The Sixers gave up 14 points in the paint in the fourth quarter.
"We've got to keep guys out of the paint," Wright said. "You know, we just need to continue to learn from each other and try to get back on the right path before it's too late."
The Sixers will play nine of their next 10 games on the road.
They were without Jrue Holiday (sprained left foot) for the third game in a row. The Sixers hope to have their leading scorer back for Wednesday's game at Houston.
With Holiday out, Collins is making more of an effort to have more ball handlers on the floor - which is the way the Sixers played last season. On Tuesday, much of that responsibility fell to Evan Turner, Wright and even rookie Maalik Wayns. Turner finished with 17 points.
"I thought we had some guys play really well," Collins said. "We've just got to keep on building on that. We know we're undermanned, but nobody cares."
Collins has been tinkering with different starting lineups this season, mostly because of injuries, the most notable being at center, where projected starter Andrew Bynum has yet to suit up because of aching knees.
On Tuesday, Collins went with Kwame Brown at center. The coach prefers to have Hawes, who has been playing a little better as of late, come off the bench.
When the teams met last month, Brown, who has not had much of an offensive impact, helped to slow down Mavs center Chris Kaman in the second half of a 100-98 Sixers victory. Kaman had 20 points on Tuesday.
The Sixers benefited in the first meeting mostly because they were able to hold Dallas' leading scorer, Mayo, to just 10 points. They caught a break Tuesday in that they were facing the Mavericks for the second time this season without injured superstar Dirk Nowitzki (knee).
The Mavericks jumped on the Sixers early, taking an 11-2 lead to start the game. The Mavs shot the ball well against the Sixers, too, making 54 percent of their field goals in the first half as they took a 57-52 lead.
Contact John N. Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.