Game 23: Mavs vs. Clippers

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GAME RECAP: Mavericks 108, Clippers 82

J.J. Barea leads a balanced attack scoring 21 points with ten rebounds and four assists over the Clippers, 108-82.

DALLAS — Returning to their home hardwood eager to redeem themselves for Wednesday’s 109-104 loss to Brooklyn, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to make the necessary adjustments Saturday while welcoming in the Los Angeles Clippers for a matinee matchup.

Trying to get on track in the middle outing of a three-game homestand, the Mavericks attempted to take advantage of a Clippers team that was without leading scorer Blake Griffin (left MCL sprain). The Mavs also attempted to pay the Clippers back for a road loss earlier in the season, looking to avenge a 119-98 defeat on Nov. 1. And behind a dominant performance at home, the Mavericks (6-17) got their vengeance with a 108-82 runaway win to secure coach Rick Carlisle’s 700th career victory.

“I really wasn’t counting, to tell you the truth,” Carlisle said after becoming the 18th coach in NBA history with 700 victories. “It just means that I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve had three great owners and great players. But we’ve got a long way to go, and I’ve really never been one to count that kind of stuff. As time goes on, I count those things even less, because it’s just day to day and trying to help improve the situation.”

Looking to lead his team to a fast start with Griffin sidelined, 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki opened the scoring with a three-pointer from the wing. Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. followed suit with a three of his own from the corner. And after two free throws by leading scorer Harrison Barnes, the Mavericks began the game on an 8-0 run.

However, the Clippers (8-13) quickly charged back behind the interior play of center DeAndre Jordan. Meanwhile, the Mavs struggled to find the bottom of the night in the opening period. Still, despite a technical foul on Carlisle for arguing with the officials late in the first quarter, the Mavericks took a 24-17 advantage into the second stanza.

Starting the second half with back-to-back driving scores by veteran guards J.J. Barea and Devin Harris, the Mavs opened up a double-digit lead at 28-17. The lead ballooned to 15 from there after back-to-back threes from Barea made it a 34-19 advantage.

Nowitzki rejoined the scoring from there with a trey of his own as the Mavericks kept their foot on the gas. The Dallas lead swelled to 24 later in the second as the Mavs continued to share the wealth. Frustration also continued to build for the Clippers’ bench, leading to a technical foul call on guard Austin Rivers with 6:09 left in the first half. Three-pointers by swingman Wesley Matthews and Barnes then settled the Mavericks down after a mini L.A. run. Barea’s 15 points and seven assists then lifted the Mavs into the halftime intermission with a 59-38 lead under their belt.

Led by Barea’s 6-of-8 shooting from the field, the Mavericks outshot the Clippers through two quarters, 42.2 percent to 30.2 percent. The Mavs also held a 27-23 rebounding edge, forcing six L.A. turnovers while committing just three giveaways of their own.

“We were really helping each other out,” Smith said of the defensive effort. “The weak side defense was on time, and we were working together as one.”

Trying to keep the Clippers at a safe distance as the second half got underway, the Mavericks remained locked in at the defensive end of the floor. Meanwhile, Nowitzki supplied the offense with a pair of triples to lift the Mavs to a 68-43 advantage.

Matthews took it from there with a three of his own later in the third period. Smith also upped his aggression at the offensive end, and Tunisian center Salah Mejri supplied the rim protection on defense. And despite a technical foul call on Matthews at the 4:46 mark of the third, Barea and Harris sent the Mavericks into the fourth with an 86-66 lead in hand.

The Mavericks didn’t look back the remainder of the way, upping their lead to 33 before finishing out the win with the Dallas reserves in the final quarter.

Scoring a season-high 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting off the bench, Barea led the Mavericks to the win while dishing out 10 assists in a reserve role. Nowitzki pitched in 16 points in the first unit after 5-for-5 shooting from three-point range, and Harris added 15 points off the bench. Meanwhile, Smith scored 12 points and Matthews finished with 10 points in the first unit.

“It was great. I was able to come off the bench with a lot of energy and help the team out,” Barea said of his offensive night. “Everything was clicking from passing to shooting the ball from the outside, so it was great. It was great to be out there and to get this win. We needed it after a bad loss last time, so hopefully we carry this over.”

Lou Williams led two Clippers in double figures with 18 points on just 4-of-16 shooting. However, the Mavericks finished the game outshooting the Clippers, 45.6 percent to 34.9 percent, adding a 54-38 rebounding advantage and converting L.A.’s 11 turnovers into 13 points to overcome their own 17 giveaways.

“You know, we needed a win any way we could get it at this point,” Nowitzki said. “We had a good practice yesterday. Obviously, coach (Carlisle) was on one after the Brooklyn loss, and he got on us pretty good. We had a good hard practice and watched the film, and he was telling us the level and force we’ve got to play with. I thought it was good today, trying to make it hard on Lou and Rivers, who are great scorers on the perimeter. We tried to keep DeAndre from going down the middle and dunking, and I thought we did a decent job.

“Seven hundred is a lot of wins, so we’re happy to get it for (Carlisle). You know, he has been great for the league, and he’s been around for forever. He’s got great knowledge of the game, so that’s a big milestone. We’re happy for him, and we presented him with the game ball. I think that’s a special one.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to their home floor Monday night at American Airlines Center against the Denver Nuggets. 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:

Salah Mejri (left ankle sprain) — questionable
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out

Clippers

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
W. Johnson, SF 27 2-8 1-3 2-2 0 2 2 2 1 1 1 5 -6 7
M. Harrell, PF 24 3-5 0-0 0-2 2 4 6 1 1 1 0 3 -24 6
D. Jordan, C 30 6-7 0-0 2-4 5 12 17 0 0 2 1 2 -5 14
L. Williams, SG 32 4-16 1-4 9-10 0 0 0 6 0 0 1 0 -21 18
A. Rivers, PG 29 4-15 1-3 0-0 1 2 3 2 0 2 1 2 -16 9
S. Dekker 13 0-7 0-2 0-0 1 2 3 0 0 0 2 3 -10 0
J. Evans 18 2-9 0-2 1-2 0 3 3 1 0 0 2 1 -10 5
C. Williams 22 3-6 0-0 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 2 -15 6
S. Thornwell 15 3-6 1-3 2-3 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 -14 9
J. Wilson 14 3-5 2-4 0-0 2 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 -3 8
W. Reed 6 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 -9 0
B. Johnson 5 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 3 0 1 0 3 0
D. Gallinari 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P. Beverley 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
B. Griffin 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Teodosic 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   30-86 6-22 16-23 11 27 38 16 8 6 10 20   82
    34.9% 27.3%                      

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Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
H. Barnes, SF 29 2-10 1-1 3-3 2 8 10 2 0 0 1 1 6 8
M. Kleber, PF 23 1-4 0-2 1-2 4 4 8 1 0 0 1 3 -6 3
D. Nowitzki, C 24 5-6 5-5 1-1 0 3 3 1 1 1 1 1 32 16
W. Matthews, SG 23 4-10 2-5 0-0 1 1 2 3 0 1 0 2 5 10
D. Smith Jr., PG 23 5-8 1-2 1-4 1 4 5 3 0 1 2 5 27 12
Y. Ferrell 20 3-10 2-8 0-0 0 4 4 0 1 0 1 2 1 8
S. Mejri 15 1-3 0-0 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 2 1 0 -7 2
J. Barea 23 8-12 4-5 1-1 0 4 4 10 0 0 3 1 32 21
D. Harris 20 2-5 1-3 10-11 0 3 3 3 1 0 0 1 21 15
D. Powell 20 3-6 0-3 2-2 3 5 8 1 1 1 3 1 23 8
A. Cleveland 7 1-3 0-0 1-2 2 1 3 0 0 0 1 2 -2 3
J. Withey 6 1-2 0-1 0-0 1 1 2 0 0 1 1 1 -2 2
N. Noel 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
D. Finney-Smith 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   36-79 16-35 20-26 15 39 54 24 4 7 15 20   108
    45.6% 45.7%                      

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Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki dishes on Saturday's 108-82 win over the Clippers.


Barnes Makes The Assist

Harrison Barnes backs down in the paint then kicks it out to Dirk Nowitzki for three.


Elevation

Harrison Barnes gets the feed and rises for the jam.


Slither In

Dennis Smith Jr. slides in to score the layup inside.


Ferrell Strokes It

Yogi Ferrell connects on the 3-pointer.


Postgame: J.J. Barea

Mavs G J.J. Barea dishes on Saturday's 108-82 win over the Clippers.


Postgame: Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavs G Dennis Smith Jr. dishes on Saturday's 108-82 win over the Clippers.

DALLAS — Beginning their current three-game homestand Wednesday with a disappointing 109-104 defeat against Brooklyn, the Dallas Mavericks are now eager to redeem themselves against a team that handled them decisively earlier in the season.

Welcoming in the Los Angeles Clippers for a matinee matchup Saturday, the Mavericks (5-17) will quickly attempt to correct the issues that plagued them in Wednesday’s loss. The Mavs will also seek retribution for a loss earlier in the season at the hands of the Clippers (8-12), attempting to avenge a 119-98 road defeat back on Nov. 1. And with the Clippers playing without All-Star big man Blake Griffin (sprained left MCL) for the foreseeable future, the Mavericks believe they will have an opportunity to get on track in front of their home crowd.

“We’ve got to step it back up. You know, we failed in a lot of areas against Brooklyn,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle confessed.

“[The Clippers] are going to be different. There’s no question about it,” the coach added. “[Griffin] is a great player, and virtually everything ran through him, so they’re going to be very oriented towards their guards and their big guys. And they’re going to be hard to play. They’re talented.”

Despite controlling much of the early action during their first meeting with the high-octane Clippers last month, the Mavericks left Staples Center with a sour taste in their mouth after suffering a lopsided loss. Now, with the Clippers set to invade American Airlines Center, the Mavericks will attempt to return the favor during the middle outing of their homestand.

Led by Griffin’s 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting, six rebounds and seven assists, the Clippers overcame rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr.’s 18 points and proved to be too much for the Mavericks to handle for four quarters during the first matchup between the two teams. The Clippers also outshot the Mavs for that game, 53.2 percent to 39.3 percent, adding a 48-38 rebounding advantage to overshadow Dallas’ 16 points off 16 L.A. turnovers. The Mavericks will now seek revenge as the scene shifts to their home floor. But according to Mavs leading scorer Harrison Barnes, the Dallas team will have to increase its level of force and physicality in order to come out on the victorious side the second time around.

“It’s just how we start off the game, making sure we come out aggressive, hard and with great play,” Barnes said. “It would be huge. I mean, DeAndre Jordan is going to be a guy that obviously can go out and get 20 rebounds in a game. Montrezl Harrell and all their bigs go hard in the paint, and we’re going to have to be ready to match their physicality. And we need all of our guards to rebound.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to their home floor Saturday at American Airlines Center against the Los Angeles Clippers. L.A. leads the season series 1-0 after a 119-98 home win on Nov. 1. The game will tip off at 1 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:

Salah Mejri (left ankle sprain) — questionable
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out