Dwight Powell made a huge impression on Nick Nurse this summer.Powell

Powell was playing for the Canadian National Team, which was coach by Nurse. The progress Powell made from the summer of 2021 was something Nurse applauded.

“Our experience with him is he’s really grown with us,” said Nurse, who also is the coach of the Toronto Raptors. “I noticed a big difference between this past summer and the summer before just in him kind of nuancing the FIBA style of game a bit.

“I kind of thought maybe two summers ago, again he was coming out on the wrong end of some of that. I always say this about FIBA, if you get to some point in the game the two (centers) usually square off. I thought he was kind of on the wrong end of that the first year and I thought last year that wasn’t the case.”

After playing in all 100 games last season for the Mavs, Powell made his first start of the season – in place of JaVale McGee — during Friday’s 111-110 win over the Raptors. Powell finished with nine points, two rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes.

“As far as with (the Mavs), I think he’s going to give you a lift with energy,” Nurse said. “He’s always going to screen, he’s always going to be on the glass, he’s going to do those little things no matter if he’s playing six minutes or 36 minutes, and he’s got experience and I think that’s incredible.

“You’re always going to need these guys with experience during the course of the season – matchups, injuries, heavy schedule, whatever it is. And I think he’s always a guy they can count on to do that. Lift them energy-wise and do a lot of the dirty work.”

LukaNURSE ON KIDD: Asked his opinion on Mavs coach Jason Kidd, Raptors coach Nick Nurse said: “Kidd’s a good coach. I think he’s got a really unique style and certainly unique with what he does with (Luka) Doncic here, too. I think maybe that isn’t something people appreciate.

“I’m watching all this film of them and seeing all these unique things he does with (Doncic), and that takes somebody that kind of knows a lot about what star players see. He’s really good at putting this guy in positions to be as good as he is. He’s awesome, but I think their coaching staff and J-Kidd are really good at helping him be awesome.”

Nurse was an assistant coach with Toronto when Kidd was coaching the Brooklyn Nets, and the two squads met in the first round of the 2014 Eastern Conference playoffs. The Raptors led that best-of-seven series, 3-2, but the Nets fought back and won the next two games and the series.

“We’ve been through it a lot when we he was at Brooklyn when I was in the playoffs,” Nurse said. “We’ve done a lot of battles with him.”

BRIEFLY: Friday’s game had a distinct international flavor to it. That’s because more international players were in the Mavs-Raptors game than in any NBA game this season, and seven of those players play for the Mavs. They include Davis Bertans (Latvia), Facundo Campazzo (Argentina), Luka Doncic (Slovenia), Josh Green (Australia), Maxi Kleber (Germany), Frank Ntilikina (France) and Dwight Powell (Canada). The Raptors have more international players on their roster than any NBA team. They include Precious Achiuwa (Nigeria), O. G. Anunoby (United Kingdom), Dalano Banton (Canada), Chris Boucher (St. Lucia), Khem Birch (Canada), Juancho Hernangomez (Spain), Christian Koloko (Cameroon) and Pascal Siakam (Cameroon). . .Raptors coach Nick Nurse, before the game, discussed Luka Doncic scoring 30 orWood more points in all seven games this season and what he planned to do to slow him down. “It’s really been impressive first of all,” Nurse said. “And it takes a lot of game-planning (to contain Doncic). Lots of schemes deciding what you’re going to do with him, deciding who’s going to cover him. They’re very good at getting who they want to play against guarding him. It’s multiple schemes and it’s multiple defenders. And then you’ve got to try to execute them.”. .At one point in the first quarter Friday, the Raptors had five players on the court whose wing span is seven feet or higher. They are Precious Achiuwa (7-1), Scottie Barnes (7-2), O. G. Anunoby (7-2), Pascal Siakam (7-3) and Chris Boucher (7-4). . .Davis Bertans (right knee effusion) and Frank Ntilikina (right ankle effusion) did not play Friday. . .Nick Nurse has been thoroughly impressed with what he’s seen from Mavs backup center Christian Wood. “He’s been great, and it looks like they really like him and they really use him,” he said. “Especially when Luka (Doncic) is off the floor they almost feature him some. Seems like he’s playing super confident. They got a few little set plays that they run for him that nobody seems to be able to guard. He’s posting and playing well either scoring or passing. Open floor shooting the three. He looks like he’s getting better and better every year and more confident instead of just being a guy that’s hanging on in the league. He looks like he really belongs and is an impactful guy in this league right now.”

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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