DALLAS _ With five days off before playing the New Jersey Nets, the Dallas Mavericks expected to look as fresh as they've bene all seaosn.
Instead, the Mavs looked like the team that started off the season several steps behind the Miami Heat.
The Mavs shot 36 percent from the field, got outrebounded 53-49 and got out-played while losing to the Nets, 93-92, at American Airlines Center.
"Coming off the break it looked like the first game of the season,'' point guard Jason Kidd said. "Nothing was going our way.
"And we came out after halftime and had a chance to take the lead. It was our game to have and we couldn't get it done down the stretch.''
This was the opener of a 12-day period when the Mavs will play nine games in seven different cities.
Kidd missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have won the game. But the Mavs even had difficulties on that sequence, which started with 17.9 seconds left on the clock.
"I had a wide open look and I was trying to keep the last shot so we could run the clock down,'' Kidd said. "Once I lost focus -- not focus -- but the pass, I had to heave one up.''
The Mavs fell behind 28-23 after the first period and never got a handle on Brook Lopez, who poured in 38 points.
"I sound like a broken record, but if we get off to a good start and we have a decent first quarter we have a chance to win,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "But when we're down 14-to-16 points in the first quarter -- which has been our M.O. from time to time -- we're not very good.''
-- Dwain Price
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