Game 43: Mavs at Hornets

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GAME RECAP: Mavericks 115, Hornets 111

Harrison Barnes scores 25 points with 11 rebounds to top Kemba Walker's 41-point output, as the Mavericks edge Charlotte, 115-111.

CHARLOTTE — Looking to build on Tuesday’s 114-99 victory to conclude a 1-3 homestand, the Dallas Mavericks hit the road and tried to conclude a daunting back-to-back on a high note.

Traveling to Charlotte for the first meeting of the regular season against the Hornets on Wednesday, the Mavericks tried to muster up enough energy on the second night of a back-to-back. The Mavs also tried to carry over the success of Tuesday’s second half against Orlando after outscoring the Magic 71-51 in the final two quarters. And with leading scorer Harrison Barnes putting the Dallas team on his back in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks (15-28) held on late for a 115-111 victory.

“You know, we’re a resilient group,” Barnes said after the win. “We lost three games at home, and all three were close games. And to lose like that, it’s kind of like it’s devastating. But then to come back these last two, it feels good. So, I’m excited with the way we’re playing. I think we’re competing harder and we’re executing better. And it’s a long road ahead, but we’ve just got to continue taking it one game at a time.”

Making his return to North Carolina and playing his first regular-season game in his home state, Fayetteville native and rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. tried build on his 20-point performance during Tuesday’s win. The Mavs also hoped 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki could carry over his personal success after matching his season high with 20 points as well on Tuesday night. Meanwhile, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle opted to shake up his starting lineup, sliding second-year standout Yogi Ferrell into the first unit in place of German big man Maxi Kleber.

However, the move would quickly backfire as the Hornets (15-24) opened the game on a 9-0 run. Smith and Nowitzki then attempted to settle their team down, scoring the Mavericks’ first five points of the night. Back-to-back three-pointers from Ferrell and Barnes then capped an 11-2 Dallas run to even the score. The Hornets countered with a 13-2 spurt of their own to up the separation to double figures. And behind point guard Kemba Walker’s 11 points, the Hornets took a 28-20 advantage into the second stanza.

“After it was nine-nothing, at that point we set ourselves up for most improved,” Carlisle candidly confessed. “It was a layup drill early for them. We got things fixed a little bit defensively in terms of the penetration, and we started to grind a little bit. And that’s what we’ve got to do.”

Turning the scoring duties over to Nowitzki, the Mavericks tried to stage a rally in the second period. Veteran reserve Devin Harris also provided a boost off the bench, helping to engineer the Mavs back into the game at 38-35 with 6:51 before the halftime break.

Fellow reserve guard J.J. Barea took matters from there, finding Tunisian center Salah Mejri above the rim with a lob pass before swishing a three-pointer to give the Mavericks their first lead of the night at 40-38. Another Barea triple followed as the Mavs built a cushion. And after Mejri’s transition feed to Barea highlighted the quarter, the Mavericks led by as many as 10 before taking a 59-52 advantage into the intermission.

Led by Ferrell’s 10 points on 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the three-point arc, the Mavericks overcame Walker’s 21-point half while being outshot by the Hornets, 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent. The Mavs also battled the Hornets to a 21-all rebounding stalemate, scoring 10 points off Charlotte’s six turnovers while committing five giveaways of their own.

“It was just the will to fight,” Smith explained. “They jumped out on us early and got a lot of paint attacks. That’s what we didn’t want to happen, so we had to refocus and get back in the game to grind it out.”

Attempting to keep their foot on the gas in the second half, the Mavericks would immediately see their lead sliced into after a three-pointer to open the third quarter from Hornets forward Marvin Williams. The Mavs immediately had a response, however, after back-to-back triples from Nowitzki and Ferrell. From there, Ferrell continued to stroke the hot hand a short time later, swishing his fifth three of the night to put the Mavericks up 72-63 midway through the third.

Not to be outdone, the Hornets returned fire with a 6-0 spurt. Ferrell again intervened with a timely trey. And after Walker was handed a technical foul at the 1:47 mark for arguing with the officials, the Mavs slid into the final period with an 83-77 edge under their belt.

Answering a triple by Frank Kaminsky with a three of his own, Nowitzki attempted to keep the Hornets at bay in the fourth quarter. Frustration also began to build for the Mavericks, leading to a technical foul on big man Dwight Powell with 9:16 left to play. The Hornets continued to charge back, though, tying the game at 88-all after Jeremy Lamb’s three-pointer with 9:08 on the clock. Lamb’s driving three-point play then put the Hornets on top 91-90 with 8:33 remaining.

Nowitzki immediately answered with a pull-up jumper to put his team back in front. A patented fadeaway jumper from Nowitzki followed the next time down the floor to put the Mavericks up three. But a three from Hornets rookie sharpshooter Malik Monk tied the game at 94-all, Carlisle was forced into a timeout with 6:23 left to play.

Barnes took charge out of the timeout, connecting on back-to-back jumpers to put the Mavericks ahead by four. The versatile forward again stepped up with a three from the wing after Walker tied the game, swishing a mid-range jumper a short time after that in the midst of scoring nine straight Dallas points. Two free throws from Smith extended the lead to five at 105-100 with 2:32 on the game clock. And after Mejri stole an offensive rebound away from Hornets center Dwight Howard, Ferrell’s three from the top of the key kept the home team at a safe distance.

Walker then brought the Hornets to within three with a transition score over Smith, who extended the lead to 111-107 with 35.9 ticks left after splitting a pair of free throws. Walker didn’t stop there, converting a three-point play over Kleber with 31.7 seconds left to trim the margin to one. Smith retaliated with a trip to the foul line and two free throws to extend the lead to three with 15.7 seconds remaining. The Dallas defense proved to be up to the task, forcing a miss by Walker on a three attempt. But after Powell fouled Howard on the following rebound sequence, the former All-Star big man split a pair of free throws to make it a two-point game with 10.2 ticks left. Barnes then put the game away with two free throws to push the lead back to four with 8.2 seconds remaining to conclude the scoring.

Scoring 13 points in the fourth quarter, Barnes finished a 9-of-13 shooting night with 25 points and 11 rebounds. Ferrell added 22 points, making seven of his 10 shots from three-point range. Nowitzki pitched in 19 points, and Smith filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, three rebounds and six assists. Barea made it five Mavs in double figures with 12 points, six rebounds and five assists off the bench.

“You know, I liked the matchup with Kaminsky. I just tried to be aggressive and attack the rim,” Barnes said while summing up his night. “Once I saw a few shots drop, I was kind of in a rhythm after that. Coach [Carlisle] kept going to me, and I was able to convert.”

“You know, down the stretch when we need a bucket, usually we put it in Harrison’s hands. And he was fantastic tonight,” Nowitzki added. “I mean, his three ball was on, his midrange and his post-up game. He was fantastic.”

Walker led five Hornets in double figures with 41 points on 16-of-28 shooting. The Hornets also outshot the Mavericks for the game, 51.2 percent to 47 percent, adding a 43-39 rebounding edge. However, the Hornets couldn’t make up for the Mavs’ 14 points off 11 Charlotte turnovers.

“[Barnes] closed the game. I mean, he was absolutely brilliant,” Carlisle concluded. “He hit on a variety of shots — twos, threes, drives. And look, that’s what great players do. I was real proud of him. You know, he had a pretty good rhythm going all night, and we just needed to get the ball in his hands.”

Note: The Mavericks will now return to American Airlines Center on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers. 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:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — out

Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
W. Matthews, SF 36 2-8 0-3 0-0 0 4 4 3 1 1 0 0 8 4
H. Barnes, PF 35 9-13 3-5 4-4 1 10 11 2 0 1 0 1 6 25
D. Nowitzki, C 22 8-16 3-7 0-0 0 2 2 2 2 0 0 2 -3 19
D. Smith Jr., SG 31 4-13 0-5 7-8 0 3 3 6 0 2 1 1 1 15
Y. Ferrell, PG 36 7-10 7-10 1-2 0 4 4 1 1 0 1 3 6 22
M. Kleber 12 2-7 0-2 0-0 0 1 1 1 2 0 2 4 -14 4
J. Barea 20 4-9 2-3 2-3 0 6 6 5 0 0 2 2 1 12
D. Harris 19 2-6 0-1 5-7 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 -2 9
S. Mejri 13 1-1 0-0 0-0 1 5 6 2 1 2 2 6 19 2
D. Powell 12 0-0 0-0 3-4 1 1 2 0 0 1 0 2 -2 3
J. McRoberts 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. Motley 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
TEAM   39-83 15-36 22-28 3 36 39 23 7 7 8 22   115
    47.0% 41.7%                      

Show Bench Hide Bench

Hornets

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
M. Kidd-Gilchrist, SF 25 5-9 0-0 1-2 0 4 4 2 0 0 2 4 0 11
M. Williams, PF 28 2-3 1-2 0-0 0 6 6 2 1 0 1 3 3 5
D. Howard, C 35 5-5 0-0 5-18 3 9 12 2 1 4 3 1 -6 15
N. Batum, SG 31 2-9 0-2 0-0 1 6 7 1 0 0 1 0 -5 4
K. Walker, PG 37 16-28 3-9 6-6 0 3 3 4 3 1 1 3 0 41
J. Lamb 22 4-8 1-3 3-4 0 4 4 1 1 0 2 5 -4 12
T. Graham 16 2-4 1-2 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 0 1 1 0 5
F. Kaminsky 18 4-10 2-3 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 -5 10
J. O'Bryant III 2 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 -3 0
M. Carter-Williams 10 1-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 0 0 4 -4 2
M. Monk 11 2-4 2-4 0-0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 6
J. Stone 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
C. Zeller 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Bacon 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Mathiang 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Paige 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   43-84 10-26 15-30 4 39 43 16 6 5 11 22   111
    51.2% 38.5%                      

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All Hustle

Salah Mejri comes up with the steal and finds J.J. Barea for the layup on the break.


Mean Crossover

Dennis Smith Jr. uses the handle to blow past his defender, cruising in for the layup.


Harrison Barnes Scores 25 in Big Win vs. Charlotte | Jan. 10 2018

Harrison Barnes scores 25 points on 9-13 shooting with 11 rebounds and two assists versus Charlotte.


Postgame: Dennis Smith Jr.

Mavs G Dennis Smith Jr. dishes on Wednesday's 115-111 win over the Hornets.


Postgame: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on Wednesday's 115-111 win over the Hornets.


Postgame: Harrison Barnes

Mavs F Harrison Barnes dishes on Wednesday's 115-111 win over the Hornets.


Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki

Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki dishes on Wednesday's 115-111 win over the Hornets.

CHARLOTTE — Leaning on their ageless superstar in the second half, the Dallas Mavericks brought an end to a three-game losing skid and their four-game homestand with a 114-99 victory over Orlando Tuesday night.

Dropping their previous three matchups by a combined 10 points, the Mavericks (14-28) needed every bit of 13-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki’s season high-tying 20 points to lift them to a win. The Mavs also dominated the second half, outscoring the Magic 71-51 in the final two quarters. Now, the Mavericks will attempt to keep the momentum going 24 hours later on the road, traveling to Charlotte to complete a daunting back-to-back against the Hornets (15-23).

“First half, I thought we had some looks. They just didn’t go in,” Nowitzki explained after Tuesday’s win. “We talked about it at halftime that we had to play with a little bit more force on both ends, get into them a little bit more, speed the game up and get in the paint. I thought we did a good job in the first half getting in there and trying to create for others, and that’s what we kept doing in the second half.

“That second half was good. We kept attacking, we kept getting in the paint and kept getting some good looks.”

All told, the Mavericks outshot the Magic on Tuesday, 51.8 percent to 45.6 percent, overcoming a 42-38 rebounding disadvantage by forcing 13 Orlando turnovers. The Mavs will now attempt to muster up enough energy to take down a well-rested Charlotte team that hasn’t played since a 108-94 road win over the Los Angeles Lakers last Friday. And with the Hornets riding the wave of back-to-back wins, veteran swingman Wesley Matthews says the Mavericks will quickly have to put Tuesday’s game behind them in order to seize a second straight victory themselves.

“I mean, it’s a whole new game,” Matthews proclaimed while turning the page on Tuesday’s win. “It’s a whole new game, a whole new preparation and a whole new mentality. You know, obviously, it feels better in the locker room right now. Your morale feels a little bit better, and you’re a little less sore. But it’s a whole different game, and we’ve got to bring it. Home or road, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to bring it.”

Note: The Mavericks will now conclude their back-to-back Wednesday in Charlotte. 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 on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers. 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:

Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — out