Rookie point guard Dennis Schroder scored a game-high 21 points in Atlanta’s preseason finale, but it wasn’t enough as the short-handed Hawks lost in Dallas Wednesday night.
The Mavericks (4-3) were led by Dirk Nowitzki’s 17-point performance. Monta Ellis added 15, veterans Vince Carter and Shawn Marion scored 12 points apiece, while Jose Calderon and Jae Crowder each chipped in with 10.
Schroder and Nowitzki are the only two native Germans playing in the NBA.
The Hawks (1-6) played without their entire starting unit of Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap and Al Horford, electing to go with all backups in the preseason finale.
Korver was out for personal reasons, Millsap is resting a sore Achilles and Horford is nursing a lingering hamstring, all of which stayed in Atlanta and did not travel with the team to Dallas. Teague and Carroll simply got the night off with the other three inactive. The whole unit will be good to go when the regular-season tips-off next Wednesday, right back in the same building vs the Mavericks — resting the starting 5 could have been a strategic move on coach Bud’s part so that way Dallas couldn’t get a proper read of what’s to come in the opener. The Mavs, on the other hand, had a dress rehearsal and played all their starters, including the big three of Dirk, Monta and Calderon for an average of 30 minutes.
With the Hawks’ main five out, Schroder led the way with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting and four assists in 36 minutes. However, it wasn’t all good for the rookie as he had a worrisome seven turnovers — that’s almost a 2:1 turnover/assist ratio. Schroder definitely needs to make better decisions with the basketball, especially in a new PG-centric offense.
Second-year forward Mike Scott wrapped up a stellar preseason with 19 points in 26 minutes for Atlanta. Through seven exhibition games, he averaged 12.0 points on 61.8 percent shooting and 3.1 rebounds in 18.9 minutes per game.
The backups for the Hawks did a nice job providing a quick spark and led 24-19 after the first quarter. Although, Dallas’ veterans stayed cool and took control with under four minutes left before halftime and went into the locker room up 47-43. The lead exchanged hands twice in the third but the Mavs corralled the advantage by seven at the end of the period and coasted in the final quarter to a 98-88 victory.
The Hawks will head back home to Atlanta, rest up a few days, then fly back out to Dallas for the regular-season opener on Oct. 30th. The Mavericks have one more preseason game (Fri.) before the opener against the Hawks.