The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Grizzlies

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Final: Mavs 103, Grizzlies 94

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Mavericks scored 32 points in the first quarter thanks in large part to taking 15 free throws. It was the team’s highest-scoring opening frame of the season, and the most since Dallas dropped 32 in the first against Brooklyn on March 19, 2017.

Dallas has now attempted at least 21 free throws in all five games this season. The Mavs didn’t have a streak longer than two such games all of 2016-17. The club has clearly made a point of attacking the basket early and often, most notably Harrison Barnes, who now has three games of at least nine free throw attempts this season after doing so in just four contests all of last season.

Coming into this game, Dennis Smith Jr. was the only teenager in Mavs history to score even five points in a game. He could very well rewrite the franchise’s age-based record book this season.

Notebook

  • It’s good to see the Mavs get a win, and it’s even better to get one against a team playing as well as Memphis. The Grizzlies have wins this season against both Golden State and Houston, so they’re for real so far. Dallas played a really smart game on both ends of the floor, finding a way to get good shots while still playing within the offense, and forcing plenty of turnovers on defense. This is the kind of game the Mavs will need to play the rest of the year to get to where they want to be.
  • If there’s one guy we’re going to pay extra-close attention to this season, it’s going to be Dennis Smith Jr. The rookie point guard had a pretty quiet first half tonight, but he scored nine points in the third quarter alone to turn around his evening and ended up with a career-high 19 points. It began with a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper from the free throw line, and continued with consecutive drives to the basket against switched big men. He showed a little bit of everything in the third, including making a nice lob pass to a rolling Dwight Powell for an alley-oop. There’s going to be a lot of good times for him this season, probably mixed in with some awkward ones, but to borrow a line from Mark Ruffalo in “Begin Again,” you’ve got to enjoy the pearls. That third quarter was a pearl.
  • After a couple rough shooting nights to begin the season, Wesley Matthews had another solid game in this one. He scored 10 points in the first quarter to help jump-start the offense following a 19-point outing against Golden State on Monday. He’s now up above 39 percent from beyond the arc this season after a 5-of-16 start. The Mavs will undoubtedly need Matthews to continue hitting 3s at a high clip, especially since they’ve been without Seth Curry all season.
  • In other Dennis Smith Jr. news…

    His athleticism is obviously really impressive, but what’s most jaw-dropping about that play is how easy he made it look. That’s a point guard driving past his defender in one step and dunking with two hands. It’s crazy how casual he is about plays like that.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (1-4) will play the Memphis Grizzlies (3-1) on Thursday at the FedEx Forum at 7 p.m. Central.

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