Rick Carlisle after loss: 'We caved'

Rick Carlisle didn’t sugarcoat anything after the Mavs finished a winless road trip with a mail-in effort in Monday’s loss to the Pistons.

“Unfortunately, we caved,” Carlisle told reporters after the 103-89 loss. “Our competitive level has got to come up, it’s as simple as that. What happened in the second half is not acceptable.”

What happened in the second half? The Mavs pretty much stopped playing defense. The Pistons, who are far from an offensive juggernaut, scored 62 points in the last two quarters. That included a stretch of buckets on 11 consecutive possessions.

“This game is about effort and we’re not giving the effort,” Jason Kidd said.

The Mavs looked like a team willing to accept losing while dropping their sixth consecutive game. Their longest losing streak in more than a decade won’t end soon unless they renew their commitment to defense.

“In these situations, you never get out of it just because it’s time to get out of it,” Carlisle said. “You must fight out of it and we got to fight harder. That’s the really the beginning and end of it. Really, we didn’t have enough fight to get us over the hump or even near the hump, and that’s disappointing.”