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Tuesday, December 20, 2011
A surprise starter at shooting guard

By Jeff Caplan

As expected, Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Kidd are in the starting lineup tonight for the second and final preseason game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. And starting at shooting guard is not Vince Carter, but Dominique Jones.

The second-year combo guard impressed in Sunday's game with 17 points and seven assists, coach Rick Carlisle gave Jones got the start as something of a reward. It would be a stretch to think that Carlisle is pondering using Jones as a starter in the regular season, but Carlisle has made it a habit throughout training camp to emphasize the need for contributions up and down the roster considering the compressed schedule.

"It's a great opportunity for young players this time of year," Carlisle told reporters prior to Tuesday's game. "We want to see consistency and see guys duplicate that kind of a performance. And it's tough because you're playing the same team 48 hours later."

Midway through the second quarter, Jones has four points, all from the free throw line, three assists and a couple of turnovers in 12 minutes.

Vince Carter has not seen action so far.

Jason Terry and Delonte West are out. Terry is not with the team after falling ill on Monday. West became ill Tuesday morning and did not participate in the morning shootaround.