Dallas coach Rick Carlisle described the first game without top scores Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis as a great challenge.
The rest of the Mavericks accepted that challenge.
Jalen Brunson scored 27 points in his ninth start of the season, Dorian Finney-Smith matched a career high with 22 points and Maxi Kleber added 18 as Dallas beat the Atlanta Hawks 123-100 in a game between teams with depleted rosters.
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After the shortest awards season in decades, the 92nd annual Academy Awards will get underway Sunday evening at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The red carpet is being rolled out two to three weeks earlier than usual in a bid to freshen up a ceremony and potentially boost ratings.