Final: Mavs 111, Nets 104
Box Score | Highlights
Behind the Box Score
The Nets scored just 17 points in the second quarter, in part because they turned it over six times in the frame. It’s the fewest points allowed by Dallas in a single quarter since allowing 15 in the third quarter against Miami on Feb. 27. The Mavs are now 5-1 in their last six games when holding an opponent to 17 or fewer points in 12 minutes.
The Mavs have now won six of their last seven games in Brooklyn. Interestingly enough, four of the club’s previous five visits before this one have been decided either by one point or in overtime. Today’s contest was close, but unusually not anywhere near the closest game these two teams have played in Barclays in many years.
Devin Harris (+13) and Dorian Finney-Smith (+11) once again found themselves toward the top of the Mavs’ plus-minus leaderboard. Those two always find a way to impact the game positively.
How about J.J. Barea? Brooklyn clawed back from down 18 to come to within one point in the fourth quarter, but the Puerto Rican reserve scored 11 in the final frame, and 20 for the game, to create some separation and carry this club down the stretch. After handing out 13 assists Wednesday in Washington, Barea had another huge game today, in a game the Mavs dearly needed some offensive production from someone, anyone. Dallas is in a desperate position at this point in the season given the current state of the playoff picture and will take a win no matter how it comes. It didn’t come easy today, but the Mavs won’t complain. This was a solid response from the Mavericks after Friday night’s disappointing loss to Philadelphia, and Barea helped carry them over the finish line.
Dirk Nowitzki is still pretty good at this sport. The 38-year-old had been averaging 18.0 points per game through his last seven games heading into this one, and he piled on 23 more efficient points today to extend that stretch. He scored 11 of those points in the third quarter, when he hit three treys and knocked down the statue shot.
He might be 38, but watching Dirk make those impossible shots look so easy will never, ever get old.
Harrison Barnes was a big reason why the Mavs built some separation in the first half, leading by as many as 18 points. He scored 15 points before halftime on 6-of-7 shooting, mixing in drives, mid-range shots, and a 3-pointer to boot. Barnes has said the 3’s been more difficult for him this season than in years past, mostly because he’s defending bigger players more consistently for the Mavericks so he sometimes just doesn’t have the legs to knock down those long-range shots. I expect that’s something he’s going to work hard on this summer; the 3-point shot is obviously a huge part of the Mavs’ offense, so any extra production he can give the team from beyond the arc is going to help both him and the club. Then again, Barnes also came up with some of the biggest buckets of the game for the Mavs down the stretch. Who needs 3s when you can do this?
Wesley Matthews was especially effective on the move in this game, appearing to have some extra pep in his step. As time goes on and he recovers more from the calf strain that sidelined him last week, Matthews is going to return to the form he was in before missing that time. He’s a much more dynamic player at the small forward position because he’s got a quickness advantage over most of his defenders, and he can attack defenses off the dribble after the two guards knock the opponent off-balance running some pick-and-rolls. Matthews had three more assists today and very easily could’ve had some more. He can really see the floor well.
The Mavs (30-39) will play the Golden State Warriors (55-14) on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.