Dirk Nowitzki had six of the Mavericks' 15 turnovers Saturday night in the opener against Oklahoma City.

Some of them came when the Thunder ran defenders at him from the blind side. Some of them, coach Rick Carlisle said, came when Nowitzki was getting grabbed or held.

Carlisle, who said Nowitzki is the hardest player in the league to guard because of his ability to make 3-pointers and still drive to the basket, had a harsh commentary on the Oklahoma City defense after the 99-98 loss.

"They're going to grab and hold,'' Carlisle said. "To me, a typical example is the play before the first half ends. He's getting grabbed and held, and they call a foul on Dirk because he's just reacting to all the contact. You know, that turns into a possession for them and they hit a 3. It's a big momentum play.