McDermott Block, Powell Alley-Oop
Doug McDermott blocks a dunk attempt followed by J. J. Barea feeding Dwight Powell for an alley-oop in transition.
DALLAS — With the franchise’s new interim chief executive officer in the building, the Dallas Mavericks put on one of their best performances in recent weeks.
“We needed to get a win and get some momentum going,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We have had good games in recent days, weeks, whatever, but there’s nothing like winning.
“The way things are at this moment with everything going on, it’s uplifting to everyone. And I was with Cynthia before the game and she said that if we didn’t win she’d kick my (rear end).”
It was an agonizing game for the Mavs, who almost squandered a 13-point fourth-quarter lead. The Pacers (34-26) narrowed the deficit to two points before Harrison Barnes iced it for the Mavs with a pair of free throws with 11 seconds remaining that widen the Mavs’ lead to 105-101.
The win was a complete breath of fresh air for the Mavs, who improved to 19-42 going into Wednesday’s home game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“It’s good to get this win, especially at home, and much-needed after everything that’s going on,” guard J.J. Barea said. “It gives us energy for this week – we come to practice with a win, and our heads are a lot better.”
The Mavs shot 45.5 percent from the field and committed just 10 turnovers in defeating a Pacers’ squad that’s in the running for one of the top four playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference. This invariably was a confidence-builder of a win for the Mavs, who got 15 points from Doug McDermott and 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds from Dwight Powell.
McDermott received a nifty over-the-head pass deep in the corner from Barea and promptly buried a 3-pointer that increased the Mavs’ lead to 88-78 with 7:06 remaining in the game. That got the crowd all riled up, and the Mavs managed to overcome some nervous moments down the stretch and leave AAC with a feather in their cap.
“My motto is to let it fly and J.J. threw it up to me,” McDermott said. “Right when it left my hands I knew it was going in.
“It was one of those shots, I think it got the team going a little bit.”
In the end, the Mavs scored 41 points in the fourth quarter as – saved a few anxious possessions – their execution was flawless. It certainly was much needed, since Dallas only led 68-65 after the first three quarters.
“At the end of the third I looked and the scores were in the 60s,” Carlisle said. “It didn’t look to me like either team was going to get to 100, but strange things can happen in NBA games.
“Our momentum runs got us into a strong position and forced them to foul. That led to a lot of points, but we battled in this game.”
Barea, who came off the bench after starting in recent weeks, finished with 19 points and nine assists and was a solid floor general.
“I’m playing great basketball, I’m really comfortable with this team, I love my teammates,” Barea said. “My coaches, they put me in great situations.
“Whether I start or whether I come off the bench — and I got great rhythm with this team and with my teammates — it feels great to be out there.”
And for the Mavs, it was encouraging news for the new interim CEO see them collect a victory.
“We met her today,” Barea said. “And it’s great for her to see us win.”
|B. Bogdanovic, SF||35||8-16||2-4||1-1||3||5||8||1||0||0||2||0||6||19|
|T. Young, PF||35||2-11||0-2||2-4||3||11||14||2||1||0||1||1||11||6|
|M. Turner, C||36||10-14||2-2||2-4||2||9||11||2||1||3||1||3||5||24|
|V. Oladipo, SG||22||8-13||0-3||5-6||0||5||5||4||1||1||3||4||3||21|
|C. Joseph, PG||36||4-8||1-2||1-1||0||5||5||2||0||0||0||5||-12||10|
|G. Robinson III||21||4-6||0-2||2-3||0||1||1||3||1||0||0||0||-6||10|
Show Bench Hide Bench
|H. Barnes, SF||31||7-17||1-6||6-7||1||2||3||1||1||0||2||2||-14||21|
|D. Powell, PF||32||5-10||0-0||0-0||2||12||14||1||0||0||1||5||7||10|
|D. Nowitzki, C||24||3-10||1-4||0-0||0||7||7||2||1||0||0||2||20||7|
|W. Matthews, SG||31||5-12||3-9||0-0||1||1||2||1||2||1||1||3||-14||13|
|D. Smith Jr., PG||28||4-11||1-5||3-4||0||3||3||4||3||0||2||0||-6||12|
Show Bench Hide Bench
Barnes And-One Layup
Harrison Barnes drives through the defense and hits on an awkward layup, plus the foul.
McDermott Three At Buzzer
Doug McDermott launches a 3-pointer from the wing and banks it in at the buzzer.
Postgame: Dennis Smith Jr.
Mavs PG Dennis Smith Jr. dishes on Monday's win over the Pacers.
Postgame: Doug McDermott
Mavs F Doug McDermott dishes on Monday's win over the Pacers.
Postgame: Dirk Nowitzki
Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki dishes on Monday's win over the Pacers.
Postgame: Harrison Barnes
Mavs F Harrison Barnes dishes on Monday's win over the Pacers.
Postgame: Dwight Powell
Mavs F Dwight Powell dishes on Monday's win over the Pacers.
DALLAS – It’s been nearly two weeks since the Dallas Mavericks last played a home game. And boy, are they ready to feed off the partisan home crowd in hopes that they’ll help them get off to an early lead and propel them to a victory.
After opening the post-All-Star game version of their season with back-to-back road games against the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz this past Friday and Saturday, respectively, the Mavs return home to host the Indiana Pacers tonight. It’ll be the Mavs’ first home game since they played Sacramento on Feb. 13, and slow starts have been a bugaboo for the Mavs the last two games.
The Lakers led the Mavs 23-5 midway through the first quarter en route to winning, 124-102. And the Jazz busted out to a 33-18 lead over the Mavs late in the first quarter before hanging on for a 97-90 victory.
Thus, the recipe for defeating the Pacers is simple.
“The first quarter at home, we’ve got to do a better job, especially the first five minutes and then we’ll have a better chance,” guard J. J. Barea said. “I just want us to compete like we did (Saturday), everybody get their rest and go out there and play hard and we’re going to give ourselves a chance to win the game.”
The Mavs will be searching for the season series sweep of the Pacers. Back on Dec. 27 in Indiana, the Mavs finished the game on a brisk 14-4 run and wound up beating the Pacers, 98-94.
In the meantime, rookie point guard Dennis Smith Jr. said “it will be great” to finally get back to Dallas and play in front of the home town fans.
“I think the fans have missed us,” Smith said. “That’ll be exciting to be back home.”
Forward Dirk Nowitzki believes when the Mavs (18-42) scratch and claw the way they did in Utah, they have a better chance at leaving the arena with a win in their hip pocket.
“Compete for our home fans that are going to be there to support us,” Nowitzki said. “And just play hard.”
The Pacers certainly have been competing as they’re currently the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and owns the identical 34-25 record as the fourth-seeded Washington Wizards. Indiana also has a four-game winning streak and are well-rested, because the only game it has played since the All-Star break occurred Friday when they spanked the Atlanta Hawks, 116-93.
Guard Victor Oladipo, who played in his first All-Star game eight days ago, leads Indy with 24.2 points and 2.1 steals per game. Euless Trinity High School product Myles Turner averages 13.4 points and 6.7 rebounds per contest.
“They’ve been playing well,” Nowitzki said. They’ve got a good young group.
“Oladipo is playing fantastic, so they’re a tough crew this year.”
In sizing up the Pacers, forward Harrison Barnes said: “Once again another team with some firepower. We saw them at their place and we just have to execute a little bit better and just take care of the ball.”
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — questionable
Seth Curry (left leg surgery) – out
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out