Mavericks notes: Dallas trying to learn how to win on the road

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One characteristic of elite NBA teams is the arrogance they consistently show to go into an opponent’s building and walk away with a victory.

The Dallas Mavericks know they will never be mentioned in championship conversations until they too start showing the arrogance to win games away from American Airlines Center. That finally happened Saturday in Milwaukee when the Mavs gutted out a 91-83 win over the Bucks.

“I know we’re going to play good at home,” shooting guard Monta Ellis said. “For us to get to our goal where we want to be in the West, we have to come up with some wins on the road and we have to grind like we did [Saturday] and help each other.”

The Mavs are 1-3 on the road after starting the season with road losses in Houston, Oklahoma City and Minnesota to go with the victory in Milwaukee. And after hosting Washington on Tuesday, the Mavs will pack their bags and fly to Florida for road games in Miami on Friday and Orlando on Saturday.

“The road is going to be hard any year,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Our schedule is so difficult early — we’re playing all good teams on the road.

“So we’ve got to be really, really tight, we’ve got to be really, really perfect just in our execution of defensive situations, of how we pass the ball and how we make simple plays. We’ll develop the right kind of edge on the road, but it’s got to start on the defensive end for us.”

Harris progressing

Point guard Devin Harris has been cleared by the medical staff to increase his basketball activities.

Harris, who underwent surgery on a toe on his left foot this past summer, visited his personal doctor in New York on Thursday. The results?

“He’s got clearance to step up his activities,” Carlisle said. “He can do light running, light jumping and that’s a very good sign.

“From there, it’s how he tolerates it until his next visit to the doctor and then hopefully things can be ramped up again. But he’s doing well, he’s made steady progress.”

Harris will move into the backup point guard spot behind Jose Calderon once he returns. But there’s no timetable for his return to a game.

“It’s a very serious surgery that he had when they cut your foot open and start moving things around in there,” Carlisle said. “But he’s done extremely well with it.

“He’s going to be valuable to us when he’s ready, but we’re going to make sure that he’s ready before we put him out there.”

Retired jerseys can wait

Last month, the Brooklyn Nets retired the jersey of first-year coach Jason Kidd, who happened to be one of the most prolific players in Mavericks history.

But don’t expect the Mavs to retire Kidd’s jersey any time soon. However, it will happen at some point, owner Mark Cuban said.

“J-Kidd’s got a coaching job to do,” Cuban said. “He’s not worried about [his jersey being retired].”

Kidd was a critical part of the Mavs winning the 2011 NBA title. The 6-foot-4 point guard was the No. 2 overall pick of the 1994 draft by Dallas and played 501 of his career 1,391 games with the Mavs.

As far as when he plans to retire the jersey of Derek Harper, Cuban said: “What I told Derek was we’ll wait to see when there’s a slow ticket sales night. Seriously, that’s what we’ll use it for.”

“I don’t know if it’ll be this year or next, but we’ll do it.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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