Final: Mavs 103, Kings 97

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Harrison Barnes tied both his season-high and career-high for assists, with six.


  • Dennis Smith Jr. made a couple real clever, veteran-type plays tonight. The first came very early in the first quarter off an inbound play. Smith lulled De’Aaron Fox to sleep before making a slow lob pass to Harrison Barnes in the post, and then he zoomed around the corner, took the hand-off, and threw down a dunk.

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    If Smith would have been over-anxious before the pass, he might have tipped his hand. Instead, he quite literally went from zero to 100, forcing Fox to react instead of anticipate. It was all the difference between a contested layup and an open dunk.

    The second came in the third quarter, when Smith came off a Dirk Nowitzki high screen and drew two defenders before passing back to the Big German.

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    Smith knew both defenders were sticking with him but stayed patient and not only kept his dribble alive, but also kept moving toward the basket. It would be easy to panic and pass too early, but instead he kept going and created even more room for Dirk to catch and shoot. That extra step makes a huge difference. We saw Monta Ellis do this same thing for two years. It’s what all the vets do. Now Smith is starting to pick up those tricks. He could be a really special player in the pick-and-roll if he keeps developing like this.

  • Harrison Barnes has become very good at one play in particular to help him draw more fouls. It’s subtle but effective, and a big reason why he’s shooting free throws at a higher rate this season. Watch the play below.

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    Barnes dips the ball down without lowering his shoulder then rises straight up. It essentially tricks the defender into making contact with him, as they’ll often either stick their hand in to try to rip the ball from Barnes or move into him to try drawing a charge. But Barnes isn’t trying to create space with this play. He’s trying to draw a foul. It’s a veteran move that he picked up at some point this season and now it feels like we’re seeing it at least once a game. Barnes took six free throws tonight after averaging 5.5 in his previous 12 heading into this one.

  • Yogi Ferrell added another highlight to the hustle reel. During one sequence in the third quarter, a turnover at the rim left the Mavs in a 4-on-5 hole going the other way. Ferrell played free safety during the exchange and was able to make a play.

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    He never gives up on the play, which is something that you can’t say about many NBA players. That’s part of what’s made him such a valuable piece to this team, in addition to his shooting and general defensive acumen. He’s made quite a few plays like this, where it seems like he’s a dead man walking but still comes up with a stop. It certainly makes him an easy player to appreciate and root for.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (23-51) will play the Los Angeles Lakers (32-41) on Wednesday at Staples Center at 9:30 p.m. Central.

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