Game 12: Mavs at Wizards

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GAME RECAP: Mavs 113, Wizards 99

Harrison Barnes led the way with a game and season-high 31 points and Dennis Smith Jr. added a career-high 22 points, eight rebounds and eight assists as the Mavs defeat the Wizards, 113-99.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Returning to a place where they had won eight straight times, the Dallas Mavericks looked to bring an end to their sluggish start to the season Tuesday night in the nation’s capital.

Attempting to end a six-game losing streak, the Mavericks hoped to find a remedy to their lackluster play on the road against the Washington Wizards. The Mavs also tried to continue their recent dominance over the Wizards after winning eight in a row and 15 of the previous 18 meetings between the two teams in D.C. And while leaning on versatile forward Harrison Barnes and rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr.’s career-high scoring night, the Mavericks (2-10) continued that trend en route to a wire-to-wire 113-99 victory.

“You know, I thought everyone did a great job chipping in. It was a great win for us,” Barnes matter-of-factly said after the win.

In need of a spark after Saturday’s 112-99 loss at Minnesota, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle hoped his team could get off to a fast start while rolling out a first unit of Smith, second-year standout Yogi Ferrell, veteran swingman Wesley Matthews, Barnes and 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki. An alley-oop connection from Matthews to Smith to open the scoring would then get the Mavs going in the right direction, sparking a 7-0 start to the game.

“From the get-go [Smith] was in attack mode,” Nowitzki foreshadowed. “He was putting pressure on the defense every time down, and he was trying to get in the paint to make something happen.”

Smith stayed on the attack from there while operating as a scorer and playmaker in the opening quarter. Three-pointers from Matthews and Ferrell would follow as the Mavericks built a 17-10 lead. And after Smith’s breakaway slam to highlight the quarter, reserve guard J.J. Barea’s back-to-back threes took the Mavs into the second stanza with a 36-34 edge.

Leading by as many as nine in the first quarter, the Mavericks attempted to settle in at the defensive end after surrendering 12 points and five assists to All-Star point guard John Wall in the previous period. Meanwhile, an alley-oop finish by backup big man Nerlens Noel off Barea’s lob supplied the early offense as the Mavs tried to pull away once again. And with Barea asserting himself at the offensive end, the Mavericks built a double-digit lead.

Veteran combo guard Devin Harris’ three-point play then gave the Mavs a 45-34 advantage with 9:25 remaining in the first half. Second-year forward Dorian Finney-Smith also slid back into the lineup after missing four games with left knee soreness. Barnes took matters from there, scoring 16 points in the first half as the Mavericks led as many as 15 before holding a 64-53 advantage entering the intermission.

Producing their highest-scoring first half of the season, the Mavericks outshot the Wizards (5-5) through two quarters, 52 percent to 48.6 percent. The Mavs also held a 22-21 rebounding edge, forcing nine turnovers while surrendering just three Dallas giveaways.

Opening the second half with a driving score to move into double figures, Smith again tried to provide a spark in the third quarter. The first-year floor general continued to step up from there, swishing a three-pointer before blowing past Wall for a driving score to put the Mavs up 71-62.

“Nobody is going to intimidate me. It’s just playing basketball. John is a really great player and one of the best point guards in the league, but my focus was coming out and being as good as I can for our team,” Smith explained.

Barnes again began to take over the scoring duties shortly after that to create some breathing room for the Mavericks in the quarter.

“You know, I think in the Minnesota game I had a good first half, and in the second half I just came up short. I wasn’t as aggressive, so tonight when I had a big first half again, it was important for me to continue to stay aggressive,” Barnes would later say.

Harris lent some assistance with a pull-up jumper to put the Mavs up by 13, 78-65. The lead jumped to 83-69 after a corner three from Finney-Smith. Matthews then caught fire from long range as the lead reached 16 in the period. And with Tunisian center Salah Mejri supplying rim protection at the defensive end of the floor, the Mavericks slid into the fourth quarter with a 90-76 margin under their belt.

Seeing the Wizards press fullcourt to begin the fourth period, the Mavs tried to successfully handle the pressure. However, after a corner three-pointer from Wizards sharpshooter Jodie Meeks, the Mavericks’ lead shrunk to 90-81 with 10:28 remaining on the game clock.

Meeks continued to step up off the Wizards’ bench, making all three free throws after Barnes fouled him on a long-range attempt to bring the home team within six. A three-point play from Otto Porter Jr. cut the Wizards’ deficit in half the next time down the floor. And after a technical foul on Nowitzki, the Wizards clawed to within two at 90-88 with 9:09 left to play.

Two free throws by Smith settled the Mavericks down, however, leading to Matthews’ three-pointer to extend the Dallas lead to seven, 95-88, with 7:37 on the clock. Smith’s putback score and Barnes’ jumper then kept the Wizards at bay with a 90-81 lead after a late Washington rally. The duo took turns closing the Wizards out from there, lifting Dallas to its first road win of the season in the process.

Scoring a season-high 31 points on 11-of-18 shooting, Barnes also snatched nine rebounds while leading the Mavericks to the win. Smith added a career-high 22 points, grabbing eight boards and dishing eight assists to boot. Matthews pitched in 14 points, eight rebounds and six assists in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, Mejri finished with 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks off the bench, and Barea scored 10 points while dishing six assists in a reserve role.

“Dennis Smith was a great basketball player tonight. He was great in all areas,” Carlisle said while praising the rookie point guard. “He demonstrated aggression, poise, smarts and leadership, and it’s great to see. He’s worked so hard and it’s been frustrating, obviously, at times, but to have it come together on the road in really a must-win game with where we’re at is really great to see. Now, he’s just got to duplicate it.”

“Definitely have to give a shout out to Salah Mejri,” Barnes added. “I thought he came off the bench and gave us energy, great blocks, and we kept the momentum going.”

Wall and sharpshooter Bradley Beal led three Wizards in double figures with 23 points apiece. However, the Mavericks outshot the Wizards for the game, 47.3 percent to 42.7 percent, adding a 53-39 rebounding advantage and forcing 15 Washington turnovers.

“We’ve been getting hurt in two major statistical categories: a lot of turnovers and not enough rebounds. Tonight, we kept the turnovers down. Twelve (turnovers) for nine points against this team is a phenomenal effort, and then beating them on the boards 53-39 tells a story. I mean, possession of the ball is the most important part of this game other than having good players.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out

Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
W. Matthews, SF 37 5-10 4-7 0-0 0 8 8 6 2 0 1 1 10 14
H. Barnes, PF 39 11-18 2-2 7-8 2 7 9 1 1 1 3 3 12 31
D. Nowitzki, C 19 3-5 0-1 0-0 1 4 5 1 0 0 2 4 -8 6
D. Smith Jr., SG 31 9-22 1-5 3-3 1 7 8 8 1 0 2 1 15 22
Y. Ferrell, PG 29 3-7 1-4 1-2 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 3 12 8
S. Mejri 25 3-4 0-0 4-6 5 7 12 0 0 5 0 4 15 10
J. Barea 16 4-8 2-4 0-0 1 1 2 6 0 0 1 1 -1 10
D. Finney-Smith 15 2-6 1-3 0-0 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 5 5
D. Harris 18 2-8 0-3 1-1 1 3 4 2 1 0 1 3 2 5
N. Noel 5 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 1 0 0 5 2
D. Powell 1 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 0
M. Kleber 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Withey 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
G. Clavell 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Curry 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. McRoberts 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
J. Motley 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   43-91 11-30 16-20 11 42 53 26 6 8 11 23   113
    47.3% 36.7%                      

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Wizards

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
O. Porter Jr., SF 36 5-8 1-2 2-2 0 5 5 1 1 1 0 3 -12 13
M. Morris, PF 27 3-9 2-4 0-0 1 2 3 2 0 0 2 2 -11 8
M. Gortat, C 24 4-5 0-0 0-1 1 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 -8 8
B. Beal, SG 37 8-20 3-8 4-5 0 4 4 2 1 0 5 3 -15 23
J. Wall, PG 37 5-10 0-1 13-18 0 3 3 14 1 1 4 3 -12 23
K. Oubre Jr. 26 3-11 3-6 0-0 0 7 7 0 0 1 1 1 -2 9
J. Meeks 13 1-6 1-4 4-4 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 2 2 7
T. Frazier 12 2-3 0-0 0-0 1 6 7 1 2 0 1 2 0 4
I. Mahinmi 6 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 -6 0
M. Scott 7 0-1 0-0 2-2 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 -9 2
J. Smith 10 1-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 2 0 2 3 2
C. McCullough 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Satoransky 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Mac 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Robinson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Young 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   32-75 10-25 25-32 3 36 39 21 5 5 15 19   99
    42.7% 40.0%                      

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Barnes Leads Mavs to Win

Harrison Barnes scores a game-high 31 points to help the Mavericks pick up their second win of the season.


Harris And-One Floater

Devin Harris drives and hits the floater on the baseline while drawing the foul for the and-one play.


Smith Jr. And-One Pull-Up

Dennis Smith Jr. brings the ball up the court and goes behind the back before pulling up for the and-one jumper.


Mejri Block

Salah Mejri comes up big at the rim blocking the reverse layup attempt.


Shootaround Report: Dorian Finney-Smith

Mavs Forward Dorian Finney-Smith is ready to go for tonight's match against the Washington Wizards!

Shootaround Report: Coach Carlisle

Mavs Head Coach Rick Carlisle previews tonight's match against the Washington Wizards.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Likely facing one of the top backcourts in the NBA during Tuesday’s road matchup against the Washington Wizards, the Dallas Mavericks expect to receive a boost by the pending return of second-year forward Dorian Finney-Smith to the lineup.

Missing the last four games due to left knee soreness, Finney-Smith went through the team’s Monday practice without any issues. He then participated in the Mavericks’ Tuesday morning walkthrough in preparation for their road contest against the Wizards (5-4). And with the Mavericks (1-10) hopeful to end their current six-game losing streak, coach Rick Carlisle says he expects the versatile forward to help provide perimeter defense against the Wizards’ star-studded backcourt of point guard John Wall and swingman Bradley Beal.

“I believe he’s going to be available,” Carlisle said while giving an update on Finney-Smith’s status after the Mavs’ Tuesday shootaround. “It means we’ve got another good player back, and he’s another guy who’s a good defender. You know, anything right now we’ll take as a lift, so it’s a good situation. He did well in practice yesterday, and he’s feeling good today.”

On the season, Finney-Smith is averaging 3.2 points and 1.4 rebounds in five games, clocking just 11.8 minutes an outing. He’s also knocking down 54.5 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range, showing he can step up when Carlisle has entrusted him with playing time. More importantly, the 24-year-old has emerged as one of the Mavericks’ high-energy players this season. That said, Finney-Smith is looking forward to contributing as the Mavs attempt to collect their first road win of the season.

“(My knee) is doing fine. Just a little banged up. You know, I’ve been getting my leg stronger with a little rest, and I’m just happy to be on the court,” Finney-Smith said Tuesday morning while giving an update on his knee injury.

“It’s been tough, especially since I just want to bring my energy to the game,” he added. “You know, I just want to get out there and help the team any possible way that I can.”

Note: The Mavericks will now travel to the nation’s capital to complete their road trip Tuesday against the Washington Wizards. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee soreness) — questionable
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Traveling to the nation’s capital in need of a win after dropping their previous six games, the Dallas Mavericks may find themselves in the perfect place after dominating the head-to-head series with the Washington Wizards in recent memory.

The Mavericks (1-10) have won 13 of the last 14 meetings with the Wizards (5-4) and 28 of the last 36 matchups between the teams overall. Dallas has also taken eight straight and 15 of the last 18 meetings between the two teams in D.C. Still, according to Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, his team will have to correct its recent trend of miscues in order to collect a much-needed win on the road.

“Right now, looking at the numbers is probably an unproductive thing. We’ve just got to be a moment-to-moment team,” Carlisle explained. “At the practice (Monday), guys were in the moment and really concentrating on defense, and starting the game (Tuesday) we’ve got to be in the same place. Analyzation and over-analyzation of numbers is a broken record at this point. You know, we’ve got to do something about it.”

The Mavericks have yet to collect a win on the road this season, entering Tuesday’s matchup 0-5 away from home. But in order to collect their first win on the road, the Mavs will admittedly have to raise their level of play at both ends of the court.

The Mavericks are shooting just 42 percent from the field as a team this season, ranking next to last in the NBA. The Mavs are also scoring just 97.9 points per game to rank 28th in that department. Meanwhile, the Dallas defense is allowing opponents to shoot 48 percent from the field through the first 11 games. That said, leading scorer Harrison Barnes knows the Mavericks must lock in on the defensive end if they’re going to steal a win Tuesday night.

“I think live turnovers is great place to start. Defensively, we have to get better. Offensively, I don’t think we’ve had a problem shooting the ball and scoring points, but defensively we’re just letting teams put up 30 points a quarter on us,” Barnes admitted. “We’re giving them 20-plus points a game on turnovers and giving up offensive rebounds, and I think that’s really killed us.”

Note: The Mavericks will now travel to the nation’s capital to complete their road trip Tuesday against the Washington Wizards. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center next Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.

Injury updates:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee soreness) — questionable
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out