Pacers hope to clinch winning road trip as Turner returns home
DALLAS -- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, whose team sits dead last in the Western Conference, held an emergency film session following a game for the first time in his 15-year career in the NBA, he said.
That game was Wednesday's demoralizing 120-89 loss to the visiting Sacramento Kings, who outscored Dallas (4-17) 29-12 in the third quarter to cruise to the win. After that assault on Carlisle's senses, he delivered a short statement to the media and walked off without taking questions. Soon after, reporters were ushered out of the Mavs' locker room and the doors were locked for an impromptu, 35-minute film session.
"I just wanted to watch the third quarter with them right after the game. We lost it by 17," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said following Thursday's practice. "It was really the most decisive quarter of the game. I just told them that I'm tired of coming in here and watching film every morning. I wanted them to see what happened. I wanted it to be fresh in their minds walking out of the building."
Mavs forward Harrison Barnes said the lopsided loss was "a disservice to us as teammates, to the coaching staff that put in work and a disservice to the fans who came here."
It was also Dallas' third loss in its last four home games as it heads into the finale of a four-game homestand Friday against the Indiana Pacers. That's followed by a tough road game at Houston on Saturday night.
The Pacers (11-11) are just 3-7 on the road, but two of those victories have come on this five-game road trip that can finish up with a winning record if Indiana can get past the struggling, but motivated Mavs.
Indiana is looking to sweep the season series after taking a 130-121 overtime win in the season-opener back in late October. Center Myles Turner, who went to high school in the Dallas area and spent one season at the University of Texas, had 30 points and 16 rebounds in that first meeting. Both remain season highs for the second-year emerging star who is averaging 14.6 points and 7.3 rebounds in 28.4 minutes this season.
In his first trip back to Dallas as a rookie last season, Turner had an impressive 15 points and seven boards in an Indiana victory.
While Turner might have been eager to get back to his hometown, he had to wait a bit longer because of the travel philosophy new coach Nate McMillan instituted. Instead of leaving the city they had just played in immediately after the game, as most teams do, only to arrive in the next city in the wee hours of the morning, McMillan now often has the team stay overnight in the city in which it played and then travel the next day. The approach is designed to give the team optimal rest.
So the Pacers remained in Phoenix after beating the Suns 109-94 on Wednesday, then practiced there on Thursday before taking an afternoon flight to Dallas. Turner, who had 20 points, four rebounds and two blocks in 28 minutes in the win, said the arrangement has its advantages, even if it means his one trip home for the season is delayed just a bit.
"I think in the long haul it does (work)," C.J. Miles told the Indianapolis Star. "As much rest as you can get as the season goes on, where you can find places to get more, you've got to do it. It's a grind. As much as you train for it, your body still needs it. In all actuality, you don't get the amount of rest we should get for the amount of stuff we do. That's not a sob story. It's just the nature of what we do. Don't get me wrong, though. We do get compensated for it."