The Mike Budenholzer era has begun.
The new Hawks coach’s tenure started with a 118-109 loss to the Mavericks in a back-and-forth contest at American Airlines Center on Wednesday night. A series of defensive lapses did in the Hawks.
The Mavericks used a decisive third-quarter run to take control of the game and kept the Hawks at bay in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks used a 17-2 run late in the third quarter for the season-opening victory. The Hawks led 70-67 before the Mavericks’ offense was ignited by a Vince Carter alley-oop dunk to start the run.
The Mavericks led by as many as 16 points late in the fourth quarter with three consecutive 3-pointers in the final two minutes. Dirk Nowitzki made two consecutive, and Monta Ellis added another.
Ellis led the Mavericks with a game-high 32 points. Nowitzki added 24 points, and Carter added 21.
The Hawks (0-1) were led by Jeff Teague with 24 points and nine assists. Paul Millsap added 20 points in his Hawks debut.
Kyle Korver ran his streak to 74 consecutive games with a 3-pointer, the fourth-longest in NBA history, with a long-range basket with under six minutes remaining. He is 15 behind Dana Barros’ record of 89.
If Korver continues the streak he would tie the record Nov. 27 at Houston and set the mark against the Mavericks on Nov. 29 at Philips Arena.
The Hawks trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half. The Mavericks made nine of their first 12 shots, but the Hawks slowly chipped away at the deficit and used an 11-4 second-quarter run to tie the score, 47-47, on a Cartier Martin 3-pointer.
The Hawks regained the lead, which they held after Horford opened the scoring with a jumper, with a Millsap basket in the final seconds that made the score 55-53 at halftime.
Teague had 13 points and seven assists at intermission.
Budenholzer spent 19 seasons as an assistant in the Spurs organization before assuming control of the Hawks during the offseason.
“From everybody,” Budenholzer said when asked before the game if he received many messages from well-wishers. “No, there have been a few. Everybody is a pretty large exaggeration. We are all excited for the first game and to get the regular season started. We are glad it’s here.”
Lou Williams (right knee rehabilitation) and Gustavo Ayon (right shoulder) were inactive with injuries.