The Fast Break: Mavs at Jazz

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Final: Jazz 104, Mavs 89

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

Devin Harris was the only Maverick who attempted a free throw in the first half. He made each of his four free throws. The Mavs were actually top-half in the NBA in free throw attempt rate heading into this one, meaning they’re middle-of-the-pack in terms of volume of free throw attempts relative to the number of field goal attempts they take. That’s a big improvement over last season, when the club ranked 29th in free throw rate. Harrison Barnes in particular has made it a point to attack more often. Let’s hope that remains the case as the season wears on.

Notebook

  • This one was a tale of two halves. The Mavs won the first one fairly decisively, but the Jazz followed suit in the second. Despite the Mavs, record, there’s plenty of good tape out there of the defense coming up with stops and the offense filling it up. Right now it’s just a problem of consistency — how can Dallas keep the ball flying around on offense while avoiding stray passes, and how can the Mavericks get enough stops on the defensive end while typically playing smallish lineups? Winning is a very delicate thing no matter how much talent you have on your team, and Rick Carlisle often talks about the razor-thin margins in this league. The final score of this one wasn’t really reflective of how close the game actually was for most of it, and tonight was another example. Dallas just committed too many giveaways; cut them by 33 percent and it’s a much, much different game. The good news is it’s still early in the season, so there are a lot of games left to figure it out. The bad news is the West is loaded, so the clock is ticking.
  • The Mavericks got off to a hot start in the first half, hitting seven of their first nine 3-point attempts and shooting above 50 percent from the field for most of the half. Dallas scored 1.18 points per possession in the first two quarters, with turnovers the only bugaboo — a big problem all night, unfortunately. J.J. Barea and Devin Harris were the main factors; Harris was +19 in 14 first-half minutes. That’s now a few games in a row where the backup guards have come in and made a tangible, positive impact on the game.
  • Dennis Smith Jr. was listed as questionable for the game with left knee effusion, but he did earn the start. That might be something that could spring up now and again, but it’s definitely a good thing that it didn’t prevent him from playing tonight. Meanwhile, Rick Carlisle said Seth Curry has begun live activity, but there’s no timetable for his return. The good news is he traveled with the team on this road trip. It appears his return is inching closer, which is good news for a club that always wants more ball-handlers and 3-point shooting.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (1-7) will play the Los Angeles Clippers (4-1) on Wednesday at Staples Center at 9:30 p.m. Central.

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