The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Spurs

Final: Spurs 97, Mavs 91

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

This was by far the slowest game in terms of possessions the Mavs have played in a while. The Spurs rank toward the bottom in pace and the Mavs aren’t too far ahead of them, so you know when two slower teams meet, the possessions will be few. That means they come at a premium, because you’re not going to get too many chances with the ball. Things like turnovers and allowing offensive rebounds can be even more costly in a game like this

JJ Barea had been shooting just 2 of 10 on 3-pointers in his last two games before this one, but tonight he shot 3 of 6 to get back on track and bust the slump.

This was Dennis Smith Jr.’s seventh straight game with at least 15 points. It’s the longest such streak by a Mavs rookie since Jamal Mashburn did it 15 consecutive times from February to March 1994. Keep the team’s rookie record book and an eraser handy, because Smith is going to find his name on more and more all-time franchise lists. He finished with a career-high 27 points tonight.


  • Harrison Barnes has said many times in his years as a Maverick that having to bang with bigs in the post on defense takes a toll on his legs when it comes time to hoist jumpers on offense. You never want to assume, but Barnes’ shooting line tonight makes you wonder if having to defend LaMarcus Aldridge down low affected him on the other end. Make no mistake: Barnes is fully capable of exploiting a quickness advantage against bigger, slower defenders, but the Spurs are so good defensively that as a unit San Antonio is capable of making up for that and still forcing difficult shots. Barnes still managed to break into double-figures and went to the free throw line five times, which was good to see. The good news is there aren’t many teams in the NBA who have the combination of system and personnel that the Spurs do. Most nights, Barnes, has the edge in this kind of matchup.

  • Maxi Kleber got some significant playing time tonight due to the absences of Devin Harris and Dorian Finney-Smith. The German rookie was effective in his time on the floor, too, scoring five points and blocking a shot. He threw down one of the better dunks we’ve seen in the building this season:

    And he soon after followed it up with a blocked shot and another dunk:

    Rick Carlisle said this morning that Finney-Smith will be out “a while,” and while Harris likely won’t miss too much more time, the fact remains that there are wing minutes to be had on this team. If Kleber can continue to be productive, he could be the one to claim that playing time.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (2-13) will play the Minnesota Timberwolves (8-5) on Friday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.