Nowitzki, Mavericks rout Spurs in preseason openerOct 10, 2007 - 3:31 AM DALLAS (Ticker) -- Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks certainly looked better than the last time they were on the court.
Nowitzki had 13 points and eight rebounds and Josh Howard added 18 points as the Mavericks routed the defending champion San Antonio Spurs, 88-67, in the preseason opener for both clubs on Tuesday night.
Jose Juan Barrea scored 13 points for the Mavericks, who posted a remarkable 67-15 mark during the regular season in 2006-07.
But Dallas looks to rebound from one of the most shocking defeats in playoff history last May. The top-seeded Mavericks were eliminated in the opening round against the upstart Golden State Warriors.
The reigning MVP, Nowitzki was labeled as soft after the series with many wondering if he and the Mavericks would be able to move forward with basically the same club. They looked crisp - at least in relaxed exhibition play.
Nowtizki shot 4-of-7 in just 21 minutes, while Howard was 6-of-9 in 23 minutes for Dallas, which shot 47 percent (33-of-70) from the field.
The Mavericks were not met with much resistance from the in-state rival Spurs, who played their starters sparingly. Tim Duncan had just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in 17 minutes, and Bruce Bowen did not attempt a shot in eight minutes.
Reigning NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker did not play for San Antonio, which was outscored, 26-14, in the final period.
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