Connect with us

Mavs fall in home opener without Nowitzki

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

DALLAS, TX–Despite playing without Dirk Nowitzki (illness) for the first time this season, the Dallas Mavericks were able to stick closely with the Houston Rockets before a fourth quarter rally helped the Rockets pull away for good in the home opener at American Airlines Center.


Game Summary


Dallas was able to keep pace with Houston in the early stages, tying the Rockets at 24 by the end of the first quarter. Mavs guard J.J. Barea received the start in place of Nowitzki with Dallas electing to utilize a small-ball rotation, including Wes Matthews and Harrison Barnes at the forward positions with Deron Williams at the other guard spot and Andrew Bogut at center. The Mavs were able to hold James Harden scoreless on six shot attempts in the first quarter though the bearded one did eventually grace the scoreboard in the first half, finishing with 10 points at the break.


Williams also produced some first half gems for the Mavs’ offense, taking advantage of inopportune matchups against Rockets’ big man Nene Hilario on the baseline and also defensive-minded specialist Trevor Ariza for consecutive baskets in the first half.


Williams led all Mavs scorers at halftime with 13 points before Harrison Barnes stole the stage, exploding for 19 points in the second half for a career-high performance in the team’s home opener. Harden erupted for 12 points in the third quarter, including a barrage of three-point baskets, helping the Rockets create a ten-point lead heading into the fourth quarter and despite a fourth quarter push, the Mavs were unable to close the gap on Houston’s lead in the second half.


Final Score: Rockets 106, Mavs 98


Individual Stats


The Mavs received a career performance from Harrison Barnes in their home opener. Prior to the opening tip Barnes stood at center court and welcomed the crowd of Mavs fanatics to the team’s home opener before proceeding to log a career-high in shot attempts with 23 on the evening.


Harrison Barnes ­– 31 points (13-of-23 shooting), 5 rebounds


Deron Williams – 14 points (5-of-11 shooting), 4 assists


J.J. Barea – 10 points (3-of-10 shooting), 5 rebounds, 5 assists


Wesley Matthews scored 13 points but struggled to find any consistency in his shot making, connecting on 4 of 14 attempts from the field for an inefficient 28.5 percent from the field. As noted below, Matthews is not worried about his shot even if we are.


Quotes of the Night


“I’m not worried about my shot. I’m not worried about it. Y’all can worry about it. I won’t. I’m gonna do me, stay aggressive, keep shooting my shot; it is what it is. They’re gonna fall, but I dare you to question my effort and everything else that goes along with the basketball game.” – Wes Matthews


(Quote via Tim Cato, Mavs Money Ball)


“It’s just a matter of putting it all together. We haven’t quite put it together where we’re making baskets and getting stops.” – Harrison Barnes


(Quote via Earl K. Sneed,


“The last 15 minutes we lost something, that’s disappointing.” – Rick Carlisle


(Quote via Mike Leslie, WFAA)


Up Next


The Mavs will travel I-45 for a rematch with the Houston Rockets at 4:45 p.m. Sunday in Houston. This game will conclude the home-and-home series between both teams.


Final Note


Despite the loss, Barnes was able to notch a new career-high in scoring with 31 points on the evening. Also, Williams was able to escape with Hilario’s ankles as demonstrated in the highlight below.


Podcast host and credentialed media member covering Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Wings | Roamed the rapidly growing area of Arlington Texas for the last 25 years. I graduated Texas Tech in 2014 with my Bachelor's degree in Media and Communications and currently obsess over basketball full-time. In my free time, I'm a substitute teacher and also an Uber driver. I've been following the Mavs since Jason, Jimmy and Jamal were young up-and-comers. If you need their last names, please don't ask me.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Recent Posts