It wasn’t just any loss as the Mavs were absolutely pummeled by the 76ers with the game ending 116-74 in favor of the side from Pennsylvania.
Speaking after the 42-point defeat, Carlisle was understandably irate and labeled this as their worst performance of the season.
“This was by far the worst of the year in terms of energy, effort, togetherness and we all own it,” said the coach, per Eddie Sefko of Sports Day. “So there’s not a lot to say. We got outplayed in every way possible. Philadelphia played their brand of basketball which is hard and unselfish and relentness. And we just didn’t show up.”
The 57-year-old blamed the team’s lack of competitive tenacity from the get-go that led to the demoralizing defeat. Big man Dwight Powell was the unusual leading scorer for the team with 14 points off the bench while all five starters combined for only 28 points on 12-33 shooting as a unit.
Also worth noting is that it was a homecoming game for former 76ers forward-center Nerlens Noel, but he too was underwhelming with nine points and five rebounds in 18 and a half minutes played.
19-year veteran and recent member of the 30,000 career points club Dirk Nowitzki was also distraught after the rout.
“We just didn’t have it,” said the German. “It’s pretty embarrassing. We got beat in every area. We were just awful. Give them credit. They threw a hard game at us. They had us in every facet of the game. They outplayed us and outfought us, and it was embarrassing.”
With this unexpected defeat, the Mavericks are now four games behind the eighth seed Denver Nuggets. The loss put a huge dent in their hopes for a postseason appearance this year as they now have only 14 games remaining to make up for the deficit. The good news is that they are slated to face the Nuggets again on their home floor come April 11 in what could turn out to be a do-or-die matchup for both teams.