DALLAS -- Somewhat lost in all the Monta Ellis hype was the solid game Dirk Nowitzki played in Wednesday's season-opening 118-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Nowitzki converted 8-of-14 shots, was 4-of-6 from three-point range, scored 24 points, grabbed four rebounds and handed out five assists in 33 minutes. The 16-year veteran was sending a message that his game hasn't suffered any slippage, despite what some critics say.
Nowitzki usually goes to his native Germany and works out in the offseason. But he spent the balance of the offseason working out in Dallas.
"I guess the fact that we've seen him so much makes our perception a little bit different,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "But he’s always been ready to play and he’s always been so meticulous on everything.''
-- Dwain Price
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