Game 14: Mavs at Thunder

Game Recap
  • Game Recap
  • Box Score
  • Videos
  • Game Preview
View:

Smith Jr. Alley-Oop Dunk

Wesley Matthews throws up the pass to Dennis Smith Jr. for the alley-oop jam

OKLAHOMA CITY — Still feeling the sting of Saturday’s 111-104 loss at home to Cleveland, the Dallas Mavericks didn’t have time to wallow in their own self-pity less than 24 hours later.

Traveling to Oklahoma City to complete a daunting back-to-back Sunday evening, the Mavericks tried to catch a case of convenient amnesia after their hard-fought loss the night prior. The Mavs also attempted to bounce back on the road before returning to Dallas for the start of a four-game homestand. Meanwhile, the Mavericks tried to take advantage of Oklahoma City’s injuries with the Thunder playing minus All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony (back) and big man Steven Adams (calf). But after another third-quarter collapse, the Mavericks (2-12) fell to their second straight disappointing defeat with a 112-99 loss.

“Well, in Washington (on Tuesday) we played a very good third quarter, got off to a good start and played a forceful third. I don’t know that we won (the third quarter), but we maintained. In other recent games we’re struggling in the third a lot. We’ve got to fix it. It’s got to become a mentality. We’ve just got to do better in all areas” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confessed after the loss.

Sticking with the starting lineup of rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr., second-year standout Yogi Ferrell, swingman Wesley Matthews, leading scorer Harrison Barnes and 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks came out aggressively while opening the scoring with the first four points of the night. Meanwhile, Smith tried to hold his own against the reigning MVP, matching up against perennial All-Star Russell Westbrook and getting on the board with a three-pointer in the early minutes.

However, with both teams struggling offensively, the Thunder (6-7) surged ahead on the scoreboard behind Westbrook’s attacking play. The Mavs returned fire with an assault from behind the three-point arc. And behind 4-of-11 shooting from long range in the opening quarter, the Mavericks slid into the second stanza with a 20-18 edge.

Getting a boost from second-year standout Dorian Finney-Smith, the Mavs looked to separate themselves in the second quarter. Instead, the Thunder charged back, taking a 25-24 lead after former Mav Raymond Felton’s jumper with 8:39 left in the first half.

Thunder new addition Paul George took matters from there by sinking a three to put the home team up 28-25. Smith immediately found Powell in the corner for a triple to tie the game as the Mavericks showed they were up for the fight later in the quarter. But after Nowitzki was assessed a flagrant-one foul for a hard shot on a driving Jerami Grant and was also handed a technical for arguing with the officials, the Mavs began to unravel at the 6:07 mark of the second period. The Mavericks would settled down, however, after Smith found Barnes on the wing for a trey to cut the deficit to three. Smith took matters into his own hands a short time later, swishing a three to bring the Mavs within two at 44-42 entering the halftime intermission.

Led by Smith’s eight points on just 3-of-9 shooting, the Mavericks stayed in the game while being outshot in the first half, 44.1 percent to 38.6 percent. The two teams also battled to a 21-all rebounding stalemate, combining to commit 21 turnovers in the first half.

“I felt like sometimes we just kind of got stagnant. We didn’t really get much out of our possessions. And when you’re going up against a team that can really get out in transition, can go and attack, I thought that was where our breakdowns were,” Barnes would later say.

Scoring on the first two possessions of the second half, Smith tried to put the Mavericks on his back early in the third quarter. But after George’s emphatic slam, Carlisle was forced to burn a timeout with his team in a 52-48 hole and 9:09 left in the period.

Smith again intervened with a three-point play to end a 7-0 run for the Thunder. However, after a three-pointer from Westbrook, the Thunder opened up a 58-51 advantage. Barnes countered with a triple the next time down the floor for the Mavericks to keep them in striking range. But after back-to-back triples from George and Westbrook, the Thunder opened up a 69-56 advantage with 4:37 left in the third. And despite Barnes’ best efforts, the Mavericks were outscored 39-25 in the third quarter to trail 83-67 entering the final period.

“If you give up a 40-point quarter, that’s going to get you beat,” Nowitzki matter-of-factly said of the third-quarter struggles.

Assessed a technical foul during the stoppage after the conclusion of the third quarter, Carlisle tried to ignite his team for the final 12 minutes of play. Instead, the Thunder kept their foot on the gas, taking an 88-67 lead after George’s fifth three-pointer of the night with 11:24 left to play. Still, after Thunder reserve Alex Abrines’ three-pointer put the home team up 95-75, the Mavericks continued to fight while slicing the disadvantage down to 97-84 with 5:55 left to play after Ferrell’s trey from the wing.

George then proceeded to close the Mavericks out, taking over down the stretch before Carlisle began to empty his bench with his team down 107-89 and 2:49 left to play while finishing out the game with the Dallas reserves.

Scoring 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting, Barnes grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds to record his third double-double of year in the loss. Ferrell registered 18 points in the first unit, and Smith added 15 points, five rebounds and three assists. Meanwhile, backup big man Dwight Powell scored 11 points off the bench.

“It wasn’t our best game,” Barnes admitted. “I thought we came out flat and they have some talented players that got hot. We knew who the usual suspects were. We knew [George] had a game going, and we knew Russ was going to be aggressive. We just have to do a better job of just keying into those guys. I thought they fueled the run. Any time you allow 39 points in a quarter, it’s going to be hard to win. And that’s what happened.”

George led three Thunder scorers in double figures with a game-high 37 points (29 in the second half) on 12-of-22 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing five assists to boot. The Thunder also outshot the Mavericks for the game, 50 percent to 42.5 percent, overcoming Dallas’ 41-37 rebounding edge with 28 points off the Mavericks’ 20 turnovers.

“Tonight, giving up 39 in the third was the game, ‘cause we outscored them in the other three quarters combined by a point,” Carlisle concluded. “You’ve just got to put four quarters together in this league.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs. 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:
Devin Harris (bruised ribs) — out
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 33 0-9 0-5 1-2 1 3 4 4 1 0 2 2 -18 1
H. Barnes, PF 35 9-14 2-4 2-2 2 11 13 1 0 0 4 1 -5 22
D. Nowitzki, C 19 2-7 0-5 1-1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 4 -21 5
Y. Ferrell, SG 34 6-9 3-4 3-3 1 1 2 4 1 0 2 2 -2 18
D. Smith Jr., PG 33 6-17 2-6 1-1 2 5 7 3 2 1 5 3 -18 15
S. Mejri 11 2-3 0-0 0-2 2 3 5 1 1 1 2 1 2 4
J. Barea 19 3-10 1-5 2-2 0 2 2 2 2 0 0 3 -5 9
D. Finney-Smith 12 2-5 1-3 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 2 0 5
G. Clavell 8 1-3 1-2 2-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 -1 5
D. Powell 18 4-5 1-2 2-3 1 2 3 2 2 1 2 0 -9 11
M. Kleber 8 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7 2
J. Withey 3 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 0 0 1 0 0 2 2
N. Noel 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 0
S. Curry 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Harris 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   37-87 11-37 14-18 11 30 41 18 9 4 20 20   99
    42.5% 29.7%                      

Show Bench Hide Bench

Thunder

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
P. George, SF 42 12-22 7-12 6-7 1 7 8 5 2 0 3 3 20 37
J. Grant, PF 34 3-6 0-1 4-5 0 8 8 3 1 1 2 4 13 10
D. Johnson, C 17 2-2 0-0 1-2 1 2 3 0 0 1 1 4 0 5
A. Roberson, SG 28 1-2 0-1 1-4 0 5 5 2 2 1 1 1 7 3
R. Westbrook, PG 32 6-18 3-5 12-13 0 6 6 5 3 0 4 2 14 27
A. Abrines 14 1-2 1-1 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 2 -1 3
P. Patterson 25 3-5 1-3 0-0 0 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 13 7
R. Felton 18 3-6 0-2 0-0 0 0 0 5 0 0 1 1 -5 6
J. Huestis 22 3-7 3-7 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 1 1 6 14 9
K. Singler 2 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -5 2
T. Ferguson 2 1-1 0-0 1-2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 -5 3
C. Anthony 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Collison 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Adams 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P. Dozier 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Hamilton 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   36-72 15-32 25-33 3 34 37 21 10 4 15 23   112
    50.0% 46.9%                      

Show Bench Hide Bench

Ferrell With The Circus Shot

Yogi Ferrell drives the rim throws up the circus shot and is fouled on the play.

OKLAHOMA CITY — Despite battling with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the better part of 48 minutes Saturday night, the Dallas Mavericks credit their hard-fought 111-104 loss at home to costly miscues throughout the game.

Taking a 10-point lead during the first quarter of Saturday’s showdown against the reigning Eastern Conference champions before a 13-0 Cleveland run, the Mavericks (2-11) entered the halftime intermission with a 52-49 edge. The Mavs were then outscored 34-22 during the third quarter, setting the stage for a decisive deficit down the stretch. And despite rallying to come within one during the fourth quarter, the Mavericks would eventually run out of steam late on their home hardwood.

“We had some defensive breakdowns,” Mavs leading scorer Harrison Barnes admitted after posting a team-high 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting and grabbing 12 rebounds in the loss. “I think we let them get some momentum. … I thought early in the first half some of our transition baskets led up to what happened towards the end of the game. We battled, we competed, but it’s never what happens in those last few minutes that dictate the game. It’s what you do earlier, and unfortunately the deficit that we built we couldn’t really get past it.”

The Mavericks will now try to quickly rebound from Saturday’s loss one night later, traveling to Oklahoma City to complete a daunting back-to-back against reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and the Thunder (5-7). Meanwhile, the Mavs will see the new-look Thunder for the first time since Oklahoma City acquired All-Star forwards Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in separate offseason trades from Indiana and New York, respectively. And with Oklahoma City presenting some of the same challenges as Cleveland, 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki says the Mavericks will once again be in for a dogfight Sunday evening.

“It’s a tough turnaround and early game (Sunday) against an unbelievable and talented team,” Nowitzki admitted while turning his attention from Saturday’s loss. “With ‘Melo now and Paul George went off (Friday), they’ve got a lot of weapons. We’ve got to try to get back, like we did (Saturday), and load up and make them come over the top. You know, that’s the only way to do it. We can’t really trade baskets or go up and down with some of these talented teams. We’ve got to get back, buckle down and try to get some stops.”

Note: The Mavericks will now travel to Oklahoma City for a matchup Sunday against reigning MVP Russell Westbrook and the Thunder. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN.

The Mavs return to American Airlines Center on Tuesday against the San Antonio Spurs. 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:

Devin Harris (bruised ribs) — questionable
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out