How it happened: This one was over shortly after the start of the second quarter.
On a night in which they were without point guard Darren Collison (sprained finger), the Dallas Mavericks played a decent first quarter before the equally struggling Chicago Bulls took over for good to hand the Mavs their third straight loss.
Despite shooting 55 percent in the first quarter, the Mavericks trailed by a point heading into the second due in large part to six turnovers, a reoccurring issue for this team. The Bulls trounced on Dallas, starting the second on a 18-4 run to distance themselves for good. The Mavs went on to shoot a season-low 34.6 percent from the field.
The deficit swelled to 23 for the Mavs, who had no answer for center Joakim Noah (13 points) and All-Star forward Luol Deng (22). The Mavs also provided the Bulls' bench one heck of a confidence boost, as Chicago's reserves outscored Dallas' 50-34, led by Nate Robinson's 10-point second quarter.
Dominique Jones (10 points, five assists) made his second straight start, and the shortage at point guard forced Rodrigue Beaubois into action. Collison was seen shooting around more than an hour before the game, but he was held out with a sprained right middle finger. X-rays were negative.
Forward Elton Brand came off the bench for a second straight night but couldn't duplicate his production from Philadelphia, finishing with just four points and six rebounds in 25 minutes against Chicago.
What it means: Mavs have lost three straight for the second time this season and remain paper thin at point guard. The Mavs return home for Saturday's game against the Detroit Pistons before hitting the road again for three straight.
Play of the game: This game didn't produce any highlight reel worthy plays, but Robinson's second-quarter scoring barrage gave the Bulls a nice cushion. The guard shot 3-for-4 from the field in just over 10 minutes of action in the second, including a pair of 3-pointers -- his second trey gave Chicago a 17-point lead. While it was no play of the game, Shawn Marion had a nice turnaround block on a Luol Deng fastbreak layup midway through the third.
Stat of the night: The Mavs shot a season-low 22.2 percent (4-for-18) from behind the arc. They entered the game averaging 40 percent shooting from 3-point range, which ranked fifth in the league.