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Mavericks final score: Spurs grind down Mavericks, 111-86

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs capped a terrible week for the Mavericks by handing them a lopsided loss, their sixth in a row. The game featured a fine performance by Collison, whose 9-13, 18 point, 8 assist, 5 rebound night shone like a star amidst a host of mediocre performances. The Spurs balanced attack featured 13+ from four players, hot three-point shooting (42.1%), and at times seemed utterly relentless.

Elton Brand also had his 399th double-double, and kept the Mavs in the game in the first half, going 7-11 for 14 points and 10 rebounds.

The good news for the Mavericks is that there are ways in which this game represented a step forward, hard as that might be to believe or stomach. The Mavs ended the game with more rebounds, more o-boards, more assists and only 11 turnovers, a pretty low number for this crew. The problem was, they shot 6% from three, going 1-16. OJ Mayo also had another unremarkable game, scoring 8 on 4-14 shooting.

It's hard to know where to start with this crew, which has one single-digit loss in the last six. Other than the OT game against the Thunder, they haven't broken 100 since Dec 12th. They've held the other team under 100 twice since Dec 10th. The good defensive lineups don't seem to be the good offensive lineups. Even Marion can't seem to stem the tide.

Nevertheless, your Mavs Moneyball staff predicted we'd enter 2013 seven below, and by gum we will. Would have been nice to be surprised, but not being surprised is not the same thing as being devastated. Tough games to come, but also Washington, New Orleans and Sacramento. And one of these days, Dirk will be back for real.

The good news for now is that the Mayans were wrong, and we're all still here. And, you get to watch 41 again even if it's with diminished lustre, even on an unnecessarily bad team. Happy New Years!