That was the foremost thought on coach Rick Carlisle's mind following the Mavs' 118-100 victory over Sacramento. The Mavs' defense in the first half was, in his words, "pathetic."
"Fifty-seven points (in the first half) is too many. It's a losing number," he said. "But then we did much better. The third quarter was great for us, everybody picked it up for us defensively."
Antoine Wright, who came through with 23 points, had a pretty vivid memory of Carlisle's halftime talk: "Coach came in here and said, 'Bleep, bleep, bleep and bleep.' Then we came out in the third and played harder."
Dirk Nowitzki said Carlisle was "pretty animated for him. But we have to compete harder. Offensively we got what we wanted but defensive we didn't get back a few times."
Obviously the Mavs can't give up 57 first-half points to the Boston Celtics and expect the same results. But it appears they learned their lesson.
-- Tracey Myers