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Mavericks 118, Hawks 109

The SportsXchange

DALLAS -- Monta Ellis made his debut in a Dallas uniform a memorable one, leading the Mavericks to a 118-109 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams at American Airlines Center.

The Mavericks signed Ellis to ease the scoring burden on former MVP Dirk Nowitzki, and at least after one game, the move is paying off. Ellis scored 32 points on 11-of-17 shooting and added eight assists. Nowitzki had 24 points.

Jose Calderon, the other new starter in Dallas' backcourt, dished out 11 assists, Vince Carter chipped in 21 points off the bench, and Samuel Dalembert grabbed a game-high nine rebounds. The Mavericks shot 57 percent as a team.

Jeff Teague paced the Hawks with 24 points and nine assists, but he was held in check as the second half wore on. Paul Millsap scored 20, reserve Cartier Martin tallied 17, and DeMarre Carroll had 14. Atlanta was outrebounded 42-33.

The lead went back and forth for most of the third quarter before the Mavericks reeled off a 12-0 run to go into the fourth up 86-79. Dallas kept a comfortable advantage for much of the fourth on its way to the win.

Though it was just one game, the Mavericks are looking to set a tone and return to the postseason after 12-year playoff run was snapped last year. The Hawks have a six-season playoff streak, tied for the longest run in the Eastern Conference.

Down most of the first half, the Hawks surged in the second quarter to take a 55-53 lead into the break. Teague had 13 points and seven assists at the half, with Millsap scoring 12 points.

Dallas cooled off from the floor considerably in the second period. Ellis, Nowitzki and Carter each had double-digit points in the opening half.

Atlanta's home opener is Friday against the Toronto Raptors, while the Mavericks are on the road the same night against the Houston Rockets.

NOTES: Mavericks general manager Gersson Rosas resigned Tuesday, less than three months after taking the job. "I made the personal decision to resign as general manager of the Dallas Mavericks after determining that the position was not the best fit for me at this point in my career," said Rosas, adding the decision was solely his. "I was disappointed when Gersson told me of his decision, but I understand and all of us wish him the best," owner Mark Cuban said. ... The Hawks have just two players -- C Al Horford and Teague -- who were with the team two seasons ago. ... Longtime Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer made his NBA head coaching debut for Atlanta. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle is the second-longest tenured coach with one team, trailing only San Antonio's Gregg Popovich. ... Dallas has 10 new players on the roster, including starters Ellis, Calderon and Dalembert.
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