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Embarrassed Mavs try to bounce back against Nets

NEW YORK -- The Dallas Mavericks used all sorts of negative adjectives to describe their worst loss of the season on Friday in Philadelphia.

"Flat," "embarrassing" and mind-boggling" were some of the word choices.

With fewer than 48 hours to digest what went wrong, the Mavericks visit the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday.

Dallas makes the short trip to New York after being dominated during a 116-74 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.

In their most lopsided loss of the season, the Mavericks produced the following: 34.5 percent shooting, including 21.7 percent from 3-point range in a game they led by two points after the first quarter.

"Tonight, was by far the worst of the year in terms of energy, effort, togetherness and we all own it," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "We all own it. There is not a lot to say we got outplayed in every way possible."

Dallas actually held a six-point lead early in the second quarter. It began the game by shooting 13 of 23 but shot 17 of 64 the rest of the way.

"We were just awful," Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "Give them credit, they threw a hard game at us, making tough shots. Our weakside just wasn't there.

"They hit us in every facet of the game. Fast-break points, they killed us by 20 on the glass. The bottom line is they outplayed us out fought us and it was embarrassing."

To further illustrate how bad Friday became, the Mavericks' starters combined for 31 points and were a combined minus-126. Nowitzki shot 5 of 9 from the field, but Wesley Matthews was 1 of 8 and Harrison Barnes was 2 of 7.

"Having a performance like this is mind-boggling, but we have to just keep our composure," Barnes, said. "At the end of the day we didn't lose this game because of anything more than energy and effort."

It was a potentially damaging loss to the Mavericks' playoff hopes. Dallas (29-39) sits 10th in the Western Conference, but a decent-sized distance separates them and the Denver Nuggets.

It might prove to be more crushing to their playoff aspirations since Dallas' remaining schedule features 10 of 13 games against teams in the top eight.

"I take full responsibility in these situations," Carlisle said. "Players certainly have some responsibility, too. We've all got to look in the mirror and do a hell of a lot better on Sunday."

The Mavericks faced the Nets and emerged with a 105-96 home win on March 10. That was the last game of a four-game winning streak and gave them six wins in eight games.

Dallas has dropped three of four since and two of those losses were ugly and lopsided.

The Nets remain the worst team in the league and have split four games since their last meeting with Dallas. Brooklyn is 4-8 since the All-Star break, when Jeremy Lin returned from a second strained left hamstring.

Three of Brooklyn's last four losses were by single digits and the Nets are 8-26 in games decided by fewer than 10 points.

The latest was a 98-95 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday. In their 18th loss in the last 19 home games, the Nets missed potential 3-pointers by Brook Lopez and Quincy Acy in the final six seconds.

"I was confident and it felt good," Lopez said. "I thought it was going in. But they took away our first option. I just tried to make myself available. We fought until literally the very end."

Lopez led the Nets with 23 points, while Randy Foye added 14 as Brooklyn was forced to play catch-up after shooting 27.9 percent in the first half.

"We got a couple clean-ish looks, but that's what happens when we put ourselves in that position," Nets guard Lin said. "I thought we played really hard, fought through a lot of stuff. Sometimes that's just how it is, and you wish the shots went in."

The Nets were shorthanded as Joe Harris (sprained right shoulder), Trevor Booker (left leg soreness) and Sean Kilpatrick (strained left hamstring) sat out.

Harris and Kilpatrick probably will remain out, but the Nets don't think Booker's injury will become a long-term ailment and the rugged forward could play Sunday.

Dallas has won four of the last five meetings.

On the last trip to Brooklyn on Dec. 23, 2015, Nowitzki passed Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal for sixth place on the NBA's all-time scoring list and made the game-winning basket with 19.2 seconds left in a 119-118 overtime victory.
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