Faulty shooting drops Mavs to 26th in NBA

SAN ANTONIO -- Shooting doesn't get much worse than it did Thursday night for the Dallas Mavericks:

First quarter: 7-of-19 (0-5 on 3s), 36.8 percent

Second quarter: 4-of-19 (0-6), 21.1 percent

Third quarter: 5-of-21 (1-4), 23.8 percent

Fourth quarter: 11-of-18 (0-4), 61.1 percent (Delonte West was only starter to play)

Total: 22-of-72 (1-19), 35.1 percent

The 93-71 loss was a low point, but it's not like the Mavs have been shooting the rock the way they're accustomed. In the last 12 seasons, Dallas has finished in the top 10 in field-goal percentage 10 times. In the two seasons they did not (2009-10 and 1999-00), they finished 12th.

Only once in the first eight games of this season has Dallas shot better than 45 percent. They now rank 26th in the NBA in field-goal percentage at an abysmal 41.2 percent -- and remarkably only 21st from beyond the arc at 28.9 percent.

Thank goodness for backup center Ian Mahinmi, who's putting the ball in the bucket at a 70-percent clip (21-of-30). West is at 47.1 percent with every other rotation player coming in lower.

"For the most part I think our shot selection has been pretty good," said guard Jason Terry, who is shooting a subpar 42.2 percent. "So, maybe when guys get their legs back we'll start making shots at a higher percentage."

Dirk Nowitzki, 3-of-11 Thursday night and shooting 46.0 percent on the season, echoed similar thoughts that the overall shooting percentage will rise as players round into shape.

"We look like a jump-shooting team again this year and when you're tired and your legs are a little tired, that's the first thing that goes is usually your jump shot," Nowitzki said. [Thursday] we had good shots. I had some wide-open shots, Jet had some good looks, Trix [Shawn Marion] had some floaters that he usually makes and Lamar [Odom] had some. We just have to keep stepping into them.

"If you look at our schedule, January is beast. So, maybe that's a good thing, get everybody's legs here in January, keep working hard and get through this tough phase with a halfway decent record and then I think we're set up to make a decent push in February, March, April because the schedule lightens up a little bit."