DALLAS -- One of the positives for the Dallas Mavericks that came out of Friday's 113-107 loss to the San Antonio Spurs was the superb play of point guard Rodrigue Beaubois.
In only 16 minutes off the bench against the Spurs, the 6-foot-2 playmaker scored a team-high 19 points, was 6-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, and was in attack mode all night.
From coach Rick Carlisle's perspective, Beaubois' efforts were enormous and maddening.
"I'm a longtime supporter of his, and when he does things like he did [Friday], he tells on himself," a frustrated Carlisle said. "He basically says, 'Hey, this is what I can do.' And when he doesn't give it to us all the time, that's where the problem is."
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The Mavs will be wrestling mightily with the problem when Beaubois becomes a free agent on July 1. Last Sunday when the Mavericks faced the Orlando Magic, they placed him on the inactive list.
"I think that when he was deactivated for the Orlando game that got his attention," Carlisle said. "But look, it shouldn't have to be like this.
"We have 39 games left and I'm very open-minded about everything, believe me. And we need to see him doing this every time he steps on the floor ...and he's certainly capable."
Carlisle said Beaubois has the skills to challenge Mike James for the backup point-guard spot, and even challenge Darren Collison for the starting spot. That's how much he believes in Beaubois' talents.
"He had a good practice [this past week]," Carlisle said. "A particularly good practice Thursday, which led to my decision to activate him [Friday].''
Carlisle is hoping Beaubois can string together back-to-back impressive games when the Mavs (18-25) entertain the Phoenix Suns (15-28) at 6:30 tonight at American Airlines Center.
Dirk's silver lining
Owner Mark Cuban expressed dismay that Dirk Nowitzki's streak of playing in the Al-Star Game has ended at 11 seasons in a row.
"I think now he'll be happy to take the time off and just catch up, play married guy, but it's unusual," Cuban said. "We were talking about planning what I was going to do at the All-Star Game.
"I said, 'Well, I don't know if I'm going to stay for the game now.' Usually I get a suite and have all of Dirk's friends and my friends up there and we watch Dirk play his seven minutes, but it'll be different, but that the way it is.''
The All-Star game will be held Feb. 17 in Houston.
Mike James will be pulling for linebacker Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens to beat the San Francisco 49ers in next Sunday's Super Bowl.
It will be the final game of Lewis' career, and a victory would be a grand way to send Lewis into retirement.
"For his 17-year career how many times have you heard him being injured, how many times have you known for him to complain?'' James asked. "Plus, he's a man of God, and I always bet on a man of God.
"He can play another three or four years if he wants to, but I'm pretty sure his family is tired of him complaining about how bad his body hurts. It'll be great for him to go out on top, and it's beautiful how his team wants to win it for him."
Dwain Price, 817-390-7760