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Dallas 96, Sacramento 83

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Coach Avery Johnson saw nothing
special in the Dallas Mavericks' exhibition victory -- and coach
Rick Adelman didn't see much of anything he liked in the Sacramento
Kings' loss.

Marquis Daniels scored 18 points and Keith Van Horn had 12
before spraining his right thumb in the Mavericks' 96-83 win
Tuesday night in both clubs' exhibition opener.

Devin Harris had 14 points and five assists, and Dirk Nowitzki
scored 13 points in 21 minutes as the Mavericks took a 15-point
lead in the first half and held on after Sacramento cut it to five
in the fourth quarter.

Both clubs played their regulars deep into the final period --
but the game might have been decided early, when Dallas' starters
outplayed Sacramento's starting five in the first quarter.

"We've got to be better than that," Adelman said. "The guys
came out and were very unaggressive. (Dallas) had more energy than
we did. We've got to try to carry over what we're doing in practice
into games. ... I think we're used to playing against each other,
and we weren't aggressive enough. I was surprised."

Van Horn, the ninth-year pro acquired by the Mavs from Milwaukee
last winter, was 5-of-6 from the field before spraining his thumb
during the second half. Johnson didn't think the injury was
serious.

"We had some good moments of team defense, but there's nothing
really to get too excited about," Johnson said. "I thought the
big guys really tried. They're making a conscious effort to
improve."

Bonzi Wells and Shareef Abdur-Rahim suited up in Sacramento for
the first time since joining the club during the summer. Wells
scored six points on 2-of-7 shooting, and Abdur-Rahim -- coming off
the bench after Kenny Thomas started -- had 11 points and four
assists.

Abdur-Rahim and Jason Hart were the only Kings who got praise
from Adelman.

"I felt a little bit out of place in a couple of situations,
but it's early, and that's what the preseason is for," Abdur-Rahim
said.

Both Abdur-Rahim and Wells were grateful for the chance to play
for a perennial winner, and Adelman hopes they'll be part of a new
defensive mentality for the Kings. But except for brief stretches
in both halves, the Kings didn't play strong defense against the
Mavs' up-tempo game.

"Our defense is tied to our offense," said Mike Bibby, who had
eight points. "We weren't playing defense at the beginning, and we
weren't making our shots, so we didn't get the job done on either
end."

Brad Miller led the Kings with 12 points, and Thomas hit five
straight shots to score 10. Jason Hart, the leading candidate to
replace Bobby Jackson as Mike Bibby's backup point guard, scored
six points and looked confident running the offense.

Kings rookie Francisco Garcia missed his first NBA shot by 2
feet, but made a hustling defensive play on the other end. The 23rd
overall draft pick finished with nine points.

"You could see how nervous I was on that shot," Garcia said.
"After that, I got it out of my system, and I was feeling pretty
good. It was a great feeling just going against the guys you've
been watching on TV."

Though he didn't play, Doug Christie was on the court in
Sacramento for the first time since the Kings traded him last
season. Christie, who signed with Dallas after a disappointing
stint in Orlando, wore street clothes on the Mavericks' bench,
while his wife, Jackie, sat in the Kings' owners' seats across the
court.

Jason Terry also didn't dress for Dallas.