Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 12/19/12
DALLAS "You can't throw a ball through the nose of a defender and have it come out of his (rear) to a teammate," Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said on the eve of Sixers-at-Mavs, by way of clarifying what might be a misunderstanding that is leading to his team's turnover woes. After climbing above .500 last week, Dallas dropped three straight games, all on the road, all featuring a dizzying total of giveaways. In those loses, the Mavs coughed up the ball 28, 17 and 20 times the first such three-game streak in franchise history since 1998. Dallas came in ranking in the bottom third of the NBA in turnovers, giving it away on 14.6 percent of its possessions. Meanwhile, here came the 76ers, the fifth-most larcenous squad in the league, having already nabbed 162 steals on the young season. One team taketh. The other team giveth away in such a manner requiring the coach to conduct a Physics-and-Anatomy class. "The total was good," said Carlisle after Dallas' 107-100 home victory in which the Mavs committed just 11 turnovers. "Compared to what's been happening, it was great. Fantastic." The Mavs (12-13) have other issues to juggle. Dirk Nowitzki (knee) is working up a sweat at practice this week and did the same in pregame warmups at the American Airlines Center in anticipation of making his season debut sometime between Christmas and New Year's. Nowitzki's absence, and the inconsistences of others, have placed a great burden on the shoulders of O.J. Mayo, who scored 26 here and as the team's leading producer is asked to lead and distribute (he had eight assists) and defend standout wings. And, to top it off, Mayo has played 893 minutes, the most on the team and 146 more minutes than the next-closest player (Darren Collison has played 747). Put another way: add up the minutes and divide by 48 and you see that Mayo has played almost three more games than any other Maverick. Also interesting to gauge is the use of center Chris Kaman, who returned to the team after missing Monday's practice due to the death of his grandmother. Kaman has shown himself to be an offensive force as he supplements Mayo. But in the five games previous to the Philly visit, he played a grand total of zero fourth-quarter minutes. Happily for the Mavs, that wasn't the case Tuesday as Kaman was good for 20 points and seven rebounds in 30 minutes of play and eight of those points came during the final 5:26 of the game. "We try to involve those guys in a lot of things because they're both playing so well," Carlisle said of Mayo and Kaman. "O.J.'s aggression was really key." One more example of the increased load for former Grizzlies sixth man Mayo now that he's a Mav: This is the first time in Mayo's career he's had 26-plus points and eight-plus assists in the same game. Said Mayo of carrying the load in the clutch: "I feel comfortable in that situation. You start to attack and you make a positive play for our team." This is the seventh straight home win for the Mavs in this series. But bothersome still is a Nov. 27 visit to Philadelphia in which Dallas committed six straight fourth-quarter turnovers to lose 100-98. That was a game in which Mavs passers tried to violate Carlisle's Physics-and-Anatomy class teachings. This time, Dallas got efficient work from: backup big man Brandan Wright (10 points and six rebounds), called upon in part because Elton Brand (groin) was unavailable; Darren Collison (12 points), who replaced Derek Fisher when he sustained a first-quarter knee injury; and Shawn Marion, who posted nine rebounds and 14 points those points allowing him to become the 95th player in NBA history to eclipse 16,000 career points. "We're happy to get out of here alive," said Carlisle the Physics-and-Anatomy professor, well-aware that efficiency will continue to be necessary as the Mavs' 2012 calendar finishes up with formidable foes that include Miami, Memphis, San Antonio and, in total, six clubs that are .500 or better.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Fitzpatrick, Jets agree to one-year deal

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Brock Lesnar won't be punished by WWE for UFC drug test

Report: Cowboys to be fined up to $250K for suspended players

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

Report: Nicks signing one-year deal with Saints

Reds 'picking up the pace' on Jay Bruce trade talks

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker