DALLAS The Dallas Mavericks started pre-season play Sunday evening at the American Airlines Center.

Fans started filing in early for the 6:30 p.m. game, eager to see their NBA championship team after a long break due to the lockout.

Because of the shortened season, there are only two pre-season warmup games Sunday at home and Tuesday at Oklahoma City.

With the limited time, simplicity is a big part of our approach right now, head coach Rick Carlisle said. We've got to be able to do the simple things extremely well. We've got to rely on our play-making and the ability to spread the floor and penetrate the ball on offense, and defensively we've got to be real persistent.

Coach Carlisle calls the Thunder a great test for the Mavericks at the right time.

We'll see how Dallas does with its new-look roster with the opening game of the real season against the Miami Heat on Christmas Day.

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