Final: Mavs 110, Pistons 93

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Mavs scored 65 points in the first half, the most they’ve scored before the intermission all season. They’re now 19-3 in the last five years when scoring at least 65 in the first half.

Dallas led by 23, 89-66, heading into the fourth quarter. The club has now won its previous 93 games when ahead by at least 20 points after three frames dating back to 2002, according to Basketball-Reference. That includes a perfect 43-0 record under Rick Carlisle.


  • Dennis Smith Jr. made his return to action tonight after missing the previous six games with a left hip strain. It didn’t take long for the rookie to remind us of what we’d been missing in his stead.

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    It took Smith a while to completely get into the flow, but he was electric late in the second quarter, delivering a couple assists and hitting a few jumpers, capping off the stretch with a razzle-dazzle and-1 that brought the visiting J Cole out of his seat.

    The platinum rapper was all of us in that moment. When Smith gets it going, he’s a lot of fun to watch. Of course, every player is fun to watch when he’s hitting a bunch of jumpers, but it was how Smith did it that made it better. He used a combination of quickness and decisive dribble moves to create space. That’s a much more reliable way to generate easy offense for yourself than forcing tough, contest pull-ups. He finished with 15 points, five assists, and five rebounds. That’s the version of Smith the Mavs want to see every night for hopefully many, many years to come.

  • Harrison Barnes has played some bully ball in the last couple games, attacking the basket over and over again. He had a team-high 12 rim attacks off of drives and cuts, per Mavs analytics, which is around where you want him to be on a nightly basis. He took six shots in the paint tonight, sank two of his four 3-pointers, and attempted six free throws en route to 25 points, seven rebounds, and two assists. That’s a terrific game.

  • Devin Harris doesn’t get a lot of shine because of his relatively limited role and the number of minutes he plays off the bench, but he was very effective tonight. The Mavs got off to a bit of a sluggish start in the first quarter, but Harris immediately injected some energy into the game upon checking in. He connected with big men for two dunks and completed a three-point play in the opening quarter, then stayed aggressive throughout the game and ended up with seven points, three assists, a steal, and a block. He’s been the team’s best plus-minus guy this season by far, and tonight was an example of why.

  • Kyle Collinsworth made his NBA debut tonight, a day after signing a two-way contract with the Mavericks. Collinsworth spent the early part of the season just up the Tollway with the Texas Legends before agreeing to the deal with the Mavericks, in part a response to Antonius Cleveland’s ankle injury. Collinsworth is the all-time D-I leader in career triple-doubles with 12, and for trip-dubs in a season with six, so you know he can fill up a box score. But he’s taken an important stride this season, improving as a 3-point shooter. That’s where his first NBA shot came from and he knocked it down.

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    If he can keep knocking down the long-ball, he can be a really nice player. Be on the lookout for the new episode of Numbers on the Boards, which will feature Collinsworth as a guest with Skin and me!

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (9-23) will play the Miami Heat (15-15) on Friday at American Airlines Arena at 7 p.m. Central.

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