Final: Hawks 112, Mavs 97
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Mavs attempted 38 free throws in this one, their most in a game since April 4, 2015. Dallas was able to get into the lane early and often in this one, especially after a bit of a slow start from the field in the opening frame. The Mavericks forced the issue and earned their attempts.
Wesley Matthews hit his 1,000th-career three-pointer tonight in his 488th game, becoming the second-fastest active player to do so behind only Golden State’s Stephen Curry.
It was good to see Dirk Nowitzki back in the lineup after missing a game for rest. Dallas has a winning record without Nowitzki this season, a stat you’re probably surprised to see. But this team has more depth and quality throughout the lineup than many other teams in Dirk’s career, so it shouldn’t be a huge shock to see the club perform well when he’s on the sideline. However, the German was one of the best scorers on the floor tonight in a game in which only a few players for either team found a true rhythm. Nowitzki finished with 18 points in his return to action. He’s now inside 100 points away from 29,000 for his career.
At one point in the second quarter, Dallas fell behind 47-31. But the Mavs scored 11 straight points behind Raymond Felton and Nowitzki to come back to within 47-42 before the deficit finally settled at 53-46 at halftime. The Mavericks connected on only four field goal attempts in the second quarter which came outside of 10 feet, but as a team they shot 7 of 13 from within 10, and that’s what matters. The longball simply wasn’t falling early on, so Felton and Nowitzki took the initiative to relentlessly attack the paint. Between their penetration and eight offensive rebounds in the one frame alone, the Mavs were able to generate enough good looks to produce 31 points in the quarter despite shooting just 40.7 percent in the period.
Deron Williams took a hit to his hip in the first half and would briefly exit the game and then return. But after playing another couple minutes, Williams left the game and wouldn’t return, suffering a hip contusion. It’s unclear if he’ll miss any future action, but after watching him tally 27 points in last night’s win against Phoenix, it’s clear Dallas would like to see him back as quickly as possible.
The Mavs (28-23) play the Miami Heat (27-21) Wednesday at American Airlines Center. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m. Central.
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