The Dallas Mavericks picked up win number six on the season and win No. 700 for head coach Rick Carlisle on Saturday with a 108-82 drubbing of the depleted Los Angeles Clippers at the American Airlines-Center.
The win moved Dallas to 6-17, a game ahead of their pace from the 2016-17 season.
The Mavericks jumped out to a 10-4 lead, but the Clippers responded with an 8-3 run in the opening quarter, but Harris helped key a surge the put Dallas’ lead to 24-17 after one and the Mavericks never looked back. Dallas used a 20-4 run in the third to effectively put the game out of reach.
The Clippers’ offense, severely hampered by injuries to Blake Griffin and Patrick Beverley, managed just 19 points in the first 17 minutes of play and finished shooting 34.9 percent from the field (30-of-86) and 27.3 percent from deep (6-of-22).
Carlisle praised the Mavericks’ defensive effort after what he called a “below-average” effort against Brooklyn last week.
“I thought we bounced back really well,” he said. “Also, I think this was the best defensive effort we’ve seen from Dennis to this point.”
Regarding the wins milestone, Carlisle said he counts “these type of things less and less as time goes on.”
“I’m very fortunate,” he said. “I’ve worked for three great owners and been around a lot of great people and players.”
The Mavericks held a statistical advantage in nearly every category, even rebounding. Dallas held a 54-38 advantage on the boards.
Despite holding a huge lead late, the game marked another DNP-CD for Nerlens Noel. Jeff Withey contributed two points in garbage time for the Mavericks.
Barea finished with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. He also had 10 assists making him the third Maverick to record a 20-point, 10-assist game off the bench along with Jason Terry and Nick Van Exel.
Dirk Nowitzki also played a big role in the win finishing 5-of-5 from deep and 16 points. Harris had 15 points and was 10-of-11 at the line.
Dennis Smith Jr. finished with 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting including 1-of-2 from deep. He had several strong finishes at the rim, including a nifty up-and-under during Dallas’ third-quarter push.
“I think his overall play is getting much more efficient,” Carlisle said. “He’s getting much more decisive and his defense tonight was terrific.”
The Mavericks face Denver at home on Monday to close out their current 4-game homestand. The Nuggets may be without star center Nikola Jokic who injured his ankle last week.
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