Although his blue team lost to the white team, 86-85, in overtime, in a Saturday afternoon scrimmage at American Airlines Center assistant coach Jared Dudley couldn’t help but sing the praises of rookie goaltender Jaden Hardy.

Playing like a crafty veteran, Hardy collected 15 of his 18 points in the second half while looking very comfortable on the court. He also converted a record four three-pointers.

“I think the positives for our team, for Les Bleues, is rookie Hardy,” Dudley said. “(It was good) to see his gift for wanting to pull off the big shots, whether it’s a success or a failure.

“His ability to want to get in the lane and pressure them is what we need.”

Hardy graduated from high school in 2021 and averaged 17.7 points last season for the NBA’s G League Ignite. If Saturday is any indication of what’s to come, Hardy made the transition from the G League to the NBA so seamless – even if it was just a scrimmage.

“Really, I’m just going out there keeping the game simple and doing the right reading and making the game simple,” Hardy said. “I felt like just being there it was going to come to me. It was great to be there playing in front of the fans for the first time and just competing with the guys.

“But really, it’s done with all the work I’ve done this summer with Coach (Sean) Sweeney and Coach (Greg) St. Jean and then sitting down with Coach (Jason) Kidd this morning and getting what they wanted from me and applying it to our practices. That’s what helped me.

RobustHardy especially seemed to be on the same page with guard Spencer Dinwiddie on numerous occasions.

“It’s just applying open leads together,” Hardy said, “and him just being a vet and just giving me information and wanting to help me.”

That information certainly paid off on Saturday as at times – apart from the incomparable Luka Doncic – Hardy looked like the best perimeter player on the pitch.

Late in regulation, Hardy and Doncic each exchanged four baskets, with a three-pointer from Hardy giving his blue team the lead, 83-80, with just over a minute to play.

“What I’m really looking forward to is playing my first NBA game . . . and just going out there and competing with my teammates,” Hardy said. “We’re ready for the season and it’s going to be fun.”

MCGEE HAS SHOWN ITS VALUE: JaVale McGee wasted no time showing why the Mavs signed him to a three-year, $17.2 million free agent deal over the summer.

After a missed shot on the first play of the game, the 7-foot, 270-pound center maneuvered inside and scored on a tip. Shortly after, McGee scored on another tip, then powered inside for another field goal.

“JaVale is amazing,” assistant coach Kristi Toliver said. “His length and his athleticism is something we haven’t seen lately, so he’s obviously a treat coming from Phoenix.

“He’s a great guy, and I think that’s the most important thing. We have a dressing room full of very, very good young men, and theirMcGee basketball ability is a bonus.

McGee finished with 18 points and was largely responsible for the White team’s ability to hold on to victory. McGee even showed off his perimeter skills by scoring a three in the first half.

Toliver said: “JaVale, just his ability to lob, defensively using his length protecting the rim will be extremely valuable to us.”

Rookie Jaden Hardy was also impressed with McGee.

“McGee did a really good job,” Hardy said. “I feel like when he arrives he brings a lot of energy.

“He’s a good paint protector to have and he’s also a good vet to have for us youngsters.”

THE WOOD ATTACKED THE PAINT: As for the European leg, assistant coach Jared Dudley said center Christian Wood somewhat compares to Milwaukee Bucks superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo.

And Wood certainly didn’t disappoint Saturday as he finished with 17 points after joining the Mavs in a trade last summer from the Houston Rockets.

“One thing about C-Wood, back when I was playing I trained with him,” Dudley said. “He has that Giannis-esque, Euro type (not) about the length and the athleticism that he is.

Wood“On the one hand, this is a great opportunity for C-Wood. Trading for him and being able to get a player like him who can post, who can shoot all three and chase the fence (that’s awesome).

Wood showed why he was wanted by the Mavs as he repeatedly drove to the basket and finished those plays with dunk shots. Dudley said Wood’s priority this season is, “For him defensively how he can get caught up in our system to play at a certain level to allow him to play 25-30 minutes a game.

“But offensively I wouldn’t call him a joker, but he’s the key for us to reach our full potential. I don’t think anyone would hesitate to say that. He has all the tools and that’s our job in as coaches of trying to pick our places so we can train him to be the player we want him to be.

GREEN WAS SILVER: Josh Green caught the eye of many Mavs coaches and fans on Saturday.

Not only was Green using his blistering speed to rush all over the field. But just before halftime, he buried a three-pointer, then stole and rushed downfield and negotiated a slam dunk just before the halftime buzzer.

Green, who scored 10 points on Saturday, made steady progress last season after producing lackluster numbers during his rookie campaign in the 2020-21 season when he was barely playing.

“If he’s not the best in form, he’s the closest,” assistant coach Jared Didley said. “His aggression is like night and day. Even his three-point shot.Josh Green earns more playing time.

“He catches and shoots from the wing, from the corner. He takes the shot and throws it, offensively, so he can get to the basket. You’ll see a huge jump from Josh Green.

TIE? WHAT TIE? : As regulation play drew to a close and the score was 83-83, coach Jason Kidd declared the game would end in a tie if no one else scored.

No one else scored in regulation time. But Kidd’s position has changed.

That changed when the players, led by point guard Luka Doncic, convinced Kidd to put two more minutes on the clock after regulation ended with the score tied at 83.

“We wanted to get it over with, so that’s how it went,” rookie goaltender Jaden Hardy said. “We couldn’t finish in a tie. Someone had to win.

Assistant coach Jared Dudley agreed. And so did the crowd of 7,520.

“For me, that crowd was phenomenal,” Dudley said. “I know it was Covid last year so it was tough. I’ve been on a lot of different teams and half-empty arenas, but the whole bottom bowl was sold out.

“It shows you the testament of the Mavericks fans. They won a championship here (2011) and last year they made the Western Conference Finals, so tip your hat to the Mavericks fans because it there were a lot of people today.

BRIEFLY: Luka Doncic led all scorers with 27 points. And he smiled all the time. Doncic scored 24 of his points in the second half Lucasand overtime. He also broke an 83-83 tie in overtime when he buried three free throws after being fouled by Theo Pinson. As the overtime period drew to a close, Pinson had a chance to redeem himself. But his wide-opening three-point shot at the overtime buzzer didn’t connect. . Everyone laughed when Davis Bertans sent Dorian Finney-Smith to the ground with a crossover dribble late in the second half. However, Bertans laughed when he failed to finish the game as his open three-pointer failed to fire the iron. . .After a slow start, Tim Hardaway Jr. hit back-to-back jumpers in the first half, then opened the second half with a trio of three-pointers in quick fashion while finishing the game with a game-high 20. the team led by the Blues. points. . Assistant coach Kristi Toliver described Saturday’s game as a good experience for everyone involved. “The idea was for the fans to have fun, and I think they did,” Toliver said. “I think our guys put on a great show for them. It was competitive. They looked for it, but they kept it light and fun, so it was a great time, a great Saturday. We just keep improving every day on both sides of the ball. As we continue to build our team chemistry and the guys get to know each other and their communication strengthens, I’m sure that will help us on the defensive side of the ball. And then offensively, we have one of the best players in the world (in Doncic), so obviously we will rely on him a lot. but we have great support around him. The guys have improved in the offseason. I look forward to seeing everyone’s contribution and seeing the growth. Obviously we have more goals this year than last year. Guys absorb that and run with it and understand that pressure is a privilege. There’s more pressure on us this year than last year and I think the guys are looking forward to this challenge.

Twitter: @DwainPrice