said.
Del Negro is not pleased about where his team stands. The
Clippers (0-2) trailed by four at halftime Friday but were
outscored 21-2 to open the second half of a 109-91 loss at Golden
In Wednesday’s 98-88 home loss to Portland, Los Angeles made one
basket in opening 3:49 of the third quarter. The Clippers are
shooting a combined 2 for 12 in the first three minutes of the
second half, while their opponents are 6 for 11 during that
“We have a lot of growing pains, a lot of things to work on,”
said Del Negro, whose starters are shooting 38.8 percent from the
floor and have missed 19 of 22 3-point attempts. “We have to have
more of a defensive sense of urgency, especially in the third
Dallas may make things even tougher, having made 53.8 percent of
its shots while averaging 28.0 points during the third period.
“We’ve got to bounce back,” Clippers rookie forward Blake
Griffin said Friday after posting his second straight double-double
with 14 points and 10 boards.
Griffin and center Chris Kaman, who averaged 22.0 points and 9.0
rebounds in three losses to Dallas last season, could have a tough
matchup with the inside-outside threat of Nowitzki and newcomer
Acquired from Charlotte in the offseason, Chandler is averaging
5.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks while starting in front of
Brendan Haywood. Chandler, a native of Compton, Calif., hasn’t
played at Staples Center since Jan. 6, 2009, against the Lakers,
due to injuries.
Mavericks 37-year-old point guard Jason Kidd has 28 assists –
his most through two games since he had 29 for Phoenix in
The Clippers, trying to avoid their third straight 0-3 start,
have lost their last three at home to Dallas by an average of 18.0
The Mavericks have won 12 of 13 overall in this matchup.