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From Blowout to Bucks: Mavs Close Preseason with 114-103 Win

New Mavs coach Jason Kidd still isn’t paying much mind to the numbers. And with NBA preseason done, here’s why …

The Dallas Mavericks put together quite the impressive NBA preseason outing in Wednesday’s 127-59 “dress-rehearsal” victory at Charlotte.

But new Mavs coach Jason Kidd wasn’t paying much mind to the numbers.

“I have to be honest, I wasn’t really paying attention to the score,” Kidd said.

Instead, it was about “energy and effort” from Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis and the other top-of-the-pecking order Mavs.

And that's exactly what they got on Friday night when the Mavs downed the defending champion Milwaukee Bicks 114-103 in their preseason finale.

The final dress rehearsal would not include the headline guys. But “energy and effort”? That should come from the end-of-benchers who played here, right?

The exhibition finale at Fiserv Forum featured two regular starters Dorian Finney-Smith and Dwight Powell, plus Jalen Brunson, Maxi Kleber and Josh Green.

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On the second night of a back-to-back, and while not having Luka Doncic or Kristaps Porzingis, the Dallas Mavericks lost their second consecutive game and fell to .500 on the season in a 97-90 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

And that worked, with Jalen Bruson and Trey Burke leading the way with 17 and 14 points respectively, all 13 other Mavs getting in on the scoring action in one way or another.

The defending-champ Bucks didn’t play Khris Middleton, Donte DiVencenzo or Semi Ojeleye, but Giannis was on for 25 minutes. Despite that, they understand what matters, and it’s not that the Mavericks are now “preseason champs”.

But Kidd, quickly trying to install a new program and a “good vibe,” can take some pride and more pride in the “energy-and-effort” success.

Dallas will open the regular season Thursday at Atlanta. Doncic, KP and Tim Hardaway Jr. will all show up. And hopefully so will the energy, the effort, and a reason for the coach to glance happily at the scoreboard.


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