Final: Pelicans 126, Mavs 109
Behind the Box Score
Dirk Nowitzki moved past Elvin Hayes (10,976) for eighth place on the all-time career field goals made list tonight. Another achievement for Nowitzki.
The Mavs can go so many directions out of that two-man set. They can run a hand-off for Smith as they did in that play, run a pick-and-pop or pick-and-roll, or re-screen a couple times until they get a favorable look. The Pelicans switch pretty liberally — as do most teams these days — so if you run enough screens, eventually one of the two players will be able to draw a mismatch. At that point, it just comes down to taking advantage of the situation. It’ll be interesting to see if they keep going to that in future games as often as they did tonight. Both Smith (23 points) and Barnes (18) had solid scoring nights.
Barnes is proven enough as a scorer to command respect when he has the ball, especially in a favorable position like on the block or at the elbow. If he can also show an ability to read the defense and move the ball effectively, it’s going to add another dimension to his game and to his team’s offense.
There are a lot of things in life to be upset about. No one makes as much money as they want to. People often feel wronged by the ones they love. No one likes paying taxes. But for every single thing that has made you miserable for the last two decades, Dirk Nowitzki has hit a trailing 3 from the top of the arc. That, more than the one-legged fade, is what this sport will be missing the most whenever the Big German decides to hang ’em up. (Hopefully it’s after next year, not this year.) Yes, that trailing 3 is mesmerizing.
The Mavs (19-45) will play the Denver Nuggets (35-28) on Tuesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.