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Monday, December 6, 2010
Streak? Rick Carlisle focused on Warriors

By Jeff Caplan

DALLAS -- With his Dallas Mavericks riding a nine-game win streak, Rick Carlisle has very little patience to discuss what happened yesterday. He's focused solely on today. So when asked Monday about his team's back-to-back sweep of the Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings, he scoffed.

"Those games are done," he said tersely. "Look, Golden State is a team that doesn't have a great record, but they can beat anybody at any time because of their explosiveness, and their two guards are phenomenal. They were down 23 last night [at Oklahoma City] and cut the game to a three points with under five seconds to go, so we've really got to play and we've got to concentrate on what we're doing."

One reason Carlisle might have been quick to jump forward and focus on the Warriors' visit Tuesday night is what happened in Golden State's first visit to Dallas last season. Don Nelson was ailing, and so were the Warriors. With just six players, Monta Ellis led the short-handed visitors to a 111-103 victory.

The assistant coach who filled in at the time is now head coach Keith Smart.

"That's a dangerous team, and he's ready," Carlisle said of the Warriors and Smart. "Last time he coached in here he took over for Nellie and he beat us, so he's very capable."

The Mavs (16-4) begin a season-long, six-game homestand against Golden State. During the two-week stretch, only Utah (Saturday) and Phoenix (Dec. 17) have winning records. At the same time, the Southwest Division-leading San Antonio Spurs (17-3) are in the midst of a six-game homestand and nine of 10 at home.

"Now's not the time to pat ourselves on the back or feel good about anything," Carlisle said. "This homestand is a key stretch for us. We've got to continue to be respectful of every opponent and continue to bring the same sort of energy and disposition to the game that we've been bringing during this streak."