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The Fast Break: Mavs at Thunder

Final: Mavs 116, Thunder 113

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Mavs scored 35 points in the first quarter tonight, two days after scoring 36 in New Orleans. It was the fourth time this season they’ve cracked 35 in the first, which is more times than last season (twice) and the year before that one, too (three times).

After scoring a whopping 30 fast break points against the Pelicans two days ago, the Mavericks didn’t score a single point on the break tonight, which is a crazy turnaround. Rick Carlisle admitted that the game in New Orleans didn’t necessarily go the way the Mavs wanted it to, even though they got the win. Much of that had to do with the sometimes breakneck pace of things. Dallas played a much more controlled game tonight and still managed to score pretty efficiently.

Notebook

  • Dennis Smith Jr. might not have put together a triple-double, but he still had an unbelievable stretch run. The rookie point guard hit back-to-back 3-pointers (including banking one in) late to give the Mavs the lead, first 108-106 and then 111-108. The next time down the floor he missed a tough contested 2 late in the shot clock, but would later add a big-time layup in the final minute to put Dallas up three points.

    He’d add three free throws to help ice it. Smith scored 19 points and added six assists and five rebounds. Those are the kinds of plays that could give him heaps of confidence moving forward, especially late in games once the pressure heats up. Smith was previously just 5 of 19 from the field in clutch situations (final five minutes and the score within five points) heading into this game, per NBA Stats. He doesn’t lack for confidence, obviously, but those are the shots that will only keep him that way.

  • Harrison Barnes scored below his season average three straight games heading into this one, but he was magnificent tonight. Oklahoma City switches pretty often but has length at almost every possession, making its defense tough to exploit via mismatches. That meant Barnes and the Mavs had to work deep into the shot clock to find good shots, often leaving Barnes one-on-one with just a few seconds to create.

    He ended the game with 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including knocking down four 3-pointers, the most he’s made in a game since Oct. 28.

  • Teamwork makes the dream work. Early in the game Raymond Felton missed a 3-pointer and the carom sent the ball over the glass, resulting in an out of bounds. However, the ball got stuck atop a rail behind the backboard.

    If this were a playground game, the players would have had to get resourceful to find a way to get it down. But this the NBA, land of giants. So J.J. Barea decided to use one of those tall humans to his advantage.

    The only problem is it didn’t work. BUT it gave us a funny gif. Happy New Year.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (13-25) will play the Golden State Warriors (29-8) on Wednesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.