Game 24: Mavs vs. Nuggets

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2018 Seats for Soldiers Night

Thank you to all the servicemen and women who serve our country and fight for our freedom!

DALLAS — Looking to keep the momentum going after Saturday’s 108-82 win over the Los Angeles Clippers, the Dallas Mavericks returned to their home hardwood with plenty of built-in motivation to collect a second straight victory.

Hosting the Denver Nuggets in the final outing of a three-game homestand Monday night, the Mavericks tried to build on Saturday’s win before venturing out on the road for three straight matchups. The Mavs also tried to treat President George W. Bush and more than 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio to a show as the organization hosted its 13th annual Seats For Soldiers Night. And with plenty of motivation in the crowd, the Mavericks (7-17) cruised to their second straight win after a runaway 122-105 victory.

“We talked about it this morning at shootaround that it’s an honor, and it gave us a big lift,” 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after the win. “We talked about playing hard, competing and playing with energy for everybody that was here tonight. You know, I’ve been a part of Seats For Soldiers for a long, long time. It’s always a special night. We usually always win as long as I can remember. We’ve got a pretty good record, and it’s great to see these guys come out and support. We honor them and thank them for what they’ve done and for their service, so this is always a special night.”

Entering the game with a 10-2 record on Seats for Soldiers Night, the Mavericks tried to give the wounded warriors something to cheer for in the opening quarter. Meanwhile, Nowitzki tried to get the Mavs off to a fast start, opening the scoring with a three-pointer.

Veteran swingman Wesley Matthews took matters from there with a trey of his own, completing a four-point play after a foul by Nuggets big man Kenneth Faried. Rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. also joined the act, swishing a triple to put the Mavericks up 14-5 with 9:10 left in the first quarter. The lead ballooned to 13 after another trey from Matthews made the score 21-8 in Dallas’ favor. Leading scorer Harrison Barnes also stayed on the attack in the quarter as the Mavs attempted to pull away. And after leading by as many as 21, the Mavericks took a 39-23 advantage into the second stanza following their highest-scoring quarter of the season.

Opening the second quarter with an alley-oop connection between veteran reserve guard Devin Harris and backup big man Dwight Powell, the Mavericks tried to keep their foot on the gas. Devin Harris also looked for his own shot, drilling a three to beat the shot clock as the Mavs assumed a 44-23 lead.

Veteran point guard J.J. Barea took matters from there, driving in for a score before dishing to Powell inside for another slam as the Mavericks surged ahead by 25. The Mavs then survived a mini Denver rally, taking a 64-47 lead into the halftime intermission behind 25 combined points from the duo of Barnes and Smith.

Led by Barnes’ 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go along with six rebounds, the Mavericks outshot the Nuggets (13-10) through two quarters, 56.8 percent to 34.7 percent. The Mavs also overcame Denver’s 27-26 rebounding edge and their own five turnovers, holding a 36-22 scoring advantage in the paint.

“There was a lot of energy in the air early, you know, with all the servicemen and women courtside and President Bush being there. Our guys, I think, really felt an obligation to be their competitive best. We jumped on them early, and then we made a few mistakes along the way. But we didn’t let up, which was great to see,” Mavs coach Rick Carlisle foreshadowed.

Continuing to lean on Barnes and Smith, the Mavericks kept the Nuggets at bay in the early minutes of the third period. Matthews also lent some assistance, becoming the third Mav in double figures in the process. But with the Nuggets beginning the second half by hitting their first six shots of the third quarter, Carlisle was forced to call for a timeout at the 7:17 mark as the Dallas lead dwindled to 75-64.

The Mavericks would settle down, however, as Barnes found a rolling Maxi Kleber inside for a slam out of the timeout. A triple by Smith followed as the Mavs surged to an 83-68 lead with 4:38 left in the third. Still, after a scoring barrage by Will Barton, the Nuggets charged to within single digits at 88-80. The Mavericks then escaped into the fourth with a 93-82 margin under their belt.

Pushing the lead back to 13 after Devin Harris’ feed inside to Powell to begin the final period, the Mavs again tried to create a separation on the scoreboard. Back-to-back scores from Devin Harris and Barea then forced a Denver timeout with 10:47 remaining as the Mavericks opened up a 99-84 advantage.

Nowitzki rejoined the scoring from there, finding the bottom of the net on vintage jumper. But after a three from Nuggets sharpshooter Gary Harris, Carlisle was forced to burn another timeout as the Dallas lead shrunk to 101-90 with 8:12 left to play. Another three from Gary Harris brought the Nuggets within 10 a short time later as the visiting team refused to go away quietly. Back-to-back threes from Devin Harris and Barea tried to keep the Nuggets at a distance. However, after a transition score by Nuggets reserve Emmanuel Mudiay, Carlisle again signaled for timeout with the Mavericks up 110-100 and 5:20 on the game clock.

A three-point play by Mavs reserve Yogi Ferrell with 4:08 left then put Dallas up 115-100, giving the home squad a new season-high number of points in a game. Ferrell delivered the dagger shortly after that, drilling a corner three to put the Mavericks up 120-103. Ferrell and the Mavs then put the finishes touches on their win down the stretch, holding on late for a victory in front of the spirited home crowd.

Scoring 22 points on 9-of-18 shooting, Barnes also collected 10 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Smith added 20 points, five rebounds and three assists in the first unit, and Ferrell pitched in 16 points off the bench. Matthews finished with 15 points in a starting role. Meanwhile, Devin Harris recorded 14 points and Powell finished with 11 points and seven boards off the bench.

“We kept the pressure on them from beginning to end,” Smith said after the win. “It means a lot to everybody. Coming out at halftime, I met with a couple (of soldiers) and let them know I personally appreciate what they do and their sacrifice. You know, some of the guys and women were missing limbs. They made sacrifices a lot of people weren’t willing to make, so that was a little added motivation for everybody tonight.”

Barton led four Nuggets in double figures with 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting off the bench, grabbing eight rebounds and dishing six assists to boot. However, the Mavericks outshot the Nuggets for the game, 57 percent to 41.8 percent, overcoming a 49-42 rebounding disadvantage as both teams finished with seven turnovers.

“It was nice that everyone was there and definitely a lot of excitement in the building, but we knew we had to do our part and play 48 minutes to come out and get a win. I felt like we did that,” Barnes explained.

“We shot it well, we moved it well and there were low turnovers, so there were a lot of good things,” Carlisle concluded after the Mavs finished with a 64-42 advantage in the paint. “It was a difficult game, because they went small early and we were forced to adjust. But our guys did a great job of adjusting and keeping their aggression. I thought our paint attacks were the difference in the game.”

Note: The Mavericks will now begin a three-game road trip Wednesday in Boston in a rematch against the Celtics. Boston leads the season series 1-0 after a 110-102 overtime win in Dallas on Nov. 20. The game will tip off at 6:30 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.

The Mavs return to their home floor next Tuesday night at American Airlines Center against the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio leads the season series 2-0. That 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:

Nerlens Noel (left thumb injury) — questionable
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out

Nuggets

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
W. Chandler, SF 27 1-11 0-4 2-2 3 4 7 3 0 0 1 0 -4 4
K. Faried, PF 27 6-13 0-1 1-2 6 5 11 2 0 0 0 2 -14 13
M. Plumlee, C 19 1-2 0-0 1-6 2 5 7 4 0 1 2 1 -12 3
G. Harris, SG 42 7-17 3-8 4-4 0 3 3 4 3 0 1 3 -2 21
J. Murray, PG 28 7-12 4-8 4-4 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 2 -12 22
W. Barton 41 9-20 4-6 1-3 2 6 8 6 1 0 0 5 -1 23
T. Lyles 15 3-5 1-2 0-0 1 5 6 2 0 2 0 2 -7 7
E. Mudiay 15 2-6 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 3 0 0 1 1 -12 5
J. Hernangomez 11 2-4 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 1 3 -14 5
R. Jefferson 2 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 -9 0
M. Beasley 7 0-0 0-0 2-2 1 2 3 0 0 1 1 0 2 2
D. Arthur 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Craig 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Jokic 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
T. Lydon 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
P. Millsap 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Morris 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   38-91 14-36 15-23 15 34 49 25 5 5 7 19   105
    41.8% 38.9%                      

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Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
H. Barnes, SF 36 9-18 1-2 3-3 0 10 10 3 0 0 1 1 9 22
M. Kleber, PF 19 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 4 5 1 0 1 0 4 5 2
D. Nowitzki, C 20 2-6 1-2 4-4 0 6 6 2 0 0 0 1 12 9
W. Matthews, SG 33 5-10 3-8 2-3 0 1 1 2 0 1 0 3 12 15
D. Smith Jr., PG 30 9-16 2-4 0-0 2 3 5 3 0 0 3 2 4 20
S. Mejri 9 3-3 0-0 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 1 0 1 3 6
J. Barea 19 3-9 1-4 0-0 0 2 2 9 2 0 1 1 11 7
D. Harris 22 5-8 3-4 1-3 0 1 1 2 1 2 1 2 10 14
D. Powell 23 5-6 0-0 1-3 2 5 7 3 0 1 0 2 13 11
Y. Ferrell 25 7-9 1-2 1-1 0 2 2 1 1 0 1 1 6 16
A. Cleveland 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Noel 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
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   49-86 12-26 12-17 5 37 42 26 4 6 7 18   122
    57.0% 46.2%                      

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Postgame: Harrison Barnes

Mavs F Harrison Barnes dishes on Monday's 122-105 win over the Nuggets.


Mejri With The Reverse Slam

J.J. Barea passes to Salah Mejri for the reverse slam dunk.


Powell And-1 Lay In

Good passing leads to a Dwight Powell layup and the foul.


Matthews 4 Point Play

Wesley Matthews pulls-up, hits the 3-pointer and is fouled on the play.


Barnes And-1 Bucket

Harrison Barnes drives to the rim, hits the bucket, and is fouled on the play.


Powell With the Two-Handed Slam

J.J. Barea passes to Dwight Powell for the two-handed slam.


Postgame: Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavs PG Dennis Smith Jr. dishes on Monday's 122-105 win over the Nuggets.


Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki dishes on Monday's 122-105 win over the Nuggets.


One-on-one with Salah Mejri

Earl K. Sneed goes one-on-one with Salah Mejri prior to tonight's game against the Denver Nuggets.


Shootaround: Harrison Barnes

Mavs F Harrison Barnes looks ahead to tonight's game against the Nuggets.


Shootaround: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on tonight's game against the Nuggets.

DALLAS — With more than 100 wounded service members from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio seated courtside Monday night, the Dallas Mavericks will have all the inspiration they need to collect a second straight win on their home floor.

Hosting the organization’s 13th annual Seats For Soldiers Night, the Mavericks (6-17) will be surrounded by service men and women as season-ticket holders give up their courtside seats. The Mavs will also attempt to build on Saturday’s 108-82 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers, hosting the Denver Nuggets to conclude a three-game homestand. And with three straight games away from home looming, the Mavericks hope to play inspired basketball in front of a spirited crowd.

“It’s great. It’s a great opportunity for us to show our appreciation for them, and I think it’s great of our organization that the season-ticket holders are able to give up their seats to honor these guys. Hopefully it will be a great game,” Mavs leading scorer Harrison Barnes said of Monday’s matchup.

The Mavericks enter Monday’s game with a 10-2 all-time record on Seats For Soldiers Night, looking to improve on that mark against the high-octane Nuggets (13-9). The Mavs are also eager to take the first outing in the four-game season series, facing the Nuggets for the second straight year on Seats For Soldiers Night after a 112-92 victory on Dec. 12, 2016. Meanwhile, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle is hopeful his team can carry over the success of Saturday’s win. That said, Carlisle believes his team will rise to the occasion and treat the wounded warriors to a show.

“This is an amazing event and one of the most important events that we could possibly be involved with, honoring the service men and women who have given so much,” Carlisle explained. “I’m extremely proud that we can host it, very thankful and grateful to our season-ticket holders for giving up the seats, and it’s always just a really important thing to be a part of.”

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:

Nerlens Noel (left thumb injury) — questionable
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out

DALLAS — After sprinting past the Los Angeles Clippers en route to a runaway 108-82 victory on Saturday, the Dallas Mavericks will try to bring their three-game homestand to a victorious close in equally dominating fashion two nights later.

Leading by as many as 33 during Saturday’s win, the Mavericks (6-17) bounced back in style after a disappointing 109-104 defeat Wednesday to begin their homestand against Brooklyn. The Mavs also collected Rick Carlisle’s 700th career coaching victory, making him the 18th coach in NBA history to reach the milestone. And with the Denver Nuggets set to invade American Airlines Center on Monday night, the Mavericks will try to keep the momentum going before venturing out on the road for three straight games.

“Seven hundred is a lot of wins, so we’re happy to get it for (Carlisle),” 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said after Saturday’s win. “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.

“You know, we needed a win any way we could get it at this point,” Nowitzki added. “We had a good practice (Friday). 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 (Saturday).”

Concluding their homestand Monday night, the Mavericks will have an opportunity to measure themselves against a team that’s currently fighting for playoff contention in the Western Conference standings. The Mavs will also try to seize the first of four regular-season meetings between the teams before hitting the road for 10 total away games in the month of December.

After missing out on the postseason a year ago, the Nuggets (13-9) find themselves now in the heat of the playoff race in the ever-changing West. Meanwhile, getting the better of the up-and-coming Nuggets will be easier said than done after the Mavericks dropped three of the four meetings between the teams last season. Still, Carlisle says he’s confident the Mavs will raise their collective level of play in order to collect a second straight win on their home hardwood.

“We did a nice job from start to finish with a consistent level of force (on Saturday). We were conscientious defensively, and we did a lot of good things. And the challenge is to sustain it,” Carlisle confessed. “You know, Denver’s a better team than Brooklyn and the Clippers the way the Clippers are right now. They’re more dynamic, they’re more athletic, they’re younger and they’re hungrier. It’s going to be a big challenge.”

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:

Nerlens Noel (left thumb injury) — questionable
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out