Harrison Barnes dropped 30, Dennis Smith Jr. had a highlight dunk to put the nail in the coffin, and the Dallas Mavericks scored over 100 points for the seventh time in eight games to beat the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden 110-97.
Harrison Barnes: Mid-range Extraordinaire
Barnes has mastered the craft of the mid-range game and it was on display against the Knicks. Barnes shot 3 for 5 in the mid-range, including looks at the key and both sides of the baseline. His ability to nail mid-range jumpers has opened up the lane for him as well. Over his last four games he has attempted 31 free throws, most of which can be attributed to the defense guarding him in the mid-range and thus allowing him to drive the ball. Against New York Barnes went to the line for nine free throws and converted on all nine of his attempts. He finished the game with 30 points, on 10 for 19 shooting, to go along with 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and a +17 plus/minus.
Third Quarter Success
Third quarters have not been nice to the Mavericks this year. Dallas is 25th in the NBA in points scored in the third quarter with an average of 25 per game, per NBA.com. Luckily they played the 26th place team tonight. With 8:49 to go in the 3rd, the Knicks would take a 64-59 lead on a Tim Hardaway Jr. dunk. That would be the last time they would lead the game. The Mavericks would go on a 19-0 run that lasted roughly 7 minutes. Dirk Nowitzki started it off with a three pointer and Dennis Smith Jr., Harrison Barnes, and Yogi Ferell would provide the rest of the points. The Knicks finally scored with 1:49 left to go in the third. Dallas outscored New York 26 to 12 in the third and took an 83-72 lead into the fourth quarter.
Dennis Smith Jr. Dunks
DSJ did not have the most efficient night from the field. He finished the game with 17 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 block for a +18 plus/minus in 31 minutes of action. His plus/minus was the highest on the team. The one blemish on an otherwise fine game was his shooting efficiency, which we should expect from a rookie point guard. Dennis shot 31% from the field, making 6 of 19 shots, including 3 of 8 from the three point line. However, he did shoot 100% from the free throw line, converting on both of his attempts. One of his makes was a nasty windmill jam on a fast-break at the end of the game to put the nail in the Knicks coffin, check it out below.
Dennis Smith Jr.’s message to the team that didn’t draft him pic.twitter.com/jVPwBueWga
— DeWobdre Ayton (@World_Wide_Wob) March 14, 2018
Bonus Dunk: This one in the pre-game warm up line defies gravity
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 13, 2018
Full Course Meelz
NBA G-League and Texas Legends call-up Jameel Warney (@fullcoursemeelz) got to see action for extended minutes tonight. Coach Carlisle put him on the floor for 12 minutes and let him close out the game. Warney made the most of his time by finishing with 8 points on 57% shooting to go along with 3 rebounds. During his time on the court he constantly fought for offensive rebounds and brought the hustle that will earn him another 10-day contract and possibly a permanent deal to close out the season.
The Mavericks (22-46) head to Tornoto to take on the Raptors (50-17, 28-5 at home) on Friday at 6:30 PM central time on Fox Sports Southwest. Toronto is currently on a 9 game winning streak and has won 16 of their last 17 games. The Raptors hold a four game lead for first place in the Eastern Conference.
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