DALLAS -- After the Dallas Mavericks dropped an emotionally-charged 93-89 contest to the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night, coach Rick Carlisle was in no mood to discuss the continued shooting struggles of Dirk Nowitzki.
As the Spurs evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2, Nowitzki finished with only 19 points on 7-of-19 shooting. It marked just the second time in his storied16-year career that Nowitzki has scored less than 20 points in four consecutive playoff games.
The only other time that happened was during Nowitzki's first playoff experience in 2001 when he failed to reach 20 points in the final game of the Mavs' first-round series against Utah and in the opening three games of the Western Conference semifinals against the Spurs.
"Let's quit talking about missed shots,'' Carlisle said when asked about finding ways to get Nowitzki going. "Let's talk about guys getting up and getting into people the way we did in the second half.
"We were missing shots in the first half because we weren't defending (sic). Look, this is a long series -- the shot-making is going to even out.''
Nowitzki is now just 25-of-65 from the field for 38.5 percent and is averaging only 16 points per game in this series. In the regular season Nowitzki averaged 21.7 points and shot 49.7 percent from the field.
We still got to get some better shots and better looks,'' Nowitzki said. "We had some, but the few we had we didn't make.
"It was a tough offensive night, but it's not like they were amazing offensively either.''
-- Dwain Price
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