Pacers 98, Mavs 77: Buzz & Grumbles

Dallas lost its preseason finale on Friday, 98-77, to the visiting Pacers. 'That's a good team showing us that we have a long way to go, so maybe this wasn't all bad,' said Dirk, positive-spinning. Happily, none of that took away from the positive vibe in Mavs Land from confirmation that legend Derek Harper's No. 12 will be retired by the club this year.



Paul George scored 28 points and Roy Hibbert added 14 with 8 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers (3-5) defeated the Dallas Mavericks (4-4) in their preseason finale on Friday night, 98-77.

"We made a lot of mistakes that are ‘beat yourself' mistakes,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "We've been talking about it all training camp that one of the calling cards for this team is that we don't beat ourselves. We did a lot of it tonight ... We have to do better."

Despite Carlisle again suggesting this might be a "dress rehearsal" for Wednesday night's home opener against the Atlanta Hawks, we're left hoping it is something well short of that. The Pacers were able to pull away midway through the fourth quarter, forcing Carlisle to rest his starters the remainder of the way.

Happily, none of this took away from the positive vibe in Mavs Land from the announcement that legend Derek Harper's No. 12 will be retired by the club this year.
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Harper, now Dallas' TV color analyst, holds the franchise career records for assists (5,111) and steals (1,551), and ranks fourth in team history in scoring with 12,597 points. Mavs owner Mark Cuban stated back on Dec. 12 of last season that Harper's time was coming, so this isn't breaking news ... but we'll take the feel-goods where we can get 'em.

Dirk Nowitzki -- who will of course someday join Harper and Rolando Blackman and Brad Davis in being immortalized in the AAC rafters -- started the game off with a vintage jumper, but struggled finding his shot most of the night, finishing with 14 points on 4-of-12 shooting. Monta Ellis added nine points, five rebounds and six assists for the Mavericks, but found it equally difficult to put the ball in the basket, going 4-of-14 from the field. Shawn Marion also contributed in the loss, scoring 10.

The Mavericks led 41-39 at halftime, and were able to build a 51-43 lead early in the third quarter before the Pacers quickly extinguished it with a 13-0 run that ultimately put Indy ahead for good.

Aside from a night that found Dallas shooting 37 percent from the field, an even bigger story was sloppy play that led to 25 turnovers for the game. The offense seemed out of sync, and had trouble slowing a Pacers team coming off a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
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"That's a good team showing us that we have a long way to go,'' Dirk said, "so maybe this wasn't all bad."

Carlisle capped off a frustrating night collecting a technical foul with 38 seconds left after trying to call a timeout and having none to spare. It was yet another mistake that was a "beat yourself' mistake.

The regular-season opener against the Atlanta Hawks is next Wednesday night. The Mavericks will look to make this one history ... and soon they'll be able to look up, too, to see Derek Harper representing a more important history.



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