The Dallas Mavericks are off to their slowest start in more than a decade.
They’ll look to earn their first victory of the season Monday when they host the Golden State Warriors.
Dallas (0-2) dropped its season opener 97-91 to the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday and followed it with a 107-76 defeat at Houston on Saturday. The Mavericks had not opened a season with back-to-back losses since 1993-94, when they started 0-3 and finished with a 13-69 record.
“We are still learning each other, and that’s what it is, and coach will find a way to get it right,” said Jerry Stackhouse, who has scored a total of 17 points in the season’s first two games after averaging 13.0 per game in 2005-06. “We need to work harder and focus because there is a sense of urgency for us to stop this trend.”
Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 points and Josh Howard added 16 on Saturday for the Mavericks, whose 83.5 points per game ranks near the bottom of the NBA. Last season, Dallas ranked fifth in the West with 99.1 points per game en route to a conference title.
“It seemed like they took it to us from the beginning,” coach Avery Johnson said. “They came out with a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm.
“We were just unable to throw a punch tonight. We just didn’t have it.”
The Mavericks have turned over the ball 35 times in their first two games while shooting just 42 percent from the field.
“We need to just go out and play our system,” Howard said. “We know we have a big target on our back and we have to come out focused and play hard every game.”
The Warriors (1-2) haven’t looked much better, and are coming off Saturday’s 106-82 loss at Utah in their first road game of the season. Golden State, which is averaging 94.0 points per game, had six players score in double figures but none with more than 12 points.
“They pretty much had their way with us,” said Baron Davis, who was held to two points and six assists. “We’ve got to find a way to become more aggressive team and play with more energy.”
The Warriors also missed 15 of their 35 free throws, and are shooting just 63 percent (68-of-108) from the line this season.
“That’s not going to get it done. We need to improve on that,” said Mike Dunleavy, who scored 12 points. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on.”
However, the Warriors do have some reason to feel confident heading into Monday’s game. They have won three straight visits to Dallas and won both of their games there last season.
The Mavericks went 34-5 against every other team last season on their home court.