NEW ORLEANS -- Want a bright spot from the Mavs’ most embarrassing loss of the season? Look no further than the little French blur, Rodrigue Beaubois.
Want somebody to blame? Go with the guy who got benched for Roddy B. with the game on the line.
“If I make a shot, we win,” Jason Terry said. “That’s the bottom line. Put it on me.”
Terry did hit one shot, but that was it for Friday’s loss to the lottery-bound Hornets. He finished with a grand total of two points on 1-of-9 shooting.
Beaubois, on the other hand, had a brilliant performance. In his first start in almost a month, the lightning-quick guard lit the Hornets up for 25 points on 11-of-17 shooting, doing most of his damage on a dazzling variety of off-the-dribble floaters in the lane.
That made coach Rick Carlisle’s decision to sit Terry for the final 10 minutes pretty easy, no matter the long list of comebacks Terry has keyed with clutch shooting over the course of his career.
“Roddy was the right guy to play, in my mind, so that’s what we did,” Carlisle said. “Roddy kept us in the game and made plays to get the game back close.”
Terry, who talked to the media for less than a minute, couldn’t make any argument against Carlisle’s decision.
This was the second consecutive encouraging performance for Beaubois, who has been in and out of the rotation all season. He’s penetrating with a purpose, attacking the basket instead of putting on pointless dribbling exhibitions.
“They want me to be aggressive, and I understand that I have to be aggressive to help the team,” Beaubois said. “That’s what I try to do. Sometimes I’m going to have good nights, sometimes less, but at least I have to try to be aggressive.”
This was a phenomenal night for Beaubois, but he didn’t get near enough help.
“Roddy played great,” Jason Kidd said. “We couldn’t get anybody to go with him.”
A few more notes from the Mavs’ fourth consecutive loss:
1. Dirk’s midrange misery: Dirk Nowitzki knocked down 5-of-8 3-point attempts, but he was an atrocious 2-of-11 inside the arc. He also committed six turnovers, several of which came when he made poor decisions when double-teamed on post-ups.
Nowitzki said his back didn’t bother him a couple of nights after it caused him to leave the loss to Memphis early. He was mad at himself for not being more aggressive. He attempted one layup and 10 midrange jumpers and never earned a trip to the free throw line.
“I probably should have put the ball on the deck a little bit more,” he said after an ugly 19-point performance. “Sometimes I felt like I settled too much for the face-up jumper.”
2. Bench doesn’t bother Carter: Vince Carter’s streak of 16 consecutive starts ended when Carlisle opted to insert the speedy Beaubois into the lineup. Carter couldn’t care less whether he starts or comes off the bench. “I don’t care about the lineups,” Carter said. “We just need to win games.” Carter had 14 points and four assists in 27 minutes, including a spurt of seven points and an assist during an 11-0 run in the first half.
3. Injury updates: Brandan Wright is being monitored for concussion symptoms after being on the wrong end of an elbow that bloodied his mouth. “It was a good whack for sure,” said Wright, who wasn’t certain he’d be available for Saturday’s game against the Jazz. … Carter limped off the floor in the second half because of a sharp pain in his left foot. That’s the same foot he sprained in January, causing him to miss five games, but he said this injury shouldn’t cause him to miss any time. “We can’t afford to go down any more guards,” said Carter, who winced as he put on his shoe.