Mavs beat Bucks 106-93 without Nowitzki, Carlisle

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 14, 2013 at 11:09 pm •  Published: December 14, 2013

DALLAS (AP) — Brandan Wright's season debut just happened to come on a night when Dirk Nowitzki was home sick.

The trade-off worked out just fine for Dallas.

Wright led the Mavericks with 19 points, Jose Calderon got the offense going early and finished with 18, and Dallas shrugged off the absence of Nowitzki and coach Rick Carlisle to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 106-93 Saturday night.

Nowitzki and Carlisle missed the game with an undisclosed illness. Carlisle has been fighting an upper respiratory problem since before a four-game road trip that started last week.

Wright, who missed the first 23 games with a shoulder injury, scored seven straight points in a 19-5 run that put Dallas in control, 43-26, early in the second quarter.

"I'm going to be aggressive either way it goes," said Wright, who was 9 of 10 from the floor and added six rebounds in 19 minutes. "If Dirk plays or Monta (Ellis) plays or none of those guys play, I've got to play the same way. I've got to play hard."

John Henson had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Bucks, who fell behind by 34 late in the third quarter before rallying in the fourth to make the final score respectable.

O.J. Mayo, who played despite the recent death of his grandmother, had four points on 1-of-6 shooting in his first game in Dallas against his former team since signing with the Bucks as a free agent last summer.

"We came in here and laid an egg," Milwaukee coach Larry Drew said. "We didn't play well. We had very low energy, which was disappointing."

Nowitzki and Carlisle missed the shootaround earlier Saturday and weren't at American Airlines Center for the game. The Mavericks don't play again until Wednesday, so they should have plenty of time to recover.

Even without their star and their coach, the Mavericks were never in much trouble with assistant Monte Mathis in charge.

Dallas didn't even need much from Ellis, the team's leading scorer. He had seven points and five assists and essentially deferred to Calderon, who had 16 points at halftime on 4-of-6 shooting from 3-point range.

"Very important, especially with Monta kind of feeling things out and not getting some of the opportunities that he typically has, it's good for another guy to step up and be aggressive," Mathis said.

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