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Dirk Nowitzki drops 20 in first half

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki is on a 40-point pace, except that he won't play many minutes in the second half of a preseason game.

Nowitzki dropped 20 in the first half, which he finished with a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Mavs a 45-44 lead over the Bulls.

The perennial All-Star power forward has been in attack mode all night. He's 6-of-14 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free throw line. He's missed a few wide-open jumpers that usually go down, but he's hard to stop when he's this aggressive.

Other than Nowitzki, it hasn't been a pretty night for the Mavs' offense. The rest of the Mavs are misfiring at a 33-percent clip.