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Thursday, December 13, 2012
3-pointer: Rick Carlisle encouraged despite 28 TOs

By Tim MacMahon

BOSTON -- You’d think 28 turnovers would make Rick Carlisle raving mad.

But the Mavs’ coach took a different approach after Dallas’ double-overtime loss to the Celtics.

“What I am is encouraged because to have 28 turnovers and to give up 34 points off of turnovers and be in the game against this team is an encouraging sign,” Carlisle said. “It means we have a lot of positive upside to us and we’ve got to find it. We’ve got to find it with efficiency.”

The Mavs have had trouble with turnovers this season. That’s one reason they recruited savvy old point guard Derek Fisher, who coughed it up three times against the Celtics.

But the turnover bug hadn’t bitten the Mavs this badly all season.

The Mavs tied their previous season high with 22 turnovers in regulation. They had three more in each of the overtime periods.

“I take the most fault for it. I had nine,” O.J. Mayo said. “I want the ball in my hands. When it’s in my hands, I’ve got to (take care of it).”

Darren Collison (seven turnovers) and Elton Brand (four) were the next biggest offenders.

Credit the Celtics’ trapping defense for creating some of the takeaways. The Mavs just weren’t on the same page on others, which is the price you pay for putting together a team with so many newcomers. And then there was just some plain, ol’ sloppy play.

“I believe in these guys,” Carlisle said. “I really do. We showed a lot of guts hanging in this thing. We’ve got to be able to make simple plays.”

A few more notes from the Mavs’ streak-snapping loss:

1. Trix’s tough return: Shawn Marion didn’t exactly get to ease his way back into the mix after missing the previous two games with a strained groin. He played 45 minutes against the Celtics.

“That’s how many minutes I played? Oh my god!” Marion said. “It felt like it, too.”

They weren’t easy minutes, either. The 6-foot-7 Marion spent most of the second half and overtime periods playing center, where he was matched up with 7-footer Kevin Garnett. Marion (16 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks) was simply too productive to take off the floor.

“He showed a lot of guts,” Carlisle said. “I asked him a couple of times in overtime if he was all right. Probably should have pulled him out, but he wanted to stay in, so I left him in. The guy gave us everything he had. Can’t ask for more.”

2. Dahntay does it again: Dahntay Jones started at small forward for the fourth consecutive game and put up a season-high point total for the third consecutive night.

Jones had eight points in Saturday’s win over the Rockets, 11 in Monday’s win over the Kings and 12 against the Celtics, when he was 5-of-10 from the floor in 32 minutes. Jones, who is better known for his defensive prowess, did an excellent job forcing Paul Pierce to take a tough shot that missed at the end of the first overtime.

“He’s giving us toughness,” Carlisle said. “He’s giving us spurts of offense, which have been meaningful to us. Coming into this game, we were an improved team over a five-game stretch. Fisher and him were two main reasons.”

3. Flop alert: Can you call it a flop if the player doesn’t hit the floor? Rajon Rondo actually flailed, but it still appeared to violate the spirit of the NBA’s anti-flopping rule.

It made a major impact in the game, drawing Fisher’s sixth foul with 1:07 remaining in the first overtime. Rondo fooled the referee into thinking that Fisher pushed him in the back while they were going up for a rebound. Replays showed there was minimal, if any, contact.