Game 62: Mavs vs. Thunder

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Barnes Scores 26 in Overtime Loss

Harrison Barnes led the way for the Mavericks against the Thunder as he scores 26 points with five rebounds and five assists.

DALLAS – On a night when Dirk Nowitzki became the sixth player in NBA history to score at least 31,000 points, the Dallas Mavericks narrowly dropped another close game as they ended up losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-110 in overtime, Wednesday night at American Airlines Center.

Russell Westbrook scored on a three-point play with 38.2 seconds remaining, and Dennis Smith Jr. misfired on a contested shot from the left corner at the buzzer as the Mavs ended this short two-game home stand with a 1-1 record.

While setting up the final shot, the Mavs (19-43) brought the ball inbounds with just 6.1 seconds remaining. But by the time the ball reached Smith, very little time was left on the clock and he was crowded by a bevy of OKC players.

“They did a good job defending the play,” said Smith, who collected 17 points and six assists. “I had a look that it was a makeable shot. I’ve just got to make it.”

Coach Rick Carlisle acknowledged that Smith was heavily guarded on the play, which made the shot more difficult to make.

“We had to make a read and because of how they were playing it, we did and that situation is going to be difficult, and it was difficult,” Carlisle said. “Dennis got a look, but it wasn’t a great look, obviously.

“And the game ended here the way the last game ended there with them missing a difficult shot on the last play (and the Mavs winning 116-113 on Dec. 31 in Oklahoma City).”

Dwight Powell (21 points, eight rebounds, three steals) sent the game into overtime tied at 100 apiece when he snatched an offensive rebound and scored as time expired in regulation play. In overtime, the Mavs even held a 110-108 lead when Harrison Barnes (26 points) fired in a jumper from the corner over Raymond Felton with 1:21 left.

However, shortly thereafter Westbrook came barreling down the court and slithered through the Mavs’ defense, scored, was fouled by Powell and proceeded to toss in the free throw that ultimately turned out to be the game-winning point.

The game marked the return of center Nerlens Noel, who has recovered from left thumb surgery and last played a game on Nov. 22, 2017. Noel was obviously rusty and finished the night with four points, three rebounds and three turnovers in 16 minutes.

And Noel collected those three turnovers in the first three minutes he was on the floor.

“Predictably it was a difficult start,” Carlisle said of Noel. “I think he was very amped up to play, but overall I was very pleased.

“He played with a lot of activity. It was a big minus early and then the second half he was in there with a group that made an important run in the game, so I think there’s many positives there.”

Noel, who wore a wrap on his left hand, said he felt good on the court under the circumstances.

“Certain things would come back within a short period of time, but overall I thought I went out there and did what I had to do and things will just continue to improve as every game goes along,” Noel said. “I thought it was good, though.

“I thought we established some chemistry. Guys just got to get used to playing with me again and knowing where I’m going to be and knowing where to throw it. It’s just all of the easy things that’ll fix itself.”

OKC (36-27) bolted out to a 28-14 lead less than 10 minutes into the game and led 45-30 midway through the second quarter. The Thunder also wound up beating the Mavs on the boards, 56-36.

“The poor start killed us,” Carlisle said. “That was a big part of it, and then getting beat by 20 on the boards is really difficult.”

Despite those adversities, the Mavs hustled back and built a 91-84 lead with 6:42 left in the game on the back on J.J. Barea. During one stretch, Barea scored 12 of the Mavs’ 15 points and assisted on the another basket – a 3-pointer by Nowitzki.

“I was able to get a little rhythm there in the fourth quarter,” Barea said, “and I was able to get us going a little bit it that fourth.”

Barea finished with 12 points and seven assists, and noted the frustrations of losing so many close games.

“It’s tough, but I think that’s something I think is going to make us better,” Barea said. “Games like tonight I think we put ourselves in situations to win, and the young guys I think it’s good for them to be ion those situations with a chance to win.”

For the Mavs, Wesley Matthews wound up with 11 points and seven rebounds, and Nowitzki collected 12 points and now has scored 31,005 points for his illustrious 20-year career.

“It’s one mind-boggling accomplishment after another, and he does it with such grace and ease,” Carlisle said of Nowitzki. “I’m trying to put into words the amount of work that has gone into this.

“It’s 20 years, but really it’s 30. So my hat’s off to him.”

Thunder

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
P. George, SF 42 8-18 2-6 5-6 2 9 11 6 1 0 6 3 6 23
C. Anthony, PF 36 5-14 2-7 0-0 1 5 6 0 0 0 1 4 -2 12
S. Adams, C 38 4-4 0-0 1-1 9 3 12 2 0 1 4 4 4 9
J. Huestis, SG 22 2-5 2-5 0-0 0 3 3 0 0 0 0 0 -5 6
R. Westbrook, PG 41 11-25 0-5 8-9 3 8 11 7 3 1 9 3 8 30
T. Ferguson 10 1-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 3 2
R. Felton 23 4-9 2-3 0-0 1 4 5 2 0 0 1 4 -7 10
J. Grant 15 4-7 1-2 3-3 3 2 5 0 0 0 0 2 0 12
P. Patterson 15 2-5 0-3 0-0 0 2 2 0 1 0 1 1 0 4
A. Abrines 19 1-4 1-4 0-0 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 3 -2 3
N. Collison 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Johnson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
K. Singler 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
A. Roberson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
TEAM   42-93 10-36 17-19 19 37 56 19 7 2 22 24   111
    45.2% 27.8%                      

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Mavericks

All Stats

PLAYER MIN FG 3PT FT OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF +/- PTS
H. Barnes, SF 38 9-16 3-4 5-5 2 3 5 5 2 0 5 2 -6 26
D. Nowitzki, PF 23 5-9 2-4 0-0 0 5 5 4 1 0 0 4 10 12
D. Powell, C 37 10-13 0-0 1-6 2 6 8 3 3 0 2 3 4 21
W. Matthews, SG 42 4-14 3-10 0-0 3 4 7 1 2 0 2 2 -6 11
D. Smith Jr., PG 39 6-18 2-7 3-4 0 2 2 6 1 0 1 3 -1 17
N. Noel 15 2-4 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 1 1 3 4 -5 4
Y. Ferrell 24 2-4 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 1 0 1 1 -2 4
J. Barea 25 5-10 2-7 0-0 0 2 2 7 0 0 2 1 -4 12
D. McDermott 17 1-3 1-3 0-0 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 2 5 3
K. Collinsworth 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Hopson 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
M. Kleber 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
S. Mejri 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. Jones 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   44-91 13-36 9-15 8 28 36 30 11 1 16 22   110
    48.4% 36.1%                      

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Powell Alley-Oop From Smith Jr.

Dennis Smith Jr. drives into the lane and lobs it to Dwight Powell for the alley-oop.


Noel Stops Westbrook on the Break

Nerlens Noel swats Russell Westbrook at the rim in transition


Powell And-One Dunk

Dirk Nowitzki drives and feeds Dwight Powell for the dunk, plus a foul.


Dirk Makes History

Dirk Nowitzki makes history by scoring 31,000 points and is 6th all-time in scoring.


Barnes Cleans Up the Miss

Harrison Barnes follows the missed oop attempt for the easy cleanup bucket.


Practice Report: Nerlens Noel

Mavs C Nerlens Noel dishes on his highly anticipated return from injury tomorrow night against the Thunder.


Practice Report: Rick Carlisle

Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle weighs in on Nerlens' potential return tomorrow against the Thunder and more.

DALLAS – As the Dallas Mavericks prepare to host the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center, they’ll do so knowing they have another player with exceptional 3-point range that they can depend on.

Doug McDermott, acquired by the Mavs from the New York Knicks on Feb. 8, scored 15 points in just 16 minutes Monday night to help Dallas defeat the Indiana Pacers, 109-103. That includes scoring 12 points while converting all four of his 3-point attempts.

In essence, that’s the type of shooting accuracy the Mavs hope McDermott can produce when they tangle with the Thunder’s Big 3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

“I feel like that should be expected of me,” said McDermott, who is 10-of-14 from 3-point range over the past three games. “I’m a shooter, I’m a scorer.

“I think I still have a lot of room to grow and I’m just excited to be here. It’s a great offensive system and it’s really fun to play in it, and that’s what (Monday) night was.”

The Mavs hold a 2-1 edge in the season series against Oklahoma City after winning 97-81 in Dallas on Nov. 25 and claiming a pulsating 116-113 victory on the Thunder’s court on Dec. 31. OKC prevailed at home over the Mavs, 112-99, on Nov. 12, thanks to outscoring Dallas, 39-25, in the third quarter.

In Westbrook’s previous three games against the Mavs this season, he averaged 31 points, 11 rebounds and 8.3 assists. He also registered a triple-double – 38 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists – when the Mavs emerged victorious over the Thunder on the road on New Year’s Eve.

Westbrook has been steadily filling up the stat sheet for the Thunder (35-27). He’s ninth in the NBA in scoring (24.8), first in assists (10.4) and fifth in steals (1.93).
George averages 19.9 points and leads the league in steals with 2.17 per outing, and Anthony is averaging 13.5 points and 5.9 rebounds. Oklahoma City, in fact, tops all teams in steals with 9.1 per game.

Meanwhile, as they prepare for the fast-pace Thunder, the Mavs are just delighted they have another person coming off the bench in McDermott who can light up the scoreboard in rapid-like fashion.

“His shooting skill is at a very high level,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We knew that, everybody in the league knows it.

“He’s very dynamic offensively, he moves very quickly, he’s explosive on cuts, he finishes cuts, he’s a good finisher on drives. He’s shown that he can make plays when guys are open, and he finds them.”

Injury updates:
Seth Curry (left leg surgery) – out
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — questionable