Mavericks' Mayo will play tonight as he recovers from tumble

DALLAS -- O.J. Mayo wanted to make a respectable first impression with the Dallas Mavericks fans.

And he knew the laceration in the palm of his right hand wasn't going to allow him to do that.

That's why Mayo decided not to play in Saturday's intrasquad game at American Airlines Center.

The fifth-year guard, however, will be on the court at 7:30 tonight when the Mavs entertain the Houston Rockets in a preseason game at the AAC.

Mayo lacerated the palm of his right hand and scraped his left arm when he fell down some stairs last Monday while the Mavs were in Barcelona, Spain.

The injury occurred, Mayo said, when he wasn't paying attention to his surroundings.

"It was just a big spill," Mayo said after Sunday's practice at the AAC. "Just talking and missed one [step] and I had some stuff in my hand and I took a big spill.

"[The stairs were] a little higher than I wanted it to be. I scraped my elbow, too."

Despite the injury, Mayo played in the 99-85 loss to FC Barcelona Regal the following day.

But he only scored one point and missed all seven of his field goal attempts.

Mayo, though, sat out the Saturday scrimmage, waiting instead for tonight to be his first showing in front of the home crowd.

"I was just telling my teammates I wanted to be out there [Saturday night], but I'd rather look bad in front of the team and five coaches than [in front of] 4,000 people," Mayo said.

"But it'll be all right. It's been getting better every day, that's the main thing."

The Mavs believe Mayo's injury should heal sometime next week.

"It's impacting his shot," coach Rick Carlisle said. "That's why we held him out. It's going to take awhile before he's back to 100 percent. But he's out here and he's learning what we're doing."

Linsanity in town

With the Rockets in town tonight, that means the Mavs will get an early look at Linsanity, aka Jeremy Lin.

Last year Lin had a breakout season with the New York Knicks. Lin graced the covers of numerous magazines while making newspaper headlines from coast-to-coast.

"I think he had a very good month, but when anything goes down in New York City it's a write-up about it," guard Dahntay Jones said.

"If it would have happened in Indiana I don't think it would have been the same type of buzz, but he had a great string of games.

"If you do that in New York -- New York wants to put somebody out there and to be proud of someone. It's the media hub, so he did it at the right place at the right time."

After his breakout season with the Knicks last season, Lin signed a three-year, $25 million free-agent contract with the Rockets over the summer.

Go-to guys

So who will unquestionably become the No. 2 go-to guy behind forward Dirk Nowitzki now that shooting guard Jason Terry is playing for the Boston Celtics?

It looks like it's going to be done by committee.

"We've got to have a team of go-to guys," Rick Carlisle said. "We've got to have 15 guys that are locked and loaded and ready to step into their shots when they're presented in games.

"I feel the game is changing to where it's becoming more of a strength-in-numbers league, and we've just got to have a lot of guys ready to contribute."

Dirk doing fine

Forward Dirk Nowitzki went through Sunday's practice without any complications.

Nowitzki had been experiencing swelling and soreness in his right knee for the past week.

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @DwainPrice

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