The Mavericks’ current losing streak is up to three games. Not coincidentally, so is their streak of complaining about the officiating.
Coach Rick Carlisle considered the turning point of Monday’s loss in Utah to be when the Jazz started “thugging it up” in the fourth quarter.
“That’s when the officiating went their way,” Carlisle told reporters. “They started to get calls and we weren’t able to get the whistles. It was probably a function of their aggressiveness, but at the same time, I thought there were times where the whistle could have blown for us.”
Elton Brand obviously wasn’t happy when the whistle did blow with 2:54 remaining, when he was called for a highly questionable foul on Utah’s Al Jefferson. The veteran uncharacteristically lost his cool and got hit with a costly technical foul that allowed the Jazz to make it a two-possession game.
A few more notes from the Mavs’ ninth loss in 10 games:
1. Back to the beginning: How long has it been since the Mavs lost nine out of 10 games? You’ve got to go all the way back to Dec. 1999 and Jan. 2000. The Mavs had lost seven of eight games when Mark Cuban bought the team, and they lost the next two games after he took over.
2. It’s gotten late early: The Mavs suffered their 22nd loss of the season a week into January. That’s a month a half earlier than loss No. 22 happened in any season during their 12-year playoff streak.
The dates of the Mavs’ 22nd loss over the last dozen seasons: Feb. 24, 2001, March 28, 2002, April 11, 2003, March 5, 2004, March 15, 2005, April 19, 2006, never in 2007, March 3, 2008, Feb. 20, 2009, March 13, 2010, March 31, 2011, March 23, 2012
3. Collison benched for crunch time: Carlisle’s lack of trust in Darren Collison resulted in a startling development. Rodrigue Beaubois ran the point for the final 2:54 of a close game.
Beaubois had an assist and a garbage-time bucket down the stretch, but Utah increased its lead from two to six.
The decision to bench Collison for Beaubois makes one wonder if 37-year-old Mike James will be the Mavs’ closer after his two-game D-League tune-up.