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Preseason Game 6: Mavs vs Grizzlies

Taking the court without the services of their top six players Saturday night on the road against the Indiana Pacers, the Dallas Mavericks still found a way to scratch and claw for four quarters.

Leading by as many as 14 against the Pacers’ top rotation players, the Mavericks’ second-teamers and roster hopefuls would eventually fall to a 98-93 defeat. However, despite sliding to 2-3 in preseason play while taking the court without their starting five and reserve guard Devin Harris, the Mavs returned home encouraged by what they saw.

Monday night, however, the Mavs’ first unit figures to again be intact while looking to pick up where it left off at Friday, when four of the five Dallas starters scored in double figures while handing the Eastern Conference favorite Cleveland Cavaliers a 108-102 defeat on their home floor.

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Preseason Game 5: Mavs at Pacers

After seeing his team give the Eastern Conference favorite its first loss of the exhibition season, Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle awarded his top six players with a much-deserved day off.

Utilizing his starting five for the first time during Friday’s 108-102 win over Cleveland, Carlisle rested point guard Jameer Nelson, shooting guard Monta Ellis, small forward Chandler Parsons, 12-time All-Star power forward Dirk Nowitzki and center Tyson Chandler as the team looked to complete a back-to-back Saturday at Indiana. Carlisle also gave reserve guard Devin Harris the night off, looking to replicate Sunday’s 106-98 home win over the Pacers without the team’s top contributors.

But, even without their main rotation players, the Mavericks showed off their depth while competing for the better part of four quarters, eventually falling to 2-3 in preseason play following a 98-93 defeat.

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Preseason Game 4: Mavs at Cavaliers

Taking the court for the first time with their starting lineup intact, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to get a preseason measuring stick against one of the NBA’s highly-touted teams Friday night.

Welcoming back starting shooting guard Monta Ellis from a two-game hiatus with a sprained left knee, the Mavericks looked to keep the momentum going following Sunday’s 106-98 home win over the Indiana Pacers. Meanwhile, the Mavs made their first trip away from home in the preseason, taking on four-time MVP LeBron James and the Eastern Conference favorite Cleveland Cavaliers.

However, with ex-Mav Shawn Marion and Cavaliers All-Star big man Kevin Love both sitting out Friday’s outing to rest, the Mavericks wouldn’t get the Cleveland team at full strength. And with four of the five starters scoring in double figures, the Mavericks had little trouble moving to 2-2 in preseason play and handing the Cavaliers (4-1) their first loss following a 108-102 victory.

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Mavs welcome Jameer Nelson’s grit, toughness

Although it was just a small sample size, the Dallas Mavericks may have gotten a glimpse into what they can expect to see from veteran point guard Jameer Nelson this upcoming season during Sunday’s 106-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers to move to 1-2 in preseason play.

Clocking 24 minutes of work and scoring seven points on 3-of-6 shooting while also dishing out a team-high 10 assists in the win, Nelson looked comfortable in the first unit while playing alongside 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, fellow new additions Chandler Parsons and Richard Jefferson and center Tyson Chandler. Nelson also stepped up with the team’s leader in assists from a season ago, Monta Ellis, sidelined due to a sprained left knee. But, as Nelson explains, it was just the beginning of bigger things to come as the 10-year pro grows more and more comfortable in his new surroundings.

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Jae Crowder looks to fill void of Mavs’ departing veterans

Although he’s yet to fully carve his own niche in the NBA since entering the league as the 34th overall pick in the 2012 draft, Dallas Mavericks third-year pro Jae Crowder has gradually began to tap into his potential.

The 6-foot-6 versatile swingman has been used in a multitude of ways by Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle through his first two seasons, playing in 78 games in both campaigns while providing production off the Dallas bench. This season, however, the 24-year-old appears ready to step into his own role and out of the shadows of his departing mentors, attempting to fill the void left by Shawn Marion and Vince Carter in free agency.

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Monta Ellis displays durability while returning to practice after knee injury

While it was previously believed that he could possibly miss more time after sustaining a sprained left knee in practice last Thursday, it now appears that Dallas Mavericks guard Monta Ellis is right on schedule to return following a two-game absence.

Originally projected by Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle to miss at least two exhibition games, Ellis returned to practice Monday to the surprise of the team’s training staff and his teammates. The cat-quick shooting guard, who was the only Mav to play in all 82 games last season, now appears to be on track to suit up for the squad when it makes its first road trip of the preseason schedule Friday and Saturday nights in Cleveland and at Indiana, respectively.

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Mavs’ starting lineup gets boost from Dirk Nowitzki’s preseason debut

Although there was still one missing piece to their starting lineup Sunday during the Dallas Mavericks’ third exhibition contest, the team got a brief glimpse into how the offense figures to click this upcoming season.

Still awaiting the return of starting shooting guard Monta Ellis from a sprained left knee injury while welcoming 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki back into the fold, the Mavericks moved to 1-2 in exhibition play following a 106-98 victory over the Indiana Pacers. And after seeing Nowitzki explode for 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting through just two quarters of play, in addition to five rebounds, the Mavs hope to continue building chemistry with the new-look first unit as the regular-season opener in San Antonio rapidly approaches on Oct. 28.

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Preseason Game 3: Mavs vs. Pacers

After returning to his All-Star form last season before re-signing with the team this summer, Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki made his long-awaited preseason debut Sunday against the Indiana Pacers.

Sitting out the Mavericks’ first two exhibition contests while nursing a right hip contusion, Nowitzki helplessly watched as the team slipped to 0-2 in preseason play. However, with starting shooting guard Monta Ellis (sprained left knee) and reserve guard Raymond Felton (high right ankle sprain) both out of the lineup, the Mavs were pleased to see the return of their leader while trying to get their first preseason win.

And with Nowitzki powering the Mavericks (1-2) during the first two quarters, the new-look team broke into the win column following a 106-98 victory.

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Preseason Game 2: Mavs vs. Thunder

After facing one of the top scoring offenses from a season ago during their first exhibition outing on Tuesday, things don’t get any easier for the Dallas Mavericks in their second preseason matchup.

Welcoming in their neighbor as the Oklahoma City Thunder travels south down Interstate 35, the Mavericks (0-1) will try to learn from their 111-108 defeat in the preseason opener to the Houston Rockets. The Mavs will also once again battle without their leader as 12-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki continues to nurse a bruised right hip, hoping to welcome the superstar back into the lineup when the Indiana Pacers come to town Sunday.

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