The Mavericks took another step toward being whole with the Dallas debut of Peja Stojakovic on Monday night against Cleveland. The veteran sharpshooter, signed about two weeks ago, has missed most of the season with a sore knee.
Even though Stojakovic needs to build up his stamina and get comfortable for the system, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle plugged him into the starting lineup in the place previously occupied by Caron Butler.
"He's been working really hard on conditioning," Carlisle said of Stojakovic. "It's time for him to get out there."
The other piece of good news coming out of Dallas is the continued improvement of Roddy Beaubois. The second-year guard is expected to begin practicing with the team in new future after being out all season rehabbing a broken left foot.
Having both Stojakovic and Beaubois in the rotation should be a boost to the offense, adding one of the league's best marksmen and a dynamic/unpredictable scorer who can break down defenses.
For a team that relies on Dirk Nowitzki perhaps more than any team relies on its superstar, getting both Stojakovic and Beaubois in the mix is huge.
Dallas (36-15) next heads on the road with its new starting lineup for another three-game road trip starting Wednesday at Sacramento.
MAVERICKS 99, CAVALIERS 96: Jason Terry scored 23 off the bench and Dallas survived a game-ending possession on which Cleveland had a chance to tie Monday night. The teams were tied at 79 with nine minutes left, but the Mavs mounted a 12-2 run to extend their winning streak to nine and send Cleveland to its record 25th straight loss.
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