Final: Lakers 124, Mavs 102
Behind the Box Score
Dennis Smith Jr. extended his streak of consecutive games scoring in double-figures to 23 games, which ties Jamal Mashburn for second place on the list of longest such runs by a rookie in franchise history. Jay Vincent has a comfortable lead in first place at 65 straight games, meaning it’s impossible for Smith to catch him. However, should he score 10+ points tomorrow night at Utah, Smith will be all alone in second place.
In the first half, Dirk Nowitzki passed former Mavs great Jason Kidd (50,110) for fourth place on the all-time regular season minutes played list. By season’s end, he has a good chance to pass Kevin Garnett for third place on that list. It’s been amazing watching him continue to climb on so many lists.
Smith added five points and four rebounds. His outside shot wasn’t falling tonight, which is going to happen from time to time for every young player. The Lakers in particular have done a good job all season of switching longer players onto him who then use their length to try keeping Smith out of the paint. Not many teams have as many switchable wings as the young Lakers do, so that’s been an interesting strategy to see play itself out in these last three meetings. They play again in L.A. on March 28, so we’ll see how Smith manages the next time around. Still, he was able to create some good opportunities for himself and his teammates. As he continues to see new looks from his opponents, it’s going to be fun to watch him grow and adjust to the league as the league continues to do the same for him.
The Mavs (18-40) will play the Utah Jazz (30-39) on Saturday at Vivint Smart Home Arena at 8 p.m. Central.