Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle made a phone call to Frank Layden to express his thoughts and prayers about Mark Eaton, who died Saturday in an apparent bicycle accident in Summit County, Utah, on Friday night.

Eaton, 64, played his entire NBA career for the Utah Jazz from 1982-93 and was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1985 and ’89, and also named to the All-Star team in ’89. In addition, Eaton was chosen to the All-Defensive first team three times and the second team twice.

“He was a pioneer in many ways,” said Carlisle, who, during his NBA playing days, played against Eaton. “He was the first (7-4) guy that started consistently in the league, and he was the first to win multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards.

“He was a great person. I knew him a little bit – just to say hello casually.”

On Saturday night, Carlisle telephoned Layden, who coached Eaton with the Jazz from ’82-’88. Carlisle presented Layden with the Chuck Daly Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

“I know Frank was very close to Mark,” Carlisle said. “I called to send him my best wishes and let him know that I was thinking about him and the loss.”

Eaton, who led the NBA in blocks in 1984, ’85, ’87 and ’88, averaged six points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.5 blocks during his NBA career.

“We had a wonderful conversation – and animated,” Carlisle said of Layden. “And he had so many great things to say about what a great person (Eaton was). “And he mentioned the word ‘pioneer’ as a player as well.

“Very tragic. And there’s just been too many losses in the last couple of years. There’s just no other way to say it.”

Shots from downtown were off: The 3-point shooting that was a staple for the Mavs in the first three games of this series against the Los Angeles Clippers was non-existent in Game 4.

The Mavs were just 5-of-30 from 3-point range on Sunday. That’s a far cry from Games 1-3 in this series.

In the series opening 113-103 victory, the Mavs were 17-of-36 from 3-point land for 47.2 percent. In the 127-121 win in Game 2, the Mavs were 18-of-34 from behind the 3-point arc for 52.9 percent. And in the heartbreaking 118-108 loss where the Mavs blew a 19-point lead, they were 20-of-39 from 3-point territory for 51.3 percent.

“We had a very poor shooting night,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “And we had some good looks.”

Including the regular season, the Mavs are now 0-2 this season when they make five or fewer three-pointers in a game. The other occasion came in a 133-108 home loss to the Houston Rockets when they were only 5-of-25 from behind the 3-point stripe.

Defense has to be better: A not so good showing on the defensive side of the ball played a large part of the Mavs’ 116-81 loss to the Clippers.

Los Angeles shot 48.1 percent from the field and 39.4 percent (13-of-33) from 3-point territory. According to coach Rick Carlisle, that’s not good enough to beat a Clippers team that has superstars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George as their anchors.

“We’ve got to work at defending better – that’s obvious,” Carlisle said. “We just got to work to get more traction defensively. That’s really the main focus for us.

“We’ve got to remain steadfast on the things that got us to a 2-2 situation in this series. We just got to keep working at our defense – our defensive rebounding and keep stepping into shots.”

Mavs outscored in transition points: Coach Rick Carlisle was not at all pleased that the Clippers outscored the Mavs, 17-4, in transition points.

“Look, in a playoff series where transition points is really one of the few ways you can get easy baskets, when you go minus 13 in that area, you really put yourself up against it,” Carlisle said. “Defense is always going to start with the quality of shots you get.

“When you’re missing and then not doing a good job of getting back, it amplifies the challenges even more.”

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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