For at least one night, they were able to show him up, whether they were wanting to or not.
The Dallas Mavericks walked into the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the first time and came out with a 98-90 win over the Nets and Deron Williams.
Despite 24 points from the former Dallas high school star who rejected the Mavs' free agent offer last summer, the Nets could not overcome 20 points from both Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Cater. Carter continued to turn back the clock in his own game, while Nowitzki continued to show that he may be getting his own back on track with his third 20-point game in his last four.
The game remained close throughout the first half, with Brooklyn clinging to a 49-48 lead. But the Mavs clamped down and held the Nets to only 14 points in the third, while Nowitzki and Carter combined for 12 in the period to build a 77-63 lead.
Dallas pushed that lead to 17 midway through the fourth quarter, and it proved to be enough. Brooklyn got that lead down to 94-90 with 37 seconds to go, but they just didn't have enough time left.
The Mavericks now have what might be their last opportunity to climb back into the playoff hunt with two straight games against the Rockets, starting Sunday night in Houston. The Mavericks are currently five games bak of the Rockets for the final playoff spot in the West.