Final: Bulls 108, Mavs 100

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Mavs have been getting off to sluggish offensive starts lately, but that was anything but a problem tonight. Dallas scored its first 12 points of the game in the paint and practically lived at the rim for the entire quarter, scoring 1.231 points per possession in the frame and 32 overall. Dallas is 9-3 this season when scoring 30+ points in the first quarter.

The Mavs had an even more successful third quarter, scoring 1.5 points per possession. Unfortunately, though, the club turned it over five times in both quarters, which led to some easy Bulls points the other way.

Chicago turned 16 Mavs turnovers into 27 points. That’s an extremely high rate and was unquestionably the difference in the game. Dallas has been one of the best teams at avoiding turnovers for years now, and while 16 is a few higher than normal, it’s very hard to produce that many points from those chances.


  • Dennis Smith Jr. was the driving force behind the Mavs’ quick start, constantly attacking the rim against any and every defender. His first four possessions were drives — all to his left — and they resulted in three made layups and a drawn shooting foul.

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    A smooth, easy start like that builds confidence and can lead to some nifty stuff later on. This play in particular stood out, with Smith hard dribbling then stepping back a la James Harden, nearly ending in the same exact result as Harden’s infamous play the other night.

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    Smith notched his first 20-point game since Feb. 8 and just his second 20-pointer since Jan. 20. He finished the game with 25 points.

  • Yogi Ferrell scored two points in the game, but a bunch more with this play.

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    He made a bad pass. It was a mistake. But instead of hanging his head and not getting back on defense, Ferrell hustled back down the floor and made a play, saving Dallas two points and certainly winning some respect from his teammates when the club watches film later. That’s the kind of play that the coaches will rave about and the teammates will respect. Ferrell does a lot of dirty work that goes unnoticed — especially on the glass — so it was nice to see him do something “loud” enough to get a bit more of the spotlight.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (19-44) will play the New Orleans Pelicans (35-26) on Sunday at American Airlines Center at 6 p.m. Central.

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