Final: Mavs 95, Spurs 89
Behind the Box Score
Due to Yogi Ferrell starting, it takes quite a bit of maneuvering to get the Barea-Ferrell-Harris-Dirk-Powell lineup on the floor. But Rick Carlisle was able to pull it off in the fourth quarter of this one, and that group outscored the Spurs by nine points in just a few minutes with inspired play at both ends, including maybe Dwight Powell’s most effective game of the season.
The Spurs had won the previous five games in the series at American Airlines Center heading into this one. Last season the Mavs ended a heck of a drought by winning in San Antonio, too. The Spurs remain an elite team in this conference, but Dallas has managed to play them awfully competitively now for a couple years.
Show me all the evidence suggesting the opposite that you want, but I’ll tell you you’re wrong. That Barea is 33 years old and still doing this to opposing teams is a testament not only to his longevity, but also his ability to keep working to improve even at this stage of his career.
If Harrison Barnes can ever become the passer Dirk Nowitzki is, especially out of double-teams, he can become a really special player and a very difficult guy for opposing teams to guard.
Leonard made his season debut tonight and was otherwise sensational. (He’s the second key Spur to debut against Dallas this season, joining Tony Parker.) But Cleveland was still able to make some nice plays against the superstar forward, which gives you hope that he can continue to improve in his blossoming role off the bench.
The Mavs (8-20) will play the Golden State Warriors (22-6) on Thursday at Oracle Arena at 9:30 p.m. Central.