Final: Rockets 104, Mavs 97

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Dennis Smith Jr. extended his streak of consecutive games scoring in double-figures to 21 games, and he’s now all alone in third place on the list of longest such runs by a rookie in franchise history. Next up is Jamal Mashburn at 23 games.

Yogi Ferrell put up some gaudy numbers in this opportunity at expanded minutes and a spot in the starting lineup, a common trend tonight. He finished with 20 points — his third-most in a game all season — and a season-high three steals. Ferrell knocked down a game-high-tying four 3-pointers in eight attempts. When you hit the most 3s in a game against the Rockets, you know you had it going.


  • Dennis Smith Jr. handed out a career-high 11 assists in this game. Smith played a very sharp floor game tonight, which isn’t always easy to do against a roster well-stocked on the wing like the one Houston has. The Rockets can switch everything to put length on point guards and long, active arms in passing lanes, but Smith was able to make a lot happen regardless. Three of his 11 dimes came via lob passes, which seems to be a new trick he’s showing off more of lately.

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    Smith has now handed out at least five assists in 12 of his last 13 games, after having done so in just 15 of his first 36 games as a pro. Assists aren’t the be-all, end-all stat when measuring a point guard’s ability to run an offense, but it’s still good to see the rookie establish some consistency in that regard. His all-around passing game is improving, but he’s getting much better at providing the finishing touch to a possession.

  • With no Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews, J.J. Barea, or Salah Mejri due to injury, the Mavs were down to just nine active players tonight. The starting lineup included the familiar faces of Smith, Yogi Ferrell, and Harrison Barnes, but also some less-experienced starters in Dwight Powell and Doug McDermott, who were starting for just the 10th and 11th time in their careers, respectively. That left Kyle Collinsworth, Jalen Jones, Maxi Kleber, and Johnathan Motley available off the bench on the second night of a back-to-back against the team with the second-best record in the NBA. Those guys put in a heck of an effort to keep this game as close as it was throughout. It was nice to see so many players take advantage of the opportunity. Among them were Dwight Powell, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds (and has scored 17+ points in four of his last five games now) and Ferrell, who we mentioned earlier. But Jalen Jones scored eight points and pulled down 10 rebounds in 22 minutes, and Kyle Collinsworth stuffed the stat sheet with six points, eight boards, five assists, two blocks, and a steal in 31 minutes. Rick Carlisle said on Saturday night that the younger players are going to get more opportunities to play throughout the rest of the season, and tonight was an example of several of those guys putting this time to good use and proving they can play at a high level against a team that has a good shot at making a deep playoff run.

  • Collinsworth also did this, which was awesome.

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    What’s Next

    The Mavs (18-39) will play the Sacramento Kings (17-37) on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.

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