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Dallas steals preseason opener from Milwaukee, 106-104

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Basketball has returned. Sort of.

NBA: Preseason-Milwaukee Bucks at Dallas Mavericks Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks played their preseason opener Monday night, hosting the Milwaukee Bucks at the AAC. The few that got to see this game were treated to some firsts — 9th pick Dennis Smith, Jr. in uniform with real NBA players — and some definitely not firsts — Dirk Nowitzki once again taking the stage — and about 27 hours after those two sat down for good, the Mavs prevailed.

NOTABLES:

  • It was an inauspicious debut for Smith, Jr, who airballed his first shot attempt before hitting his next basket, a jab step into a three. It would be his only points in 12 minutes.
  • Dirk was Dirkin’ early, hitting his first and only two shot attempts in the game’s early minutes. He played 9 minutes and looked OK, which was nice given his recent media day revelation that he wasn’t feeling 100% yet.
  • Yogi Ferrell led Dallas with 12 points, most coming in the second half when he was allowed to take more of a dominant role in the offense.
  • Wes Matthews had the triple-double trajectory going tonight, with 4 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds in 12 minutes. Matthews came on last year as a playmaker, mainly out of necessity, but it was nice to see him move the ball so well.
  • Jonathan Motley was a bit of a mixed bag for me in the Las Vegas Summer League, but the Baylor product was very solid in this game, with 9 points and 5 boards, including the game-winner.

Dallas had 18 guys check in at some point in this one, with the only guys not to see action being P.J Dozier and Josh McRoberts. With the accelerated preseason schedule, it’s going to be really interesting to see how Carlisle gives out minutes to the small country population he has on his bench. Dallas will be back at it Wednesday evening against the Chicago Bulls.