The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Warriors

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Final: Warriors 133, Mavs 103

Box Score | Highlights

Behind the Box Score

The Mavs scored 62 points in the first half tonight. They did so only 10 times in 2016-17 and eight times the season before, so to do so in their fourth game this season (and second with Dennis Smith Jr.) should be taken as a good sign. Of course, offense constitutes only one half of the game, so the Mavericks still have plenty to work on. It’s still early in the year, though.

The Mavericks shot 30 free throws in this game, a mark they topped only three times last season. To the Mavs’ credit, they haven’t taken fewer than 21 in a game this season after only taking 21+ in 26 games last year. Harrison Barnes has made a point this season to get to the rim and he was able to do that again tonight, although that didn’t manifest itself in the form of attempts. Smith, however, took 10 attempts to lead the way for Dallas.

The Mavericks grabbed 14 offensive rebounds tonight, a mark they reached only three times last season. Barnes and Nerlens Noel each pulled down three while Dirk and Smith pulled down a pair each. While suffering through a shooting slump in the first half, the Mavs started crashing the glass to keep plays alive and earn a second chance, which helped to kick-start their comeback effort.

Notebook

  • Dennis Smith Jr. was back in the lineup tonight after missing the previous two games with left knee effusion, or swelling in the left knee. Smith didn’t appear to be hindered, as he nearly threw down a pretty serious dunk on Draymond Green at one point but was fouled mid-flight. Smith said he went for an MRI last week and all turned out well, so that was certainly good news to hear. The 19-year-old was active on the glass with six rebounds, including chasing down one offensive board all the way onto the Mavs’ bench. He finished with 10 points, but a 4-of-10 night from the free throw line left a few more points on the floor. This season is going to be a learning process for him, and having to guard Steph Curry is a pretty serious challenge for a teenager. He’ll continue to watch film and improve on that end and also as it relates to running the offense.
  • Two of the Smith-Yogi Ferrell-J.J. Barea point guard trio were on the floor for the entire game for as long as it was competitive. Not surprisingly, the ball seemed to move much better tonight than it did in the previous two games when injuries kept Smith out. Rick Carlisle said after the game that he wants to see the ball move even more, which will become easier once Smith becomes more comfortable and Seth Curry and Devin Harris return to action. Dallas was able to survive on the defensive glass while playing smaller lineups, and that’s going to be the biggest “must” for the Mavs moving forward for as long as they play the multi-guard lineups.
  • After falling behind by 18 points in the second quarter, the Mavs pulled to within three points by halftime by launching a lengthy run against the Warriors’ second unit. Wesley Matthews led the way, scoring 14 first-half points on just five shots. Dallas did it with hustle plays and by getting to the free throw line. Perhaps that could be the formula to a win in the home-and-home with Memphis later this week.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (0-4) will play the Memphis Grizzlies (3-0) on Wednesday at American Airlines Center at 7:30 p.m. Central.

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