After a loss against the Lakers on Friday, Mavs was at home and still met another Los Angeles opponent. With…
After a loss against the Lakers on Friday, Mavs was at home and still met another Los Angeles opponent. With the best record in the West, Clippers entered AAC and attempted to continue his quick start of the season.
The hot strike ended tonight when Mav’s fought hard and defended the field down the stretch with a 114-110 victory.
DSJ and “D” Stand For Defense
Defense may not be the first thing you like about Dennis Smith Jr. but tonight was different. After losing his tooth on a loose ballshot with Patrick Beverley in the third quarter, Dennis has to be removed from the game to handle the broken teeth.
Returns in the fourth quarter Down the stretch, Dennis was matched with Tobias Harris on a switch that Clippers saw to take the lead. Harris backed Dennis down the post with the size advantage and yet DSJ got the block and rebound to save the game, followed by two clutch free throws.
“Effort, try,” said Dennis after the match. “They thought they had the advantage. They believed.”
Carlisle said about Dennis’s performance coming back from the broken tooth, “one of the best competitive things I’ve seen in a long time.”
“Ruthless Toothless!” Dorian Finney-Smith called at DSJ in the dressing room after the match. Let’s hope Dennis does not have to spend too much time with the dentist tomorrow.
No Luke, no problem? Not really
Now I know you should read that title and think, “wait what?” Luka was a late scratch with the right hip stem, but just because the rookie sensation was not on the floor does not mean that tonight’s games would be a wash.
Luka has probably been the best player in Mavericks so far this season but without him this evening, Dallas had a handful of guys up in his absence. Harrison Barnes broke out in the first 12 minutes, scoring 15 first quarter and finishing 30 points.
Wesley Matthews and J.J. Barea also found his rhythm, with a combined 17 first quarter and for Barea, 20 first half points.
Mavs may have won the top team in the West, but the Slovenian rookie is still one of, if not the best player on the team.
Battle of the Benches
Tonight played two of the best bench units in the league. Clippers ranks first in the league, an average of 53.8 bench points per game. Dallas has 37.4 points from the bench so far this season, ranked 15 in the league, but their bench games seem to always make a positive plus / minus with their defensive efforts.
In the first half, J.J. Barea came from the bench and found himself in a slot and scored 20 first half points.
Although the Clipper bench exceeded Mavs 47-35, the Dallas start line made the difference with a balanced score load over all five starters.
DeAndre vs his old team
Spending a decade with a team is long in today’s NBA. For DeAndre he played his first ten years in the league with Clippers, who did tonight the first time he met his previous home.
“Everybody knew this would be an emotional game for him,” says Rick Carlisle’s postgame. 19659002] DJ certainly played as if he had an extra edge tonight scoring 16 points and grabs 24 rebounds, including six offensive. After the match, he may have played down the extra motivation in tonight’s game and said, “It was cool. I was fine.”
Coach Carlisle said he thought Jordan played “spectacular” and “his number was second worldly” . And when he asked if he thought DJ felt a little extra incentive to play well tonight, Carlisle answered, you can say that. “
We can all assume that DeAndre felt a little different tonight playing against his former team for a decade, but at the end of the day, Mav’s victory was won and we do not have to go deep into Deandra’s feelings.
Mavs will stay home for a matchup against Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.
Leader covering Dallas Mavericks | Born and raised in the Dallas area. UNT graduate. Sports writer with a strong beard and a steady jump shot.