DALLAS -- Monday was another long night for Gal Mekel.
The rookie point guard from Israel scored eight points on 2-of-7 shooting, but did manage a game-high six assists during the 102-94 loss to the Orlando Magic. However, Mekel continued his preseason-long trend of coughing up the basketball as he turned it over a team-high five times and now has 14 turnovers in the Mavs' three preseason games.
"It's tough for Gal right now,'' forward Dirk Nowitzki said. "Not only is he's basically really our only point guard on the roster right now.
"(D.J.) Kennedy is playing some backup, but he's not really a (point guard). With (Shane) Larkin out (following ankle surgery) and Devin (Harris) out (following toe surgery), Gal is kind of like the only (point guard).''
And right now, Mekel is struggling.
Mekel picked up three of his turnovers less than six minutes into the game -- he also had two fouls at that juncture -- and just seemed hesitant all night.
"I think he's trying and he's doing well, but he's got to learn a few things,'' Nowitzki said. "He's turning the ball over here and there, so he's kind of got to adjust on the fly.
"But that's what preseason is for. It'll help him in the long run to get better, but you've got to fight through it right now.''
Mekel has started all three preseason games in place of Jose Calderon, who strained his left hamstring on Oct. 5. Calderon will miss Wednesday's game in Indiana, but will return Saturday when the Mavs play the Charlotte Bobcats in Greensboro, N.C.
-- Dwain Price
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