Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now

Charlotte at Dallas

Mavericks 101, Bobcats 86

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DALLAS -- Dallas coach Rick Carlisle's top priorities entering the season are to improve defensively and defend home court better.

The Mavericks did both, plus got a big night from Dirk Nowitzki.

Nowitzki had 28 points and 13 rebounds, Jason Kidd added 12 points and 18 assists, and Dallas beat the Charlotte Bobcats 101-86 on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams.

More on Bobcats at Mavericks
Related links

Dallas was 15th in the league in field goal defense and won 28 home games in 2009-10. This season Carlisle wants his team among the NBA's top 10 defensive teams with 30-plus home victories.

The Mavericks limited the Bobcats to 39.7 percent from the field. Dallas forced 21 turnovers, leading to 28 points, and finished with 12 steals and five blocked shots.

"Our good offense put us in position to guard better," said Carlisle, who turned 51 on Wednesday. "We are one game in, but our defensive numbers are better than they have been. It's the foundation for success."

Nowitzki went 11 for 13 from the field and converted all six free throws, but Carlisle was just as excited about Nowitzki's defense.

"He gave us length on defense, which will get overlooked in the numbers," Carlisle said. "But he did a great job. He worked extremely hard."

Nowitzki credited center Tyson Chandler, a trade acquisition over the summer who had eight points and eight rebounds in his Mavericks debut, and backup Brendan Haywood for a strong inside defensive presence.

"We were really scrambling out there," Nowitzki said. "Our center combo will be great all year. Tyson's all over the place."

Chandler brings athleticism to the position, something the Mavericks often lacked in the middle last season.

"I've got to bring [aggressive play] night in and night out because this team is going to need it," Chandler said. "We have everything else: scorers, guys who finish, so I have to bring defensive intensity and let my team feed off of it."

Jason Terry added 22 points and Caron Butler scored 13 for Dallas.

Tyrus Thomas scored 22 points and Gerald Wallace had 16 for the Bobcats, who've never beaten the Mavericks in 13 meetings.

Dallas expanded a four-point halftime lead to 72-55 with a 21-10 spurt to open the third quarter, led by Nowitzki's 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting.

The Mavericks were ahead by 19 in the third quarter and carried an 80-67 advantage into the final quarter.

Charlotte pulled within 84-78 with 6:58 left on D.J. Augustin's 3-pointer and Wallace's free throw, but Terry's short jumper capped a 9-2 run to put Dallas up 93-80 with 5:17 to play.

"We had to fight back early and use a lot of our energy, but in the end we just didn't have it," Augustin said.

The Mavs raced to a 16-0 start, opening 7 for 10 from the floor with Nowitzki hitting a 15-footer on Dallas' first attempt. Charlotte didn't have a basket until Boris Diaw's layup with 6:12 left.

"We talked about getting better starts," Nowitzki said. "I really liked the effort. The energy was there."

The Bobcats got their offense untracked, slicing the deficit to 25-21 after one quarter.

Charlotte used a 25-4 first-half run to take a 31-27 lead, but Dallas closed the second quarter with an 8-1 spurt for a 49-45 edge at the break.

"For us to come back and close the second quarter with a lead and on a positive note, that was good," Kidd said.

Notes

Nowitzki has converted 78 consecutive free throws during the regular season. His last miss was against Denver on March 29 of last season. ... Nowitzki had his sixth career double-double on opening night. ... Kidd had a career high for assists on opening night. He had 16 against the Clippers on Oct. 31, 1997. ... Mavericks G Roddy Beaubois is still wearing a protective boot as he recovers from a fractured left foot. There's no timetable for him to get on the practice court. ... C Kwame Brown (sprained left ankle) and F Dominic McGuire (stress fracture, left leg) are sidelined for Charlotte. ... Terry, Dallas' sixth man last season, got the start.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Scoreboard
Charlotte 0-12124221986
Dallas 1-0 «25243121101
CHA:T. Thomas 22 Pts
CHA:G. Wallace 9 Reb
CHA:D. Augustin 5 Ast
DAL:D. Nowitzki 28 Pts
DAL:D. Nowitzki 13 Reb
DAL:J. Kidd 18 Ast
Players of the Game
DallasCharlotte

D. Nowitzki

G. Wallace
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
281301693
Charlotte
G. Wallace, SF435-146-693416
D. Augustin, PG412-103-33508
B. Diaw, PF355-120-043212
S. Jackson, SF304-84-434114
N. Mohammed, C183-84-441110
T. Thomas, PF308-156-760322
G. Henderson, SG161-30-04122
S. Livingston, PG140-20-01320
D. Brown, SF121-10-02202
E. Najera, PFDid Not Play
K. Brown, CDid Not Play
D. Diop, CDid Not Play
M. Carroll, SGDid Not Play
D. McGuire, PFDid Not Play
S. Collins, PGDid Not Play
Totals 29-7323-2436221586
 39.7%95.8% 
Dallas
D. Nowitzki, PF3611-136-6130228
J. Terry, SG3510-150-016122
C. Butler, SF345-163-424213
J. Kidd, PG325-80-0218212
T. Chandler, C232-34-48058
S. Marion, PF262-62-27026
B. Haywood, C201-20-13022
J. Barea, PG204-90-14128
D. Jones, SG91-20-00002
B. Cardinal, PF20-10-00000
I. Mahinmi, C20-00-01000
D. Stevenson, SGDid Not Play
S. Novak, SFDid Not Play
A. Ajinca, CDid Not Play
R. Beaubois, PGDid Not Play
Totals 41-7515-18412918101
 54.7%83.3% 
Other Games
Bos 87 Final
Cle 95
Det 98 Final
NJ 101
Mia 97 Final
Phi 87
NY 98 Final
Tor 93
Mil 91 Final
NO 95
Sac 117 Final
Min 116
Chi 95 Final
OKC 106
Atl 119 Final
Mem 104
Ind 109 Final
SA 122
Utah 88 Final
Den 110
Hou 128 Final
GS 132
Port 98 Final
LAC 88