CLEVELAND – For the first time the starting lineup has been in a real live game together, Dirk Nowitzki saw a lot of positive signs from the Dallas Mavericks during their Friday night 108-102 triumph over the Cleveland Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena.
"I thought we did some good stuff,’’ said Nowitzki, who finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. "I thought in the first quarter we moved the ball beautifully, shared it, shot it well.
"The second half I thought we got a little stagnant. They picked up their defense a little bit, so we’ve got some stuff definitely to work on.’’
Part of the Mavs’ game plan was to toss a lot of zone defense the Cavs’ way. At times, the strategy was effective as the Mavs squared their preseason record at 2-2.
"It’s a good weapon for us over the years, it’s a great game-changer for us if our man-to-man is struggling,’’ Nowitzki said of the zone defense. "So today was a game we really wanted to work on it, and we did some mistakes.
"Especially when they threw their smaller lineup out there with LeBron (James) at (power forward), they picked us apart a little bit, but overall it was OK. It was a game where we felt like we played hard and competed and tried to get better.’’