At least Corey Brewer is playing well

DALLAS -- Well, at least Corey Brewer has had a nice showing in his first extended minutes since the New York Knicks stunk up the AAC last month. The lanky small forward finally got off the bench and provided some punch -- nine points and three steals -- to an otherwise sketchy first-half performance.

The Mavericks should actually feel fortunate they trail the Denver Nuggets by just 10, 53-43, at halftime. Dallas is shooting 43 percent after a rugged 33 percent in the opening quarter when they managed just 17 points.

Of course, it is to be expected that things might be a little rough tonight with Jason Kidd (rest) joining Tyson Chandler (back) on the bench.

Roddy Beaubois got the start at point guard and has been unimpressive with two points on 1-of-5 shooting in nearly 11 minutes. DeShawn Stevenson started at shooting guard and is 0-of-3 from the floor.

The Mavs have stayed close with 10 offensive rebounds that they've cashed in for 10 points.

Shawn Marion leads Dallas with 11 points. Jason Terry has six and Dirk Nowitzki has just six points on 3-of-6 shooting. With their floor general out, the Mavs haven't exactly decided to enforce the action on the offensive end. They're 2-of-11 from 3-point range and have gone to the free throw line just four times, with both trips made by the centers, Brendan Haywood and Ian Mahinmi.

Brewer also came up with three steals, but also drew two fouls in his first six minutes, a problem that's followed him whenever he gets on the floor.

The Nuggets are doing their usual scoring by committee with six players scoring between six and 11 points. They've also had a hand in 10 Mavs turnovers that have turned into 10 Nuggets points.