Final: Mavs 101, Lakers 89

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Lakers launched a 15-0 run at one point in the first quarter to take a 15-7 lead, but Dallas bounced back to trail by just one point, 27-26, at the end of the frame. What’s weird about the Mavs’ comeback is they forced three Lakers turnovers in the first, but didn’t score a single point off of those extra opportunities. Instead, the Mavericks did it all in the halfcourt, in particular scoring 1.45 points per possession when pushing the ball early in the shot clock. It was a game of runs, too, with the Mavs later mounting a 12-0 run of their own in the third quarter.

Harrison Barnes scored in double-figures for the 33rd straight game. That moves past Josh Howard’s 32-game streak during the 2008-09 campaign to become the longest streak by any non-Dirk Maverick since the end of the 2007-08 season. That’s nine seasons. Pretty impressive stuff from the first-year Mav, who hasn’t failed to score at least 10 points yet in blue. The thing about Barnes that stands out most to me is he always believes his next shot is going in, even if he’s missed three or four shots in a row. Not all players share that trait, especially guys who are in expanded roles for the first time. But Barnes has said his teammates’ and coaches’ belief in him makes that sensation much easier to experience. They not only want him to take those shots — they need him to keep shooting.

This was the Mavs’ 12th win in a row against the Lakers, their longest active win streak against any team and also their longest-ever in the franchise’s series against the Lakers.


  • The Mavs suffered a tough home loss on Tuesday night to Houston, and things got a bit testy and emotional. But the club responded as well as one could imagine tonight, taking the game to the Lakers for most of the night, opening up a double-digit lead in the second half behind a huge third quarter and a closing-style fourth. The Mavs appeared to play to their identity tonight, which is to say they played sound, turnover-inducing defense, while offensively they moved the ball well both side-to-side and inside-out to create good looks for everyone. This is how the Mavericks have wanted to play all season long.

  • Dwight Powell was extremely effective on the offensive end in the first half, scoring 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting and grabbing five rebounds. Powell was matched up almost exclusively against small-ball centers, making his job in the pick-and-roll much easier, as he faced less resistance at the rim. The 12 points were the second-most he’s scored in one half in his career, topped only by the 13 he scored in the second half on Tuesday night. He finished with 14 points and six boards on the night. The Mavs’ pick-and-roll was by far their most productive offensive option all night, generating a ton of easy points inside and creating good perimeter looks, as well. It seems if Dwight Powell is in the game, it’s either pick-and-roll or Barnes iso at the elbow. Both have been nice options this year.

  • If the Mavs’ first half belonged to Dwight Powell, the third quarter belonged to Dorian Finney-Smith. The undrafted rookie scored five points and added three rebounds and two assists in that frame alone, including during one stretch scoring or assisting on seven straight points, mixing in two offensive rebounds during that same span as well. The 23-year-old had averaged only 2.6 points on 31.6 percent shooting in his last five games, but he seriously outperformed those numbers tonight, compiling 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting. This is hopefully the beginning of another lengthy, productive stretch for Finney-Smith. For the quarter, Dallas outscored L.A. 31-13, and the rookie had a lot to do with it. It was their largest single-quarter differential since Nov. 28, 2015, when the outscored the Nuggets 25-5 in a home win.

  • Dirk Nowitzki missed both shootaround and the game due to an illness. In related news, Salah Mejri also missed shootaround with an illness, but he was available tonight and played. It was a tough break for the German, who’s still rounding into form on the floor after missing 14 games due to a sore left Achilles. He’d played both legs of the back-to-back earlier this week, so I wonder if he’ll be available tomorrow should his health improve in time. Andrew Bogut, meanwhile, played 22 minutes, his highest total in a game since Dec. 3. He said earlier this week the plan was for him to play only one game on this trip, so I would expect him to ramp up his minutes even more after the New Year break. Dallas doesn’t play again after tomorrow night until Jan. 3, a home game against Washington. It will be interesting to see if J.J. Barea is available at that point, as well.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (10-23) play the Golden State Warriors (28-5) on Friday at Oracle Arena at 9:30 p.m. Central.

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