Mavs beat Bucks 106-93 without Nowitzki or Carlisle

Mavs vs. Bucks

Credit: Getty Images

Miroslav Raduljica of the Milwaukee Bucks drives to the basket against Bernard James of the Dallas Mavericks in the third quarter at American Airlines Center on December 14, 2013 in Dallas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

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by SCHUYLER DIXON

Associated Press

Posted on December 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM

DALLAS (AP) — Brandan Wright led Dallas with 19 points in his season debut, Jose Calderon scored 18 and the Mavericks shrugged off the absence of Dirk 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.

John Henson led the Bucks with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

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 since signing with the Bucks as a free agent last summer.

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. The only starter who played in the fourth quarter was Nowitzki's replacement in the lineup, Jae Crowder.

Dallas didn't even need much from leading scorer Monta Ellis, who had seven points and five assists.

The biggest decision for Mathis was whether to bring back any other starters after the Bucks went on a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter and eventually got within 13 in the final 2 minutes.

Mathis did reinsert DeJuan Blair after Wright had returned, and the Mavericks kept the lead in double digits.

Shawn Marion had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Mavericks. Vince Carter had 15 points and a game-high nine assists.

Brandon Knight scored 16 for Milwaukee, only four after the first quarter.

Wright grabbed two quick rebounds after coming in midway through the first quarter and finished the first half with 11 points and five rebounds in 10 minutes.

The highlight for Wright was a putback dunk for a 79-51 lead in the third. Just 3 minutes later, Blair gave the Mavericks their biggest lead at 90-56 on a jumper. Blair had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Samuel Dalembert, signed in the offseason to be the starting center for the Mavericks, was the only Dallas player who didn't get off the bench.

For Dalembert, it was something of a replay of his one season with Milwaukee, when he went through a long midseason stretch without playing and got into just one of the last 11 games.

Milwaukee's Gary Neal had two points in his first game in Texas since going to the NBA Finals with San Antonio last season. He left late in the second quarter with plantar fasciitis and didn't return.

NOTES: Bucks G Carlos Delfino had surgery on his right foot performed by Dr. Donato Villani in Argentina. There is no timetable for the 31-year-old's return. ... Carlisle missed a game for the first time since the franchise's only championship season of 2010-11. He missed a Dec. 27 victory at Oklahoma City a day after having arthroscopic knee surgery. Assistant Dwane Casey, now the head coach in Toronto, filled in then.

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