Final: Mavs 111, Pacers 103
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
Mavs vs. Pacers
View photos of the Mavs’ 111-103 win over the Pacers on Star Wars night!
Wesley Matthews now has at least four 3-pointers in four consecutive games, the longest streak by a Maverick since Vince Carter did the same in February 2013. The franchise record is six straight, set by George McCloud 20 years ago. Matthews had a one-3 outing just before this streak began, but otherwise he’s been ridiculously hot from beyond the arc over the last month or so.
The Pacers shot only 33.3 percent from the field in the third quarter, but they took 15 free throws, which helped them score 1.136 points per possession and 25 points total in the frame. That’s not a number the Mavs will be satisfied with.
Monta Ellis had never played 20-plus minutes in a game without scoring in his entire career, per Basketball-Reference, but Dallas kept the former Mav scoreless with a terrific team defensive performance.
Everyone in the organization talked about how the Mavs needed to play with more of a forceful, competitive spirit after a very disappointing home loss to the Kings on Wednesday night. This was a heck of a response. Dallas came out hot from the field and, despite it being a high-scoring game, did appear to have a strong defensive performance against the Pacers, particularly against star wing Paul George, who was held in check for the entire second half. Dallas simply played harder than Indiana, and that’s all Rick Carlisle can ask for; there are many things in life you can’t control, but you can always control effort. The Mavericks brought the energy tonight and remained in control of the contest pretty much throughout. A very nice win to finish this 2-2 homestand.
Tonight was the first time I can remember in Harrison Barnes’ career as a Maverick that the opponent was switching smaller players onto him with consistency. These same Pacers did it a few times early in the season opener, but for the most part opponents have kept either wings or bigs on Barnes whenever he’s the big in a pick-and-roll. Tonight, though, Indiana was switching the guard over to him, whether it was Jeff Teague, Monta Ellis, Aaron Brooks, or someone else. Barnes went to work in those matchups, using his size and strength to exploit that size advantage. It’s something Mavs fans should be used to seeing by now, as that’s been a huge part of what’s made Dirk Nowitzki so successful for so long. The 24-year-old had similar success in those situations — though much fewer and farther between — while with the Warriors. If Barnes can demonstrate over an extended period that he can dominate smaller players, that’s one more step toward becoming an extremely difficult assignment for any defense. He finished with 25 points and eight rebounds.
For the second time this homestand, Dorian Finney-Smith set a career-high scoring mark. He finished tonight’s game with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, adding seven rebounds and a steal. His play has been lauded this season by both his head coach and Mavs owner Mark Cuban. It used to take more of a nuanced eye to notice the impact the undrafted rookie was making on games, but lately his play is becoming louder and louder.
The Mavs (5-17) play the Houston Rockets (16-7) on Saturday at Toyota Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.