A Sunday night preseason visit to Dallas had the Indiana Pacers looking good for three quarters.
Then Charlie Villanueva started hitting threes. The visitors couldn’t respond as the Mavericks prevailed 106-98 at American Airlines Center.
Villaneuva sank four 3-points and scored all of his 16 points in the final quarter as the Mavericks outpointed the Pacers 37-24 to win their first preseason game in three outings. The Pacers fell to 1-2.
Pacers starting center Roy Hibbert as well as the starting backcourt of George Hill and Rodney Stuckey were given the night off, but Indiana still led after each of the first three quarters. The game had 18 lead changes.
Dallas native C.J. Miles scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting for Indiana. Donald Sloan, who played his high school ball in the Dallas area, is the team’s third guard but started and finished with 12 points.
Indiana was outrebounded 15-3 on the offensive glass.
The Pacers travel Wednesday to Cincinnati, where they will get their first look at LeBron James in his return to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game is at Xavier University, the alma mater of Pacers starting forward David West.Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.