Sports






30 best defensive prospects -- 1 for each team

MLB Pipeline recently unveiled it's annual All-Defense Team, but there were only so many spots to fill. It made us realize there were so many outstanding defenders across all 30 organizations. Evaluating defense is still very much subjective, with metrics measuring fielding still imperfect. Still, each system has glovework that stands out more than others, and we considered many to present one best defender from each organization.


Dallas Tigers Central Teams Looking for Players Spring 2019

Dallas Tigers Central Teams have a few rosters spots available for the 2019 spring season! If you are interested in a private tryout please contact coach directly to set up a workout!

Dallas Tigers Lewis 10u – looking for 2 players (catcher/1b/ss) – Coach Lewis – 214-662-6092 – email: joshlewis1@verizon.net

Dallas Tigers Rodgers 12u – looking for 1 player (1b/3b/p) – Coach Rodgers – 469-865-0605 – email: nick-rodgers9@hotmail.com

Dallas Tigers Cox 13u – looking for 2 players (catcher/utility/p) – Coach Cox – 469-586-8098 – email: wespcox03@yahoo.com

Dallas Tigers Lyons 13u – looking for 1 player (athlete/p) – Coach Lyons – 214-704-4732 – email: dt.nlyons@gmail.com

Dallas Tigers Muriel 14u – looking for 1 player (utility/p) – Coach Muriel – 972-369-4407 – email: eddier.muriel@gmail.com

Dallas Tigers Hancock 14u – looking for 2 players (1b/3b/of/p) – Coach Hancock – 254-315-0462 – bohancock10@gmail.com

Dallas Tigers Johnson 15u/16u – looking for 2 players (catcher/1b/p) – Coach Johnson – 682-583-6439 – email: jjohnson0929@yahoo.com

 

The post Dallas Tigers Central Teams Looking for Players Spring 2019 appeared first on Dallas Tigers Baseball.


The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 105-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs

Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 105-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center:

1. POWER SHORTAGE: After the Mavs electrified the sellout crowd by powering to a 23-4 lead with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter following a step-back 3-pointer by Wesley Matthews, it looked like Dallas was well on its way to carving out an easy victory. Especially since the Mavs still led, 47-28, with 7:54 left before halftime after Dorian Finney-Smith drained a 3-pointer. But the Mavs got short-circuited from there as they outscored 77-54 the remainder of the game and wound up with their fourth-lowest scoring game in the past 17 contests.

2. DONCIC TIES CURRY, CARMELO: Luka Doncic’s mercurial ride up the NBA charts continued Wednesday night when the rookie from Slovenia finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Thus, Doncic joins Stephen Curry and Carmelo Anthony as the only rookies to tally 25 or more points in five straight games. He also became the first member of the Mavs to score 25 or more points in five consecutive games since Dirk Nowitzki performed the feat from Mar. 13-21, 2012.

3. BARNES HAD AN OFF NIGHT: The basketball rims weren’t too kind to Harrison Barnes on Wednesday. Barnes wound up grabbing eight rebounds and scoring 11 points while shooting just 4-of-18 from the field. His 22.2 shooting percentage was his second-worst of the season in games where he attempted at least 10 shots. Barnes’ worst shooting night of the season with 10 or more field goal attempts was that unforgettable 3-of-14 game (21.4 percent) he had in Memphis back on Nov. 19.

4. MATTHEWS WENT FOR 600: Wesley Matthews knocked down three of the seven 3-pointers he attempted against the Spurs in becoming the sixth player in Mavs history to make at least 600 treys in a career. The only NBA player with at least 125 made 3-pointers in each of the last eight seasons, Matthews has made 86 shots from downtown so far this season. Matthews produced 10 of the 13 points he scored Wednesday in the first quarter. And his 3-pointer with 55.4 seconds left got the Mavs within two points of the Spurs.

5. NO FAST BREAK POINTS: Players love it when they can manufacture some fast break points during the course of a game, because – other than free throws — those are usually the easiest points to come by. Unfortunately for the Mavs, they were outscored in the fast break point department on Wednesday, 12-0. It marked the first time all season that the Mavs went an entire game without scoring any fast break points, eclipsing their previous low of four fast break points they scored against Oklahoma City on Dec. 30.

The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 105-101 loss to the San Antonio Spurs appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


Inbox: Will Woodward use opener strategy?

Have we gotten a feel about how manager Chris Woodward feels about the concept of "openers"?
-- Joe S. Garland, Texas


Mavs lose 19-point lead and drop a 105-101 decision to the San Antonio Spurs

DALLAS – For a moment Wednesday night, it looked like the Dallas Mavericks were on the verge of blowing out the San Antonio Spurs. Less than eight minutes into the game and before fans could get totally comfortable in their seats, the Mavs held a massive 23-4 lead.

Final score: Spurs 105, Mavs 101.

The Spurs outscored the Mavs, 60-45, in the second half as the Mavs went 0-2 on this short home stand and lost for the fifth time in the last seven games. It was not what the American Airlines Center crowd of 20,214 – the Mavs’ 700th straight sellout – expected after the Mavs darted out of the gate like a deer trying to cross a busy highway.

“NBA teams makes run – teams that fall behind generally make some kind of run,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We kept it around 15 and got into the (halftime) locker room at 11 (56-45).

‘We knew they were going to come out in the second half with a lot of force, which they did. And we didn’t play with enough force on our end.”

The Spurs didn’t get their first lead (82-80) of the game until the 10:38 mark of the fourth quarter following a basket by DeMar DeRozan. From there, it was nip-and-tuck down the stretch.

Davis Bertans snapped a 96-96 tie when he drilled a 3-pointer with 1:41 left to put the Spurs up by three points. Luka Doncic then misfired on a 3-pointer of his own on a play where he and the Mavs thought there was enough contact to warrant a foul.

But as play continued, Seagoville native LaMarcus Aldridge shook off a foul-plagued game and tipped in a missed shot by DeRozan to put the Spurs ahead, 101-96, with 1:07 to go.

Wesley Matthews’ 3-pointer inched the Mavs to within 101-99 of the Spurs. But DeRozan connected on a pull-up 20-footer which padded San Antonio’s lead to 103-99 with just 36.8 seconds remaining, and Doncic and Matthews each missed 3-pointers down the stretch.

“I mean, we had a very good defensive game for sure,” said Doncic, who finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. “We scored a lot of points.

“I think we did a great job, but at the end we slipped up.”

The Mavs made just 9-of-26 shots in the frantic fourth quarter, including only 2-of-15 from behind the 3-point line. By contrast, San Antonio was 12-of-21 from the field in the final quarter, including 4-of-6 from downtown.

Overall, the Mavs shot 43 percent from the field and missed 27 of their 42 attempts from 3-point range, while the Spurs shot 49.4 percent and missed 17 of their 30 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

To a man, the Mavs say they didn’t relax after they bolted to that 19-point lead with 4:33 remaining in the first quarter. Unfortunately for the Mavs, it was just way too much game left and they couldn’t hold onto the rope at the end.

“There’s always some leads in the first half, but teams are usually always crawling back in,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who collected six points and four rebounds in 10 minutes. “It’s usually very rare that the team runs away with the lead from the first half.”

Doncic wowed the crowd when he dunked over Pau Gasol in the first half, and when he barely beat the 24-second shot clock and drained a long 3-pointer in the third quarter that put the Mavs ahead 67-59.

But the Spurs (26-20) just kept making clutch basket after clutch basket, and beating the Mavs to the 50-50 balls.

“We left 3-point shooters open a couple of times,” Carlisle said. “We just made system mistakes that you can’t make, and we have to correct it.

“We have two tough road games coming up (to Indiana and Milwaukee), and the difference between winning and losing is taking care of the ball, rebounding and loose balls, because they’re all possession things. And we’ve got to be tight with the game plan.”

Besides Doncic, the Mavs got 13 points from Matthews, 12 points from Dorian Finney-Smith, 11 points and eight rebounds from Harrison Barnes, and nine points and nine rebounds from DeAndre Jordan.

The Mavs held the Spurs’ leading scorers to a pedestrian-like night. DeRozan came in averaging 21.9 points and finished with just 14 points, and Aldridge entered the game averaging 20.8 points and finished with just eight points.

However, Marco Belinelli (17 point), Patty Mills (14 points) and Bertans (12 points) all got their points off the bench, and Rudy Gay (14 points) and Bryn Forbes (12 points) also contributed to the Spurs’ win.

In addition, the Spurs turned 14 Mavs turnovers into 24 points.

“We knew they were going to keep playing hard — that’s what they do,” Nowitzki said. “We knew they were going to somehow crawl back in it. Just down the stretch a couple of too many mistakes, a couple of turnovers, we missed a couple of good looks, we left too many shooters in the fourth quarter.

“DeRozan and Bertans were just standing there and lining up some threes. Just overall, a tough one. I thought we should have won the game tonight, but we came up short.”

NOTES: Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. missed his fourth straight game. Smith is dealing with a stomach virus and tightness in the middle of his back. . . This was the fifth straight game Luka Doncic has scored at least 25 points. That ties him with Stephen Curry and Carmelo Anthony for the most consecutive 25-point games by a rookie. Over the last five games Doncic is averaging 27.4 ppg, 7.0 rpg and 6.4 apg. . .Wesley Matthews went 3-of-7 from 3-point range and became the sixth member of the Mavs to make at least 600 treys in franchise history.

The post Mavs lose 19-point lead and drop a 105-101 decision to the San Antonio Spurs appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


After setback, Tolleson announces retirement

Rangers right-hander Shawn Tolleson announced Wednesday that he is retiring, effective immediately.


Rangers' rotation set, but could use more depth

The mystery surrounding Texas with less than a month to go before pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training is that the Rangers have five veteran starters in place, but all have undergone significant recent physical issues in their careers.


First Spring Training workout dates for all clubs

Major League Baseball has revealed the first Spring Training workout dates for pitchers and catchers and those for the full squads for all 30 clubs. MLB also announced game times for all Cactus and Grapefruit League action in February and March.


How MLB.com writers voted in HOF balloting

Six MLB.com writers were among those eligible to cast ballots in the 2019 Hall of Fame vote conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. As many as four candidates -- and possibly more -- could be elected, according to the public ballots amassed online. Here's a look at how the six voted.


Rangers claim Andreoli for outfield depth

The Rangers added significant speed to their outfield depth by claiming outfielder John Andreoli off waivers from the Mariners on Tuesday.


J. J. Barea’s “spirits are good” after undergoing season-ending Achilles tendon surgery

DALLAS – A day after undergoing season-ending surgery to repair his torn right Achilles tendon, Dallas Mavericks guard J. J. Barea is resting comfortably. And looking forward to getting back on the court at some point next season.

“His spirits are good,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Tuesday’s practice at the Lympo practice facilities. “From everything I understand the surgery went extremely well.

“I think everybody texted with him yesterday from the team. A lot of us are going to go see him today.”

Barea suffered the injury midway through the fourth quarter of last Friday’s game in Minnesota. The 13-year veteran received a pass from point guard Jalen Brunson, drove the lane and scored, and had some minimal contact with Timberwolves guard Jeff Teague.

But as play continued, Barea unfortunately remained on the floor and was holding his right leg. Brunson then committed an intentional foul so play could stop, and Mavs head athletic trainer Casey Smith and other Mavs personnel immediately rushed to assist Barea and help him to the locker room.

An MRI conducted Saturday revealed that Barea had indeed torn his Achilles tendon. Now comes the recovery process.

“What happened with J. J. is obviously heartbreaking,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “You can never replace what he brings on and off the floor.”

Rookie Jalen Brunson and veteran Devin Harris have been asked to fill the void in Barea’s absence. Brunson had nine points in the 119-115 win over Minnesota and 12 points in this past Sunday’s 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors, while Harris didn’t play against the Timberwolves, but contributed nine points in 11 minutes against the Warriors.

“Obviously, Brunson is playing more,” Carlisle said. “Devin’s role is going to be very important.

“Devin hasn’t played any straight point guard, but he’s very capable of doing it. He’s done it the last two or three years on an as-needed basis, because we’ve had injuries before.”

Brunson was the consensus National College Player of the Year last season after helping Villanova win the national title for the second time over the past three years. So he knows what it take to reach the mountaintop, and the Mavs have been extremely pleased with what he’s been able to accomplish thus far as a rookie.

“I think Jalen plays wise beyond his years,” Nowitzki said. “He’s got a lot of experience. . .he was a winner in college, and Devin has been a proven player in this league.

“But we’re thinking about J. J. a lot, obviously, these days. We won on the road in Minnesota, but the locker room (after that game) was as quiet as I’ve seen it after a win. I was devastated, but unfortunately injuries are part of the game and the little guy will fight through it and with our support he’ll be back hopefully soon.”

That’s precisely what Carlisle is anticipating.

“The indications are that the surgery went as well as could possibly be expected,” Carlisle said. “It’s going to be a long road, but I defy anyone to bet against J. J. Barea on anything.

“It’s a great challenge, but he’s taken them on his whole life and his whole career.”

The post J. J. Barea’s “spirits are good” after undergoing season-ending Achilles tendon surgery appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


Rangers honor Greene, celebrate Selig Award

Former Arlington mayor Richard Greene will forever be an iconic person in the history of the Rangers. He was the one who provided the leadership and the political clout necessary to help get the Ballpark in Arlington built in 1994, back when other cities had nefarious designs to swoop in and take the franchise.


Each team's lineup if season started today

We're less than a month away from Spring Training, so it's a good time to project what each club's Opening Day lineup will look like, or at least what it would look like if the season started today.


2019 Winter Warm Up Recap

WINTER WARMUP DELIVERY

Raising Cane’s and BEDGEAR help Wesley Matthews and the Dallas Mavericks donate a record-number of winter items for area homeless recovery shelter

Raising Cane’s and BEDGEAR help Wesley Matthews and the Dallas Mavericks donate a record-number of winter items for area homeless recovery shelter

By Tamara Jolee | Digital Story: Jonathan Lim

DALLAS – Tucked away in the Farmers Market District of downtown Dallas is a sprawling campus that houses and serves over 800 residents in desperate need of a second chance.

They are the unlikely faces of our city’s homeless population – former pastors, business executives, college professors, veterans and more – who have nowhere else to turn and now rely on the food, shelter, clothing, resources and education found at The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, an internationally-recognized facility that gives hope to those in need.

“Homelessness is something a lot of people don’t like to discuss and it’s huge to have someone like Wesley Matthews use his platform to promote change and make a direct impact in our community,” said Dr. David Woody III, the President and CEO at The Bridge Homeless Recovery Center.

This week, Wesley Matthews and the Dallas Mavericks – along with executives from Raising Cane’s and BEDGEAR—arrived at The Bridge to deliver a record-breaking number of winter items and bedding gear for homeless residents.

The event was a culmination of efforts pledged by Matthews and the Dallas Mavericks during the annual Mavs Winter Warm Up Drive, said Katie Edwards, Dallas Mavericks Vice President of Community Relations.

“Wes has done a coat drive for many years,” Edwards noted, “and to have his support again is amazing. Today is an exciting day because it marks the end of the Mavs Winter Warm Up Drive and now we come together and deliver all the items donated by fans during the last month. We get to see the faces of the people directly impacted by the donations.”

The Mavs Winter Warm Up Drive launched the first week of December when Matthews once again worked the drive through at Raising Cane’s, a chicken-finger-centric restaurant chain known for their special sauce and rapid growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Wes challenged Raising Cane’s customers to donate and drop-off new or gently-used winter items during the Mavs Care Season of Giving.

Matthews said customers responded in record-breaking fashion.

Thousands of items poured in from the community, ensuring more homeless individuals stay warm this winter.

“Raising Cane’s has been incredible this whole time,” Matthews said. “They’ve stepped up above and beyond, more than we can ever imagine. They see my passion and work in the community, and it’s been rivaled. The customers were really committed. We had coats, jackets, blankets, socks…just thousands of items contributed that will go straight to people here at The Bridge.”

This year’s Winter Warm Up Drive also marked the continuation of a partnership with BEDGEAR, a company founded in 2009 by a former quarterback named Eugene Alletto who’s revolutionized the traditional bedding industry by developing performance-based sleep products to promote better sleep.

Alleto started the company after his son developed allergies and he could only find hypoallergenic bedding that was hot and stuffy. Frustrated by a lack of options available, he cut up breathable lacrosse shorts and sewed them back together as sheets for his son’s bed. Turns out he was onto something – and performance bedding was born and quickly caught fire with professional athletes like the Dallas Mavericks and Wesley Matthews.

Matthews and the Mavs wanted to ensure homeless guests at The Bridge received that same quality of sleep, so for this year’s Mavs Winter Warm Up, the team partnered with BEDGEAR and donated over 100 blankets and pillows to the residents.

It’s a life-changing endeavor, said Dr. Woody, who noted that coats and bedding are essential in recovery efforts for area homelessness.

“Here at The Bridge we are big on educating folks on how it is a person would choose to be homeless,” he said, “because there are many elements in play. Then we share that we’re not just a shelter. We’re a place of recovery that offers hope and allows folks to identify this place as their home. The donation from BEDGEAR is huge and plays a monumental role in their recovery because many of these individuals don’t get anything new. Today Wesley and the Mavs came in here and gave them a coat, their own pillows and blankets and it’s life-changing for them.”

Wesley says it’s moments like this that remind him why he plays basketball.

“It’s easy to get consumed with a stat line, or a win or a big game or a loss,” Matthews said. “But once you leave the arena, you’re back to who you are as a person beyond the court. The person you are to this world, the legacy you want to leave and who you want to be as an individual.

“The Winter Warm Up Drive and working in the community keeps me focused on the bigger picture. It’s a blessing to be able to play basketball for a living, but the biggest blessing is to try and be an impactful human being and that’s what I want to be known for.”

Matthews notes it’s the same kind of philosophy and belief system also shared by company executives with his partners at the Dallas Mavericks, Raising Cane’s, BEDGEAR, and The Bridge, and that’s why he looks forward to the Mavs Winter Warm Up each year.

“It’s the people that have sacrificed and donated, people who are selfless and give their time to genuinely make their world and community a better place.”

“When my daughter reads about her dad someday, I want her to know I gave it everything I had. Good, bad, indifferent. Love me. Hate me. Wins, losses. Highs and lows. I’m going to give you everything that I have in the community, on the court, my family to my friends. That’s how I was raised. That’s how I was brought up and that’s how I’m going to raise her. And the truth is, it takes a village. From the Mavs, to Raising Cane’s, BEDGEAR, The Bridge, my teammates, the fans…we all come together and do our part. It’s pretty special to witness.”

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ABOUT MAVS CARE: The Dallas Mavericks strive to be champions on the court and in the community. We are dedicated to building a stronger community through educational programs, health and wellness initiatives, environmental efforts, support for military veterans, and grants to nonprofit organizations. Through our community programs and the Mavs Foundation, we are changing lives in North Texas and have impacted thousands of children, families and communities. Learn more at Mavs.com/Community. @MavsCare

ABOUT THE BRIDGE – HOMELESS RECOVERY CENTER, DALLAS, TEXAS: For nearly 11 years The Bridge has facilitated recovery from homelessness for individuals without a home in Dallas County, twenty-four hours per day, seven days a week. The only shelter in Dallas providing day and night shelter, basic need services include hot showers, food, haircuts, Physical Health Evaluations and Mental Health Assessments for nearly 800 guests every day. Through collaborative relationships with services partners, The Bridge creates a one stop shop for a guest’s implementing their Care and Housing Plan, or strategy for exiting homelessness. Learn more at www.bridgenorthtexas.org.

ABOUT RAISING CANE’S®:
Founded by Todd Graves in 1996 in Baton Rouge, La., RAISING CANE’S CHICKEN FINGERS has more than 385 restaurants in 24+ states, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, with multiple new restaurants under construction. The company has ONE LOVE®—quality chicken finger meals—and is continually recognized for its unique business model and customer satisfaction. Raising Cane’s vision is to have restaurants all over the world and be the brand for quality chicken finger meals, a great crew, cool culture and active community involvement. More information is available at raisingcanes.com.

About BEDGEAR® PERFORMANCE®: Sleep was boring until 2009 when BEDGEAR® redefined sleep as an activity with their patented heat and the first moisture management fabric technologies, which create a more awake and connected population. As the only brand of Performance sleep products, the company introduced personalized fit pillows and mattresses, providing 100% of total sleep comfort based on an individual’s sleep position and body frame. BEDGEAR is proud to manufacture in the U.S., and focuses their innovation on being additive and supportive of specialty retailers. BEDGEAR’s products are sold in more than 4,000 retail stores across the globe and have earned more than 100 U.S. trademark registrations. Since inception, BEDGEAR has partnered with professional athletes, and has become the choice of more than 15 professional and Olympic sports teams and to the world’s largest marathon, the TCS New York City Marathon. The brand currently features over 200 individual athletes and opinion leaders that sleep on personalized fit products as part of their training regimens. Throughout the years, BEDGEAR has become an iconic American brand that has grown beyond borders to a global footprint from which they’re driving World Peace through commerce. Sleep Fuels Everything®! Learn more at bedgear.com.

The post 2019 Winter Warm Up Recap appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


Rangers swarm Youth Academy for workouts

A facility built for children has become the daily workout spot for the Rangers players this offseason.


J. J. Barea underwent surgery Monday morning to repair his ruptured Achilles tendon

DALLAS – Point guard J. J. Barea underwent successful surgery Monday morning to repair his ruptured right Achilles tendon.

The surgery was performed by Dr. Eugene Curry and Dr. Daniel Worrel at the Carrell Clinic in Dallas, and no timetable has been set for Barea’s return.

Barea was injured midway through the fourth quarter in this past Friday’s game in Minnesota when he drove to the basket and scored on a layup. There was minimal contact on the play.

However, as play continued, Barea stayed on the floor until rookie point guard Jalen Brunson committed an intentional foul in order to stop the action on the court. It was at that point that Mavs head athletic trainer Casey Smith and others rushed to Barea’s aid and helped him to the locker room.

After the game, the Mavs’ locker room was very somber, considering the team did emerge with a 119-115 win over the Timberwolves. It was as if they already knew Barea’s injury would perhaps end his season.

“He’s one of the really good locker room guys,” point guard Dennis Smith Jr. said. “Everybody loves him.

“His presence is going to be missed in here (in the locker room) and on the court. It’s a tough blow for everybody involved.”

A tough blow the Mavs have experienced in recent years.

Guard Wesley Matthews tore his left Achilles tendon during a Mar. 5, 2015 game against the Mavs when he was playing for the Portland Trail Blazers at the time. Matthews ultimately underwent successful surgery and eventually signed a four-year free agent contract with the Mavs in the summer of 2015.

And while many were doubting whether Matthews would be ready to play on opening day, he indeed was in the Mavs’ starting lineup when they opened the season on Oct. 28, 2015.

Because of Matthews’ unique perspective on the issue, Barea confided in Matthews about what to anticipate, particularly after the surgery.

“I was just telling him to go through every emotion that went through his head,” Matthews said. “You just have to throw that out.

“I told him you cannot be too prideful, you cannot be too brave or too masculine. There are going to be high days and there are going to be low days. There are going to be great days, but it’s going to get better.”

Barea is averaging 10.9 points this season and also lead the Mavs with 5.6 assists per game. Most of Barea’s minutes will be given to Devin Harris and Brunson, who the Mavs believe can handle the increased work load.

Meanwhile, the Mavs also believe Barea will make a full recovery.

“Wesley has done a great job of just kind of telling him what to expect and what the experiences of what he went through,” Harris said. “(Barea is) encouraged, but (Matthews) said it’s still a tough injury to come back from.”

The post J. J. Barea underwent surgery Monday morning to repair his ruptured Achilles tendon appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors

Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night at American Airlines Center:

1. THIS JUST IN, STEPHEN CURRY IS REALLY GOOD: If you have a heart, you must feel some sympathy for whoever has to guard Stephen Curry. Or shall I say, whoever has to try and guard Stephen Curry? Because he has a quick first step, a quick release, a variety of shots and a shooting range that stretches from Dallas to Fort Worth, it is nearly impossible to contain Curry. On Sunday, Curry pulled out all the stops as he made 17-of-32 baskets – including 11-of-19 shots from 3-point range – on his way to pouring in a season-high 48 points.

2. MAVS MUST CLOSE THE DEAL: As they were when they played Golden State last month in Oakland, the Mavs were right there step-for-step with the Warriors. But as was the case on Dec. 22, the Mavs failed to close the deal. The Warriors beat the Mavs last month by four points. On Sunday, Golden State beat Dallas by five points, although the Mavs held a 113-108 lead with 3:51 remaining in the game. However, the Mavs went 0-of-8 from the field, scored just one point and committed two turnovers the rest of the game, which ended with the Warriors on an 11-1 run.

3. BRUNSON, HARRIS STEPPED UP: In the wake of the absolutely devastating season-ending torn Achilles tendon injury to guard J. J. Barea, rookie Jalen Brunson and Devin Harris were the proverbial next men up for the Mavs. And the duo put on quite a nice show against the Warriors while performing Barea’s old duties in running the Mavs’ second unit. Brunson produced 12 points, four rebounds and a blocked shot in 30 minutes, while Harris used his veteran acumen to score nine points, rack up three assists and record one block in only 11 minutes.

4. DONCIC DID IT AGAIN: The time has finally come where whatever Luka Doncic does shouldn’t be a surprise anymore. He’s that good. The rookie from Slovenia has proven time and time again that he’s already one of the prolific players in the NBA. On Sunday, Doncic worked his magic against the two-team defending NBA champions – a team with some pretty good defenders. Doncic’s statement bucket was a step-back 3-pointer that he drilled late in the third quarter with Kevin Durant draped all over him. Overall, Doncic popped in 26 points and also collected six rebounds and five assists.

5. JORDAN STACKING UP THE DOUBLE-DOUBLES: As he continued to do one of the dirtiest jobs in the NBA – securing rebounds — DeAndre Jordan held down the fort in the middle against the Warriors as he finished with a game-high 14 rebounds. It’s the 37th time this season Jordan has collected at least 10 rebounds in a game. Plus, counting the 13 points Jordan scored – he was 5-of-8 from the field – the 11-year veteran now has 26 double-doubles on the season. That ties him with Phoenix Suns rookie Deandre Ayton for 11th place in the NBA in double-doubles this year.

The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


Stephen Curry, Steve Kerr believe Doncic will have a seat at the All-Star table for many years to come

DALLAS – Golden State Warriors superstar guard Stephen Curry walked away thoroughly impressed with at he saw from Dallas Mavericks rookie forward Luka Doncic on Sunday night at American Airlines Center.

“He’s unbelievable,” Curry said. “You can tell he is experienced in terms of playing high level basketball.”

Doncic tallied a team-high 26 points in 32 minutes and also contributed six rebounds and five assists during the Mavs’ 119-114 loss to the Warriors. That includes knocking down a step-back 3-pointer right in the face of Kevin Durant near the end of the third quarter, which fascinated Curry.

“He’s a guy that is always at his own pace,” Curry said. “I’m sure he hasn’t heard all the doubters and the people talking about his game that really didn’t know much about him.

“He has made himself known, for sure. It is fun to watch in terms of the future of the league.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr went so far as to create a stir this past weekend when he said of Doncic, “He’s already an All-Star. I don’t know how the (All-Star) vote is going to shake out, but he looks like an All-Star player to me.”

On Sunday, Kerr did remind reporters that he does get to vote for the All-Star reserves if Doncic isn’t voted into the Feb. 17 midseason classic as a starter.

“I probably threw that out there without truly doing my homework,” Kerr said, referring to his Al-Star prediction of Doncic. “I do have a vote for (All-Star) reserves.

“I think what I meant to say is he sure looks like an All-Star. Whether he makes it or not, he’s an All-Star.”

In the second round of fan balloting for the All-Star game starters released last week, Doncic is second among frontcourt players with 2,220,077 votes – and right behind LeBron James (2,779,812). Paul George (1,859,216) is in third place, with only the top three frontcourt players voted in as starters.

Kerr acknowledged that Doncic has that “it” factor that separates regular players from great players. And he sees a budding superstar in the making in Doncic.

“Coming in (to the NBA) at 19-years-old (with over) 40 games under his belt and he looks like he’s been out here 10 years,” Kerr said. “That’s extremely rare, that kind of swagger, that kind of just confidence in his game, especially coming from overseas and living in the United States for the first time.

“All that stuff, you throw it together (and) you can see his poise and maturity.”

That poise and maturity has put Doncic firmly in place as the overwhelming frontrunner to capture this year’s prestigious Rookie of the Year award. Kerr definitely believes Doncic has the skill set and confidence to pull it off, along with a berth in next month’s All-Star game.

“Certain guys just stand out,” Kerr said. “You see what they do, you see what they mean to the game.

“If he doesn’t make (the All-Star game) this year, he’s going to make it soon enough.”

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The Mavs hope Dennis Smith Jr. will be back practicing sometimes this week

DALLAS – The day after the Dallas Mavericks played the Los Angeles Lakers last week, Dennis Smith Jr. woke up and felt some tightness in the middle of his back.

Smith hasn’t played in a game since then and is currently listed as day-to-day.

“I don’t know when it happened,” Smith said prior to Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors. “It just got sore on me.

“I was feeling great going into (the Jan. 7 game against the Lakes), and when I woke up the next morning it was worse.”

Smith, 21, then playfully said: “I’m getting old. That’s all it is. That’s what happens with old age. Father Time is undefeated.”

Smith has missed the past three games, including Sunday’s 119-114 loss to the Warriors.

“He’s doing better,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s had some back tightness from time to time.

“Part of it might be his body makeup, the fact that he is so put together. But he’s doing better and we’re hoping that can be back at practice this week.”

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Wesley Matthews offered words of support and encouragement to J. J. Barea

DALLAS – If anyone knows how to successfully overcome a torn Achilles tendon, it’s Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews.

When he played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Matthews tore his left Achilles tendon during a Mar. 5, 2015 game against the Mavs. Matthews underwent successful surgery, signed a four-year free agent contract with the Mavs in the summer of 2015, and – against all odds — was in the starting lineup on Oct. 28, 2015.

So, when J. J. Barea tore his right Achilles tendon on Friday against Minnesota – he’ll undergo season-ending surgery on Monday — one of the first people he confided in was Matthews.

“I was just telling him to go through every emotion that went through his head,” Matthews said following Sunday’s 119-114 loss to the Golden State Warriors. “You just have to throw that out.

“I told him you cannot be too prideful, you cannot be too brave or too masculine. There are going to be high days and there are going to be low days. There are going to be great days, but it’s going to get better.”

Matthews recalls the grit and the grind and the hard work he had to endure after his surgery before he was able to play basketball again. That’s the message he gave Barea.

“There isn’t going to be a catch phrase or a slogan that’s going to make it go away,” Matthews said. “You’re just going to have to do your diligence and attack every single day.

“Whatever emotion pops in his head, whatever he’s feeling, that’s what he’s got to let out.”

Ironically, when Matthews first joined the Mavs, he said he didn’t care too much for Barea. But that has since changed.

“He’s just a great guy,” Matthews said. “Oddly enough, when we both signed – he re-signed and I signed here – I didn’t like him being an opponent of his, and he grew to be one of my best friends.

“It’s tough to see him in this situation knowing what he’s getting ready to go through, but he’ll be good.”

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Curry scores 48 points as the Warriors defeated the Mavs, 119-1114

DALLAS – Unfortunately, the Dallas Mavericks found out the hard way what happens when Stephen Curry has a hot hand.
Curry knocked down 11 shots from 3-point range Sunday night and tallied a season-high 48 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 119-114 triumph over the Mavs before a sellout crowd of 20,340 at American Airlines Center. The loss snapped the Mavs’ two-game winning streak and dropped their record to 20-23.

Overall, Curry was 17 of 32 from the field and 11 of 19 from beyond the 3-point line while proving his worth as one of the NBA’s best sharpshooters. Curry poured in16 points in the first quarter, eight in the second, 11 in the third and 13 more in the fourth as the two-time defending NBA champions finished the game on an 11-1 run while making more critical plays down the stretch than the Mavs.

“We just couldn’t keep Curry under control,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He was brilliant. When a guy is at 27 feet and steps back with his quickness, he’s going to get some shots off.

“It’s not like he hasn’t been making these in his career, but look, we needed to play better, obviously. I’m not making excuses. I’m just saying he’s a great player, he got going and we needed to do a better job on him.”

The Mavs had a chance to tie the game and possibly send it into overtime. But while trailing 117-114, Harrison Barnes inadvertently dribbled the ball off his foot and out of bounds with 5.8 seconds left. Curry then iced it with a pair of free throws with 5.3 ticks to go.

“Look, he’s a pro, he’s been in this a long time,” Carlisle said of Barnes. “He’s a champion, he’s had the ball in a lot of big situations for us and for the Warriors (when he played for Golden State from 2012-’16).

“You’ve got to have a short memory and you’ve got to squash it and move on. I know he feels bad about (the late turnover). He’s a guy that’s a team guy, he wants to win, he wants to deliver for his team and his teammates and the fans. Look, mistakes happen and you just got to stick to the process.”

Barnes drained three consecutive free throws to give the Mavs a 113-108 lead with 3:51 remaining after Draymond Green was assessed a Flagrant Penalty-1 foul. But from there the Mavs missed their final eight shots – four of them from 3-point land – and committed two turnovers down the stretch.

After Luka Doncic split a pair of free throws to pad Dallas’ lead to 114-112 with 1:54 left, Curry slithered through the lane and flipped in a floater from 13 feet to tie the game at 114-114 with 1:39 to go. Then, Barnes and Doncic each missed 3-pointers that set the stage for Curry’s pull-up 3-pointer with 42.7 seconds remaining which accounted for the game-winning basket.

“The last two or three weeks I think our team has really been purposeful about how we are creating shots, getting looks and sustaining it over 48 minutes,” Curry said. “Tonight was obviously a pretty hot night.

“We needed every one of them with the way that Dallas played.”

It was the first game the Mavs played without guard J. J. Barea, who will undergo season-ending surgery on Monday to repair his torn right Achilles tendon that occurred during Friday’s contest against Minnesota.

Jalen Brunson (12 points) and Devin Harris (nine points) acquitted themselves well in Barea’s absence as the Mavs’ bench outscored their Warriors counterparts, 39-21. Harris flew in for a fast break layup and followed that up with a 3-ponter to complete a 20-11 run to open the fourth quarter and give the Mavs a 108-103 lead with 5:05 left in the game.

“I thought Harris gave us a great lift in the fourth (quarter) with his flurry of scoring, the drives, the three, a couple of loose ball plays, so he’s going to be ready and he’s going to be there for us,” Carlisle said. “Brunson is going to have an opportunity here to play more minutes — that’s obvious.

“He did a lot of good things. He’s getting some crunch-time experience in the NBA, so he’ll learn a lot in a short period of time.”

Meanwhile, Doncic finished with 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, Barnes tallied 22 points and DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 14 rebounds.

The Mavs led 29-25 after the first quarter, but the Warriors (29-14) grabbed a 62-58 lead at the half.

In the meantime, Doncic was 8-of-18 from the field and missed all five of his shots in the fourth, including four 3-pointers, as he was heavily guarded by the Warriors.

“He’s trying to break the defense down and have a chance to score and get teammates involved, and some days you don’t make every shot,” Carlisle said. “That’s one of the things about the NBA.

“But he’s going to learn a lot from tonight’s game. He still generates a lot of things out there.”
Dallas outrebounded Golden State, 51-49, however Carlisle wasn’t thrilled with the 16 offensive rebounds the Warriors retrieved.

“I thought we did some good things,” Carlisle said. “I thought our effort was very good. You work hard to get that (113-108) lead late in the game, and finding a way to finish is what it’s all about.

“And these guys are the toughest to finish against because they can pop threes in. The other thing that really got us was the offensive boards. Giving up 16 second-chance points was a big factor in the game, too, and they came up with a lot of those.”

NOTES: The Mavs will not practice on Monday, but will resume practice on Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s home game against San Antonio. “Tomorrow’s an off day and we’re locking the gym,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’ve been on a really challenging run in terms of scheduling and everything else. Everybody’s got to decompress. We’re going to have a good practice on Tuesday and then we’ve got San Antonio coming in here on Wednesday.”. . .Point guard Daryl Macon was on he active roster for the first time this season in the wake of the season-ending Achilles tendon surgery to point guard J. J. Barea and tightness in the back of point guard Dennis Smith Jr. On the prospect of being on the active roster for the first time – and the opponent was the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors – Macon said: “I think that’s why I’m so nervous. I found out who we were playing.” Macon has spent the balance of this season playing for the Texas Legends in the G-League. . .Smith is listed as day-to-day, but the Mavs are hopeful he’ll be able to practice at some point this week.

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Barea will undergo season-ending surgery on Monday for a torn right Achilles tendon

DALLAS – J. J. Barea will undergo season-ending surgery on Monday to repair his torn right Achilles tendon.

No timetable has been set for his return. But it’s clear that Barea’s absence will be a big blow to the Mavs.

“It’s gut-wrenching for all of us,” coach Rick Carlisle said prior to Sunday’s game against the Golden State Wariors. “Its gut-wrenching for the team, for the coaches, for the fans, and I do think that he will be back.

“I really do believe that he will be back, but it’s hard to put into a few words what J. J. Barea has meant to everybody here. He’s one of the really truly most resourceful players in Mavericks history. A great winner and a leader, and he was having another great year.”

Barea suffered his injury midway through the fourth quarter of Friday’s game in Minnesota when he took a pass form Jalen Brunson and drove in a scored on a layup on the heels of light contact with a Timberwolves defender.

“It’s obviously tough to see, tough to watch,” guard Devin Harris said. “He means so much to our team, so much to the community.

“It’s tough to see him go down that way, especially on a simple play, a layup like that. But he’s resilient. He’s got his mind right and in the right direction. He’s getting rehab and getting (the surgery) done as soon as possible and he’s encouraged about coming back.”

Barea is so well respected around the league that, without being prompted, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr started his pregame interview session by sending well-wishes to the 13-year veteran.

“I wish J. J. Barea well,” Kerr said. “We were all sad to hear about the injury. He’s just one of the great competitors in the league, one of my favorite players to watch. His story is amazing.

“You hate to see anybody go down, but J. J;, especially just the way he competes, the way he carries himself. Tough blow for Dallas, tough blow for the league. We wish him well — quick recovery.”

Barea averages 10.9 points and a team-high 5.6 assists per game, and basically is the leader of the Mavs’ second unit. Players like Brunson and Harris will be counted on to fill he void.

“Everybody’s got to pick it up, I think that’s the bottom line,” Carlisle said. “It’s hard to replace a guy that’s been here for over a decade and set a great example and been really the leader of that (second) group the last two years.

“He was having another brilliant season. Last year he was tremendous, this year, really, the same. It’s going to be a void.”
Brunson, who is having an impactful season, had been leaning heavily on Barea for advice as he makes his way through the NBA wars.

“There’s more playing time for me now, but it’s definitely not the way I wanted to get it,” Brunson said. “I’m going to try to take advantage of it.

“I’m definitely going to keep talking to him because he’s helped me a lot and I’m going to keep picking his brain. When he’s not on the sidelines, I’ll call him and talk to him and see what he has to say.”

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The 1 player most likely to be a Ranger in '25

Today at the Thirty, we attempt to pick the one player on each team's current 40-man roster who is most likely to still be on that roster in six years.


Barea weighing surgery options after rupturing right Achilles tendon in win over the Timberwolves

DALLAS – An MRI conducted Saturday on J. J. Barea revealed that the Dallas Mavericks’ 13-year veteran guard suffered a rupture of his right Achilles tendon in the fourth quarter of Friday’s road game in Minnesota.

The Mavs noted that Barea is currently weighing his surgery options and that an update will be given at a later date.

Barea injured himself when he received a pass from rookie Jalen Brunson and drove inside the paint and scored on a layup that put the Mas ahead, 102-92, with 6:28 remaining in the game. As Barea lay sprawled on the floor, play continued until Brunson committed an intentional foul to stop the action.

Mavs head athletic trainer Casey Smith and others raced onto the court to assist Barea and help him to the dressing room.

Ironically, when the Mavs played a game in Portland on Mar. 5, 2015, guard Wesley Matthews – who was playing with the Trail Blazers at the time — ruptured the Achilles tendon in his left leg and missed the remainder of the season.

Matthews underwent successful surgery, signed a four-year free agent contract with the Mavs in the summer of 2015, and was in the starting lineup and played 26 minutes on opening day during a 111-95 victory against the Phoenix Suns on Oct. 28, 2015.

Before he was injured, Barea poured in 16 points and handed out seven assists in 22 minutes against the Timberwolves. Overall, he is averaging 10.9 points and a team-high 5.6 assists while being the savvy leader of the Mavs’ second unit.

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Villalba enjoying whirlwind two weekends broadcasting games to Hispanic audiences

DALLAS – It’s been a whirlwind two weekends for Victor Villalba.

Not only is Villalba the Hispanic play-by-play radio voice of the Dallas Mavericks on Univision 1270 AM. He’s also the Hispanic play-by-play radio voice of the Dallas Cowboys for their various affiliates.

So, occasionally that creates one of those fast-moving dilemmas.

For instance, on Jan. 4 Villalba worked the Mavs’ game in Boston. After the game the Mavs immediately flew to Philadelphia, where they had a contest against the 76ers on Jan. 5. But on the morning of Jan. 5, Villalba flew to Dallas because the Cowboys were hosting a wild card playoff game in Arlington against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5 at 7:15 p.m.

That meant Miguel Cruz, Villalba’s backup, was flown to Philadelphia to work the Mavs-Sixers game.

“Miguel Cruz has been doing games with me for a number of years now where he actually flew from Dallas to Philadelphia on Saturday morning (Jan. 5) and arrived at the hotel, went to the game, did the game and flew back with the team,” Villalba said. “So it all worked out.”

Villalba is faced with a similar set of circumstances this weekend. The Mavs played in Minneapolis on Friday and their charter arrived back in Dallas at 1:20 Saturday morning.

After a few hours of rest, Villalba hopped on a plane and flew to Los Angeles, where the Cowboys will play a divisional playoff game on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. against the Los Angeles Rams. Then it’s back to Dallas on Sunday as Villalba will do the play-by-play for the Golden State Warriors-Mavs game, which is Sunday at 6 p.m. at American Airlines Center.

All of the back-n-forth can sometimes create havoc with Villalba’s travel agent. But not in this case, since the travel agent is his wife Olga.

“She’s great, because she’s been doing this for a while,” said Villalba, a Texas Tech graduate. “So she was able to get me a flight leaving Saturday morning to get to LA.”

Mavs guard J. J. Barea, who was born in Puerto Rico, appreciates the compelling way Villalba broadcasts a game.

“I think he’s the best at it and I love the Hispanic passion that he carries when he does a game,” Barea said. “Back in the day we did an ESPN radio show together in Spanish, so we’ve gotten a bunch of time together.”

Since there are several thousand Hispanic-speaking citizens in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, Villalba’s job as the play-by-play voice of the Mavs is of great significance.

“It’s important for us because as an organization and a franchise we believe in diversity,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We know that there is a very, very large contingent of Spanish-speaking people that want to listen to games.

“I’ve gotten to know Victor over the last several years. Wonderful guy and loves the game and has great knowledge of the game, so we’ve been fortunate to have him on board.”

Villalba, 59, has been working the Cowboys’ broadcast since 2002 and the Mavs’ broadcasts since 2005.

“With the Cowboys I manage the Spanish language properties TV/radio, and also the affiliates, the commercial logs and the promos,” he said. “We have a partner with Telemundo – they carry our weekly show – then we have affiliates that air our preseason games and our monthly specials. So it’s a little more involved there.

“Here with the Mavericks it’s been basically just doing the games, doing a weekly radio show and being available to any sort of marketing ideas that may arise where Spanish language can be instrumental in what they’re trying to do.”

In addition to the broadcasts of the games, Villalba has a Mavs radio show on Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. on Univision 1270 AM. And he has a Cowboys TV broadcast on Telemundo on Saturday

“He’s in high demand and for good reason,” Carlisle said. “He’s great at what he does and he can deliver the message in multiple languages, and that’s a great ability to have.”

An ability that Barea truly treasures.

“I’ve been around him for a while now, and he’s awesome,” Barea said. “I heard him doing football games, too. He’s special man. He does a great job and I think it’s really important.

“We know how big in the Latino community it is to have him, and to have the games in Spanish is amazing. In Dallas and in all over the place, if they can’t hear the game in Spanish they really don’t know what’s going on. I think he does a good job of explaining what’s going on in Spanish, so it’s pretty good.”

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The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 119-115 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves

Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 119-115 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night at the Target Center:

1. LUKA DOES IT AGAIN: Why does Luka Doncic keep showing up in my five takeaways? Because game after game after game, the rookie from Slovenia keeps making big shot after big shot after big shot. Doncic did it again Friday when his walk-up 3-pointer with 23.9 seconds remaining put the Mavs ahead for good at 117-115. In fact, three baskets in the final 1:28 by Doncic gave the Mavs a lead after Minnesota had taken the lead. And it wasn’t just Doncic’s shot-making that was spectacular. His playmaking was also a picture of beauty, as he kept finding open teammates, even if they were clean on the other side of the floor. Overall, Doncic collected 29 points, eight rebounds, a career-high tying 12 assists and two steals.

2. BAREA CARRIED OFF THE COURT: J. J. Barea scored 16 points and distributed seven assists while again being the big-time quarterback of the Mavs’ second unit. It was the eighth time Barea has tallied at least 16 points in a game this season and the 14th time he’s dispensed at least seven assists in a game. Unfortunately, the 13-year veteran was helped off the court midway through the fourth quarter with what was diagnosed as a right leg injury. The injury occurred when Barea came down after scoring on a drive that put the Mavs up, 102-92, with 6:28 left in the game. The full extent of that injury will not be known until Barea is given an MRI on Saturday.

3. THE STEADY HAND OF BARNES: Harrison Barnes helped the Mavs stay afloat by quietly scoring 16 of his 23 points in the second half. That’s the most points any player on either team scored in the second half on Friday. And it wasn’t just the four critical baskets Barnes scored in the second half that were comforting for the Mavs, including a huge 3-pointer that gave Dallas a 105-95 lead with 5:50 left in the game. Barnes also dug in and got to the free throw line for five shots in the second half. It was, in fact, his pair of crucial charity tosses with 7.8 seconds remaining in the game that gave the Mavs a four-point cushion and accounted for the game’s final points. Barnes also converted 4-of-7 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

4. BALL PROTECTION: The Mavs went into Friday’s contest ranked 28th in the NBA in turnovers at 15.4 per game. The Mavs have been preaching all season about taking better care of the ball, fully knowing that it could help lead to a few more victories. That talk came to fruition on Friday as the Mavs committed a season-low seven turnovers against the Timberwolves. That includes just one turnover by Luka Doncic, who entered Friday’s game with three or more turnovers in 29 different games this season. The lack of those catastrophic turnovers by the Mavs helped keep them out of chaotic situations and away from game-changing rallies by the Timberwolves. By the way, the Mavs’ previous low turnover number in a game this season were the eight they committed during a Dec. 18 contest at Denver.

5. POWELL ATTACKED THE RACK: Dwight Powell had his way with the Timberwolves — again. The backup center finished the game with 15 points and was 7-of-8 from the field. His seven field goals included five dunks and a pair of layups. Four of those dunks came via the alley-oop variety, including three of them off passes from J. J. Barea. Overall, this ties for the most field goals Powell has made in a game this season – he was 7-of-12 from the field against Orlando on Dec. 10. Powell’s 87.5 shooting percentage on Friday also is his highest of the season in games where he’s attempted at least five shots. His previous highest shooting percentage game was 85.7 percent when he went 6-of-7 from the field during the second game of the season against Minnesota. Powell also scored a season-high 19 points in that game.

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Doncic flirts with triple-double, Mavs emerge with 119-115 win over Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS – Once again, Luka Doncic showed that no matter the stakes, no matter the situation, he continues to show everyone that he has a flair for the dramatics.

The ultra-talented rookie from Slovenia buried a cold-bloodied 3-point field goal with just 23.9 seconds remaining Friday night and the Dallas Mavericks emerged from the Target Center with a pulsating 119-115 triumph over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It was the second win in a row for the Mavs (20-22) and marked the first time they’ve won multiple games consecutively since capturing three straight victories from Dec. 8-12. And in this, the first game of the second half of the season for the Mavs, they made extra sure the sellout crowd of 18,978 got their money’s worth.

The only downer from the game was the fact that guard J. J. Barea suffered a lower right leg injury midway through the fourth quarter and had to be helped to the locker room. The Mavs will conduct an MRI on Barea’s leg on Saturday.

A wild sequence and mad scramble led to the winning basket by Doncic, who keeps advancing his high profile seemingly with every game. First, with the Mavs trailing, 115-114, Doncic turned the ball over with 33.4 seconds left.

Then, as the Timberwolves were trying to set up their offense, DeAndre Jordan (eight points, 15 rebounds) made a steal and passed it up the floor to Doncic. When no defender approached Doncic, he simply walked right into a 3-point shot and nailed it to put the Mavs ahead 117-115.

“Man, he’s just ice cold,” said Maxi Kleber, who scored 13 points and blocked two shots. “I’m not sure about the shooting numbers during the game – they weren’t the greatest – and then he comes down and he doesn’t think about it.

“He knows he’s going to make that shot. He took it with so much confidence. A big-time shot.”

Doncic was just 1-of-8 from 3-point range before drilling the game-winner from downtown.

“I saw some space,” said Doncic, who finished with 29 points, eight rebounds and a career-high tying 12 assists. “I’m glad I made it. I was bad from the 3-point line this game.”

After a timeout, the Timberwolves (20-22) inexplicably passed up a pair of open 3-point shots, and Derrick Rose ultimately turned the ball over. Harrison Barnes (23 points) then salted the game away when he nailed a pair of free throws with 7.8 seconds to go.

This was just the fourth road win of the season for the Mavs against 18 losses. And the Mavs got staggered a couple of times by the Timberwolves en route to success on the road, but managed to collect themselves and hang on at the end.

“We showed a lot of resilience,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Tough game, tough crowd.

“The road’s been a challenge for us all year. I love the way we hung it after they tied it late in the third. We went back out and made a run and got it back to six or eight and worked it from there.”

Barea collected 16 points and seven assists in 22 minutes before his injury. And Dwight Powell scored 15 points in 18 minutes and was dominant around the rim.

Powell was 7-of-8 from the field and finished with five dunks and two layups.

“Our guards did a good job,” Powell said. “Luka, J. J., Jalen (Brunson), Devin (Harris), they do a great job of penetrating the paint and being a threat with the pass, with the shot and with the drive.

“A lot of attention gets drawn to them, so it gets you an opportunity to just try and find spaces where they can hit me. Tonight I was lucky enough to be in position and capitalized on those opportunities.”

The Mavs trailed 20-13 late in the first quarter, but went on a 38-17 run and assumed a 51-37 lead following a 3-pointer by Brunson with 5:11 left before intermission. But the Timberwolves wouldn’t relent, as they forged a tie at 63-all and again at 107-apiece.

Doncic then found Brunson in the corner for a 3-pointer, but Karl-Anthony Towns maneuvered for consecutive baskets that put Minnesota up, 111-110, with 1:41 remaining. From there, Doncic hit a floater, Jeff Teague scored for Minnesota, and Doncic put his head down and stormed to the hoop for a monster dunk and a 114-113 Mavs lead with 57.8 seconds to go.

Taj Gibson scored via an offensive rebound for the Timberwolves. Doncic eventually took it from there as he converted the big-time 3-pointer that was heard around the NBA world.

“We put the ball in his hands when the game is on the line,” said Dirk Nowitzki, who was scoreless, but grabbed four rebounds. “And like I said, the confidence he has in himself down the stretch to make big plays – whether it’s for himself or even the passes on to the weak side on those pick-and-rolls — he’s so tough.

“He makes passes out of the pocket over the big guys because he can see over the double-team. He puts the ball right on the money for the weakside shooters. The playmaking, shot-making for a 19-year old, we can say it over and over, it’s incredible.”

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The Fast Break: Mavs at Timberwolves

Final: Mavs 119, Timberwolves 115

  • Luka Doncic did not achieve the triple-double that seemed very likely at halftime, but he accomplished something else a little more special: a complete takeover down the stretch. Doncic checked back in midway through the fourth quarter with Dallas ahead 102-92. Then began one of the most extraordinary scoring runs you will ever see a team go on, as a Derrick Rose 3-pointer launched a prolonged stretch in which the Wolves would score on 11 straight possessions. The Wolves turned possession into points every single trip down the floor from the 6:07 mark of the fourth quarter until there were just 30 seconds left in the game. It’s impressive that the Mavericks were still able to pull out the win after such an extended run of shot-making.

    Doncic had a whole lot to do with it. The rookie responded to Rose’s initial 3-pointer, and the Wolves’ ensuing buckets, by scoring or assisting on the Mavs’ next 15 points, including three go-ahead shots inside the final two minutes.

    We’ve seen the 19-year-old do plenty of amazing things already in his short career, but he continues to amaze us. It was fitting, as well, that such a heroic crunch-time performance would come in his 41st career game. This was some of his best work, and while he clearly didn’t do it alone — without Harrison Barnes going to the ground to collect a loose ball in the game’s closing seconds, the Mavs might not have even won — Doncic reminded us all why he’s already become one of the best clutch performers in the league. And there’s this, too: He became the youngest player ever to score 29 points, hand out 12 assists, grab eight rebounds, and steal the ball twice in the same game. He might not have scored a triple-double, but he still made a bit of history, and the win probably doesn’t feel too bad either.

  • Jalen Brunson hit a career-high three 3-pointers, Maxi Kleber tied his season-high with 13 points, Dwight Powell tied for his highest-scoring outing in more than a month, and Barnes piled up more points tonight than he has in any game in 2019. Doncic is going to get all the headlines, but this was a team win. The Mavs received contributions at times from some of the most unlikely players, too — Brunson, for example, had been shooting just 27.6 percent from beyond the arc this season before tonight, but the rookie sank all three of his attempts and now suddenly is 9 out of his last 18 from deep. Kleber, meanwhile, has made five 3s in his last two games, both as a starter. Will those guys continue making more than half of their 3-pointers? Who knows. But more important than who makes them is the necessity for someone to make them, and in this game it was the “other” guys. On a night when Doncic, Wesley Matthews, and Dirk Nowitzki combined to shoot just 2 of 17 from deep, the Mavs’ shooting should have suffered. But it didn’t, as everyone else shot a combined 11 of 21. That’s how teams win.

  • The Mavericks racked up 25 assists against just seven turnovers. It’s the fourth time they’ve reached the 25-dime plateau in the last month. As the team has gone through a long stretch of tough opponents and plenty of road games, the assists have fallen off while the turnovers have picked up. But, all things considered, this was an extremely clean game — the most mistake-free Dallas has played all season, as a matter of fact. Interestingly enough, the Mavs had lost all four previous games in which they gave it away fewer than 10 times, which goes against basketball conventional wisdom. I don’t know how that’s even possible, but it is. That’s certainly a good trend to buck, and hopefully the Mavs continue to do in upcoming games, beginning this Sunday against Golden State. Turnovers have been a significant issue for most of the season, and tonight we were exposed to how smoothly this offense can hum when the club can keep the mistakes down.

  • J.J. Barea took an awkward fall in the fourth quarter and immediately grabbed his lower right leg. After staying on the floor momentarily, he got up and began to walk toward the bench, but then went back to the ground. He was then helped off the floor and to the locker room by Devin Harris and Mavs trainer Casey Smith. It was an emotional scene. Rick Carlisle said Barea will have an MRI tomorrow. There’s no need for speculation until then, but hopefully Barea receives some good news tomorrow.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (20-22) will return home for a game against the Warriors on Sunday. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs at Timberwolves appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


  • While developing into one of the world’s best players, Luka Doncic has far exceeded expectations

    MINNEAPOLIS – When asked before Friday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves if Dallas Mavericks rookie forward Luka Doncic has been a surprise thus far this season, Rick Carlisle didn’t mince words.

    “I supposed you’d have to say he’s exceeded expectations,” the Mavs’ coach said. “But the interesting thing is when we drafted him (last June) we didn’t play him in the summer league because he had played for basically two years straight in EuroBasket, EuroLeague, Euro this, Euro that — there’s all kinds of leagues over there.

    “We felt he needed the rest and that throwing him out there in a summer league situation was probably not a good idea. We did a little shooting with him in the gym and stuff like that, so you knew that the guy had skills — we saw films. Then when he showed up in the fall and started playing pickup with our guys it was pretty clear that he had amazing vision, he had a great feel for playmaking and all that kind of stuff, and the guys liked playing with him.”

    Not much has changed since that initial first impression of Doncic. Other than the fact that the rest of the NBA world now knows that this 19-year old teenager has quickly evolved into becoming one of best players in the world.

    “Here we are today and he’s done a lot of great things,” Carlisle said. “We’re 41 games into (this season) with 41 to go.

    “He’s still learning, but he loves to play and his teammates love playing with him.”

    What Doncic doesn’t love is all the attention that comes with being one of the best players in the world. Lots of media attention, lots of requests for pictures and autographs – typical stuff reserved for superstar athletes who are averaging 19.8 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

    “He doesn’t want the attention,” Carlisle said. “He’s been getting this kind of attention since he was 14 or 15. My understanding is he was signed as a professional player (by Real Madrid) at age 13, so he was always a prodigy type prospect and there was always tons of attention.

    “He’s not interested in the attention. He likes to compete and he loves his teammates, but he’s great with people. If you want autographs he’ll do what he can, but he wants to make it about the team and that’s the thing that you love most about him.”

    The post While developing into one of the world’s best players, Luka Doncic has far exceeded expectations appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Rangers avoid arb with Mazara, DeShields

    The Rangers have reached one-year agreements with outfielders Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields, avoiding a potential arbitration hearing with each player.


    Rick Carlisle has nothing but praise for Timberwolves interim coach Ryan Saunders

    MINNEAPOLIS – Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle believes Minnesota Timberwolves interim coach Ryan Saunders will make a great head coach in the NBA.

    Saunders took over the Timberwolves’ interim coaching duties this past Sunday after Minnesota fired coach Tom Thibodeau. Saunders is the son of former Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, who died on Oct. 25, 2015.

    “Flip was a good friend of mine,” Carlisle said following Friday morning’s shootaround at the Target Center. “He was a guy that was so well-thought of universally by everyone in the game, by the coaching fraternity especially.

    “He had an amazing way with people. Ryan has all of those same qualities. Now he has an amazing opportunity. After this dad passed I spent a lot of time with him over the last couple of years.”

    Carlisle acknowledged the fact that basketball has always been a part of Ryan Saunders’ life gives him a decided advantage in his new job as the Timberwolves’ interim coach.

    “He was born in the game and he’s been around great basketball people his whole life,” Carlisle said. “He has great knowledge of the game, but he also has seen how his dad cultivated relationships, put players in positions to succeed.

    “He’s certainly taken note of all those things. I’ve watched him coach in many summer league situations and I’ve felt for many years that he was a future head coach in the making. This is something that’s certainly not surprising.”

    Carlisle said because Saunders is just 32 years old has no bearing on whether or not he’s prepared for a job Carlisle believes he’s ready to handle. After all, Saunders has been on the Timberwolves’ coaching staff since 2014.

    “These (Timberwolves players) know him,” Carlisle said. “He’s been here for many years now. His dad went through a couple of tough seasons here where they weren’t winning many games, they were drafting high.

    “They drafted (Karl-Anthony) Towns, they traded for (Andrew) Wiggins. Flip made great moves to put this franchise in a position that they’re in now with a very exciting young core.”

    The Timberwolves advanced to the playoffs last year and were beaten in the first round by the Houston Rockets in five games. So far this year, Minnesota has posted a 20-21 record.

    “They’re in a position now to make a run,” Carlisle said. “But my feeling is that Ryan has so many of his dad’s great qualities and now he’s gaining a lot of experience in a very short period of time.”

    Minnesota won Saunders’ debut game on Tuesday, an emotional 119-117 road victory at Oklahoma City. Saunders’ second game is Friday at 7 p.m. at the Target Center against the Mavs.

    “It was pretty special it happened in Oklahoma City with them being able to win their first game on the road,” Carlisle said. “The scene in the locker room afterwards went viral, as it should have.

    “Look, this is going to be a loud place tonight, no doubt about that.”

    The post Rick Carlisle has nothing but praise for Timberwolves interim coach Ryan Saunders appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Daniels talks arbitration, Gallo, Guzman, arms

    Rangers GM Jon Daniels held court with the media Thursday and discussed several team topics, including the remaining salary arbitration, Joey Gallo, Ronald Guzman and the state of the pitching department.


    Billy Joel to play Globe Life Park's final concert

    Billy Joel will play the final concert at Globe Life on Oct. 12. Tickets go on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. CT Friday and will be available at livenation.com.


    Inbox: Should Rangers deal Choo for prospects?

    Could veteran Shin-Soo Choo be traded for young arms? Is Ronald Guzman a lock to start at first base? Beat reporter T.R. Sullivan answers questions from fans.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 104-94 victory over the Phoenix Suns

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 104-94 win over the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. KLEBER MAKES STATEMENT: The best way to perhaps receive more playing time is to put up some season-high numbers when you received more playing time. That’s precisely what Maxi Kleber did against the Suns. Kleber finished the game with season highs in points (13) and rebounds (nine), and also collected a game-tying two blocked shots. Kleber made his fourth start of the season – the lineup got shuffled when Dennis Smith Jr. sat out with tightness in his back – and the Mavs are now 3-1 in games when he’s in the starting lineup. Oh yeah, Kleber played a season-high 34 minutes against Phoenix.

    2. PARADE TO THE FREE THROW LINE: Attack, attack, attack! That apparently was the Mavs’ mantra on Wednesday as they kept attacking the basket and were rewarded with a plethora of free throws. In all, the Mavs attempted 45 free throws. That’s a new season high for one game for the Mavs. At least two Mavs players had the rare opportunity of attempting double-digit free throws in the same game. Harrison Barnes was 10-of-10 from the line and Luka Doncic was 10-of-16. If the Mavs could have converted more of those charity tosses this 10-point victory would have easily been a 20-point victory. The Mavs missed 13 free throws Wednesday.

    3. MIDWAY POINT OF THE SEASON: Wednesday’s game marked the midway point of the season for the Mavs. While the 19-22 record indicates the Mavs are on pace to win 38 games this season, they certainly are hoping to defy those numbers and get into the 40-plus win category so they can improve their odds of qualifying for the playoffs. The Mavs know they let too many games get away, and they don’t want those costing them when the playoffs roll around. The Mavs have lost seven games this season by six points or less, including a five-pointer in overtime at San Antonio and a three-pointer in overtime at Portland.

    4. LUKA GETS REVENGE ON FORMER COACH: It took him three tries, but rookie Luka Doncic finally won an NBA game against his former coach. Suns coach Igor Kokoskov was Doncic’s coach when the pair were with the Slovenian national team at EuroBasket in 2017. Slovenia went 9-0 and won its first gold medal that year. Doncic finished Wednesday’s game with a game-high 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals. He also was 8-of-14 from the field and 4-of-9 from 3-point territory. The Suns had beaten the Mavs twice earlier this season, but Doncic and the Mavs were finally able to exact revenge.

    5. BATTLE OF THE ROOKIES: There’s no better time than to see how the two most coveted rookies in the NBA are doing this season than to see them on the same court at the same time. That happened Wednesday when the Mavs’ Luka Doncic and the Suns’ Deandre Ayton went toe-to-toe. The results: A TKO by Doncic. Ayton, the top overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft, spent most of the night battling foul problems and finished with just ix points and five rebounds. Doncic, the third overall pick in the draft, collected 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 104-94 victory over the Phoenix Suns appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Suns

    Final: Mavs 104, Suns 94

  • This game was, in some ways, kind of the opposite of the Mavs’ defeat at the hands of the Lakers two nights ago. On Monday night, Dallas was the better team in the first half before L.A. cranked up the intensity and took the game with a strong second half. Tonight, meanwhile, the Suns got the better of Dallas in the first half and even early into the third quarter, pulling ahead 55-48 with 9:59 to go.

    But after T.J. Warren’s 3-pointer fell through the net, creating a large cushion in a game in which neither team could really get anything going offensively, something changed. DeAndre Jordan finished a put-back dunk after Josh Jackson rejected his first offering. Then Jordan bodied Suns rookie sensation Deandre Ayton into a difficult fadeaway miss, and Luka Doncic hit a 3-pointer. Doncic hit another 3-pointer on the next possession, and Dallas took the lead for good. The rest of the second half was more of that same thing: Dallas turned stops into easy buckets the other way. The Mavericks limited the Suns to just 36.6 percent shooting after halftime, forced eight turnovers, and blocked two shots. Harrison Barnes was +18 in the third and fourth quarters alone. The Mavs won those frames by a combined score of 58-44. There were a few stellar efforts on offense, but mostly this felt like a game in which the Mavericks dialed up the energy level on the defensive end and it created promising opportunities heading the other way. By keeping turnovers down, relatively speaking, Dallas was able to move the ball and generate clean shots, which certainly helped. Offense and defense are symbiotic, and one cannot function properly without the other holding up its end of the bargain. The second half tonight was a good illustration of that relationship.

  • Luka Doncic finished with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. The only two other teenagers in NBA history to record such a line are LeBron James and Kevin Durant, per Basketball-Reference. That is the most exclusive company you can imagine. Doncic hit four 3-pointers and 10 free throws, scoring in a variety of ways and mixing in a couple more impressive passes, including one out of a double-team to DeAndre Jordan which looked like something we see Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes do on the football field.

    Doncic can make some incredibly difficult passes look almost easy. And while I’m sure everyone would love to keep his degree of difficulty down, this felt like the right night to bust out some of his most daring work. Dallas was searching for a passing pick-me-up after handing out just 12 assists against the Lakers, making tonight’s total — 21 dimes on 30 made shots — a strong response. All the more impressive was that the Mavs did this despite the absence of Dennis Smith Jr., who’s currently third on the team in assists per game. Rather than starting Jalen Brunson, Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle opted to turn to Maxi Kleber, leaving Doncic with potentially a heavy load to carry. Any worries were quickly quieted by Wesley Matthews, who delivered a season-high-tying five assists (his most since opening night against Phoenix, coincidentally), and by Harrison Barnes’ season-high-tying three. Anyway, this was Doncic’s fourth 30-point game of the season, moving him ahead of Marquis Daniels into fourth place on the Mavs’ all-time rookie list. Mark Aguirre is up next with five, and Jamal Mashburn sits in second place with seven. First-place Jay Vincent will be tough to top, as he reached the 30-point plateau 15 times during his rookie season in 1981-82.

  • Kleber answered the starting call dutifully, as well, contributing season-high marks in points (13) and rebounds (nine). With DeAndre Jordan primarily occupied with defending Deandre Ayton (and holding him to just six points on 1-of-7 shooting), Kleber was responsible for helping to protect the rim when other players attacked the lane. Each of them blocked two shots, and their work on the inside helped limit Phoenix to just seven offensive rebounds. Kleber’s on-off numbers are extraordinary; the Mavericks have been 11.4 points per 100 possessions better than their opponents in the 654 minutes Kleber has been on the floor, per NBA Stats, which is the highest mark on the team by a mile among regular rotation players. He’s a very good rim protector and is improving not only as a 3-point shooter, but also as an attacker off the dribble. His energy on both ends was much-needed tonight.

  • This game represented the season’s midway point, at which Dallas arrives with a 19-22 record. There have been some frustrating losses, but there have also been some extremely encouraging wins. The halfway point is more symbolic than anything else, but the big takeaway of this season so far, at least from where I sit, is that being on pace for 38 wins after a 24-win season one year ago represents a fairly significant turnaround. After tonight’s game, Carlisle said he was optimistic that the next 41 will be better than the last 41, which means Dallas could perhaps even push closer to 41 wins or even to above .500, thereby possibly throwing the club into the playoff mix. As it stands now, Dallas is three games out of eighth place, but things can change quickly in this conference. It’s one game at a time in this league, and the next one is coming fast.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (19-22) will head north to Minnesota for a game against the Timberwolves on Friday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Suns appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


  • Mavs reach the midway point of the season after a 104-94 win over the Suns

    DALLAS – It took awhile for the Dallas Mavericks to get control of Wednesday’s game against the Phoenix Suns. But once they did, there was no turning back.

    Frustrated in their inability to beat Phoenix for over two seasons, the Mavs finally got a grip on the game late in the fourth quarter and went on to post a 104-94 victory before a sellout crowd of 19,596 at American Airlines Center.

    The game marked the midway point of the season for the Mavs, who will enter the second half of the season Friday night in Minnesota with a 19-22 record. And with this below .500 record, the Mavs know they must step up their game in order to reach their appointed goal of advancing to the playoffs.

    “We can be a lot better,” center DeAndre Jordan said. “I’m definitely not satisfied and happy with where we are right now – we want to be better — and that’s not a negative thing.

    “That’s just real. We want to be better, we know we’re better. We dropped a couple of games this season, we’ve been in a lot of games, but we know we’re better than our record and we’ve got to start proving that, and it has to start showing.’’

    Against the Suns, the Mavs attacked the basket all night to the point where they attempted a season-high 45 free throws while snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Suns. A 16-2 run turned a seven-point deficit into a 64-57 advantage for the Mavs midway through the third quarter, and they never trailed thereafter in raising their home record to 16-4.

    “I thought all things considered we moved the ball well and ran through passes,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We were aggressive and that’s what got us to the line so much.”

    Luka Doncic led the Mavs with 30 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals as he easily won his rookie matchup with DeAndre Ayton, who was the No. 1 overall pick in last summer’s NBA Draft. Ayton had foul problems all night and finished with just six points and five rebounds.

    Meanwhile, Harrison Barnes poured in 17 points on 3-of-11 shooting, and his basket with 2:06 left to put the Mavs ahead, 99-86.

    “It was really big for us,” Carlisle said. “Harrison didn’t have a great shooting line to look at, but he was aggressive and made a couple of good shots down the stretch.

    “He drove the ball very well early in the game and got guys good looks from three. I thought he played a really good game.”

    The Mavs also got a solid performance from Maxi Kleber, who stepped into the starting lineup when Dennis Smith Jr. couldn’t play due to tightness in his back. Kleber finished with 13 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

    “His shot-blocking ability is a big unconventional,” Carlisle said. “But it’s one of the things that makes him unique.”

    Doncic, the third pick in last summer’s NBA Draft, also showed that he’s a unique talent. In wrapping up his fourth 30-point game of the season, Doncic was 8-of-14 from the field, 4-of-9 from 3-point land and 10-of-16 from the charity stripe.

    “For sure, we needed that win and we got it,” Doncic said. “We just got to get a few more like that.”
    The game was special for Doncic, whose Slovenian national team coach – Igor Kokoskov – is the head coach of the Suns.

    “I always love playing against friends, especially my coach,” Doncic said. “I like to say something to him.
    “I know all the plays because we used the same plays, so I told him they aren’t going to get the shot because I know all the plays.”

    Kokoskov and the Suns are 2-1 against the Mavs this season, and he’s noticed the progress his protégé has made.

    “He’s very confident,” Kokoskov said of Doncic. “First of all, he’s a good player. He’s very versatile, he’s unselfish, a guy who’s playmaking for his teammates and is also capable of scoring, (and) I think his defense is getting better.

    “(Playing defense) wasn’t his strength coming into the league. But he has to understand that a lot of teams are going to go at him, so I see a huge improvement ahead for him.”

    In the meantime, the Mavs are hoping for some huge improvements during the remainder of this season.

    “I liked the way we played tonight, but I’m not really into that stuff,” Carlisle said when asked to assess his team’s play in the first half of the season. “There are a lot of positive things with this team and I’m very optimistic about the next 41 games.”

    NOTES: Dirk Nowitzki (illness) and Dennis Smith Jr. (back tightness) sat out Wednesday’s game. Asked which is most impressive to him, Nowitzki playing at the age of 40 or Nowitzki playing all 21 of his NBA seasons with one organization, coach Rick Carlisle said: “Both things are amazing milestones to me. This is my 11th year with him, so nothing like that really ever amazes me about him because he’s such a consistent worker and because he loves and respects the game so much. We just want to see him keep progressing, getting better, getting more comfortable, getting better rhythm.” At seven feet, Nowitzki changed the NBA game to the point where centers and power forwards went from nearly wrestling each other for position under the basket to where they’ve stepped out on the perimeter and are consistently tossing up 3-point shots. “When I got in (the NBA in 1998) there was still a lot of one-on-one basketball, a lot of pounding of two big guys really, and no (power forwards) could really shoot that much,” Nowitzki said. “It’s been incredible to watch NBA basketball over the last 20 years how it has evolved and how teams are basically all shooters out there. Some (centers) are even bringing the ball up, and it’s been fun to watch.”. .Wednesday’s game pitted two of the top three picks in last June’s NBA Draft in Deandre Ayton and Luka Doncic. The Phoenix Suns used the No. 1 overall pick to select Ayton, and Doncic was picked third overall by Atlanta, who quickly traded his draft rights to the Mavs for the draft rights to Trae Young, who was drafted fifth overall. ”They’ve both been terrific,” Carlisle said. “It’s been good to watch. It’s a lot of responsibility that they’ve taken on with their respective teams, and they don’t shy away or dodge it, which is good to see.”

    The post Mavs reach the midway point of the season after a 104-94 win over the Suns appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Shelby Miller, Rangers agree to 1-year deal

    The Rangers continue to add reclamation projects to their pitching staff as they agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent right-hander Shelby Miller. The deal is for $2 million plus another $3 million in incentives, a source told MLB.com's Mark Feinsand.


    Heineman, Evans earn Rangers Minors Awards

    Outfielder Scott Heineman has been selected as the 2018 Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year and right-hander Tyler Phillips has been named the Nolan Ryan Pitcher of the Year. The Rangers also announced that right-hander DeMarcus Evans has been named the Reliever of the Year and shortstop Ryan Dorow is the Defender of the Year.


    To turn things around, Mavs say consistency is key

    Practice Report: J.J. Barea

    Mavs veteran guard J.J. Barea speaks about how the team can rally after last night's game and previews the matchup against the Phoenix Suns on Wednesday.

    The first half of Monday’s game against the Lakers was a wonderful 24 minutes of basketball for Dallas. The Mavs led 67-54 at the break, tied for their fifth highest-scoring opening act of the season. But a combination of turnovers, fast break points allowed, and some missed shots caused the halftime cushion to quickly disappear, and by the end of the night, J.J. Barea used the word “embarrassing” to describe the 107-97 defeat, adding that there was no time to waste to recover. Tomorrow, meaning Tuesday, the team had to be better.

    The NBA schedule doesn’t allow much time to move on from difficult losses. The Mavs just wrapped up a 13-game, 23-day stretch across all four time zones which featured two different four-game road trips. During that time, the “easiest” opponent by record, New Orleans, features Anthony Davis, who’s perhaps one of the three best players in the NBA. This has been a challenging stretch to be sure, but teams cannot allow themselves to get caught up in who’s lining up across from them.

    “I don’t care who we play. It’s about us,” Barea said Tuesday. “I think if we play hard, bring a lot of energy, and everybody plays their role, I think we’ll be fine.”

    His challenge to himself and to the team came at a good time. Wednesday’s opponent, the Phoenix Suns, have a 9-32 record this season and sit 15th place in the West. But two of those wins have come against the Mavericks, and both games Dallas has been held to 100 points or less. Easy games don’t seem to exist in the Western Conference, but even if they did, Wednesday’s is certainly not one of them. Deandre Ayton would have two Rookie of the Month awards on his mantelpiece if it weren’t for Luka Doncic, and Devin Booker has had some terrific games against the Mavs in recent seasons.

    “We’ve got to be careful,” Barea said. “They play really good against us. They shoot the ball good against us here at home, so we’ve got to be ready.”

    One common theme from head coach Rick Carlisle has been the need to establish more consistency. Monday’s game against the Lakers was, unfortunately, an example of what he’s been talking about. Dallas looked like a juggernaut in the first half, but a few mistakes in the second half eventually cost the club dearly.

    “Our inconsistency is a nemesis, and we’ve just got to keep working on being more consistent overall,” Carlisle said. “What I like is we’ve shown the ability to be a very good defensive team. We’ve shown the ability to be a very good offensive team, and an efficient offensive team. But too often we’ve mixed in a 19-turnover game and bad transition defense to take the wind out of our sails.”

    Just recently, the Mavs poured in 10 3-pointers in the first quarter in a 38-point win at Charlotte. Ryan Broekhoff and Jalen Brunson had tremendous performances in Philadelphia, jump-starting a run which brought the Mavericks back into a game in which they trailed by double-digits. Luka Doncic erased a late eight-point deficit against Houston just one month ago, launching an 11-0 run by himself which helped Dallas win the game and solidified his All-Star candidacy in the process. There have been plenty of high moments recently, but there have been some negative ones, too.

    “There’s no question that our guys acknowledge that we’ve got to be more consistent, and that there is a long way to go,” Carlisle said. “Those are positive things. But we’ve got to make it happen. Talk doesn’t get much done.”

    Wednesday’s contest against Phoenix is game No. 41, representing the halfway point of the season. There is still plenty of time left, and while Dallas is 3.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot, the team has more home than road games remaining, and the schedule lightens up soon, relatively speaking, in terms of travel, game frequency, and strength of opponents.

    Every season is a roller coaster — Carlisle has compared his job as head coach to that of a pilot trying to guide and then successfully land a plane — and veteran players, Dirk Nowitzki chief among them, often say the key to surviving an 82-game season requires a unique ability to not get too high with the highs, and not too low with the lows. The Mavericks understand that Monday’s loss was a low, but they also understand not to dwell. After all, thinking too much about the past could hurt you in the present, and lately Phoenix has been a handful for Dallas. All hands must be on deck, and completely in the moment, on Wednesday night.

    “It’s a rough day to come in, after a game like that, the way we’re playing lately,” Barea said. “But I think we got through it. I think we got better. But it all depends (on) how we come out tomorrow, if we handle our business, and I think we’ve just got to play way harder, tougher, more together. We’ve got to do a lot of things that we didn’t do (against L.A.), so we’ll see.”

    Added Carlisle: “There’s still a long way to go, a lot to be determined, but the urgency is there.”

    The post To turn things around, Mavs say consistency is key appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    That’s What’s Up: Episode 30

    Don’t know what’s up?

    NBA champion Shawn Marion’s got you covered. Feast your ears on episode 30 of his podcast, as The Matrix chops it up with Bobby Karalla and Mike Marshall on hoops, life, and everything in between.


    The post That’s What’s Up: Episode 30 appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Gagne highlights Rangers' Minor League staffs

    Former National League Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne will serve as the bullpen coach for the Nashville Sounds, marking the first time the Rangers have had a four-man coaching staff at the Triple-A level.


    Gagne highlights Rangers' Minor League staffs

    Former National League Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne will serve as the bullpen coach for the Nashville Sounds, marking the first time the Rangers have had a four-man coaching staff at the Triple-A level.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 107-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 107-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. SECOND HALF MELTDOWN: I saw it and still can’t believe I saw it. After a brilliant first half when they scored 67 points, the Mavs managed just 30 points in the second half. The Mavs were 25-of-43 from the field for 58.1 percent, 6-of-11 from 3-point land and blocked six shots. But in the second the Mavs were just 11-of-43 from the field for 25.6 percent, and 2-of-19 from behind the 3-point line, and also blocked two shots. In fact, the Mavs scored more points in the first quarter (33) and second quarter (34) than they scored in the entire second half (30).

    2. NOT A LOT OF ASSISTS: For whatever reasons, the ball wasn’t hopping around the perimeter like it does on most nights. And usually that spells trouble. On Monday, the lack of ball movement translated into the Mavs distributing a season-low 12 assists. That’s the same amount of assists J. J. Barea got by himself during a 128-108 win at Houston on Nov. 28. After looking efficient while collecting 10 assists on 25 first-half baskets, the Mavs looked out of sorts while collecting just two assists on only 11 field goals in the second half.

    3. FAST BREAK POINTS: Going into the game the Mavs were very leery of the Lakers’ abilities to get out and force the action by upping the tempo. And that’s precisely what happened. In the end, the Lakers outscored the Mavs on fast break points, 34-5. A lot of those points came because of the 19 turnovers the Mavs committed. And a lot of them came when there was a long rebound after a missed Mavs’ shot, and the one Mavs player left back couldn’t retrieve that rebound, and it led to a breakaway dunk. Or when that player got back on defense and were caught in a one-on-two situation.

    4. JORDAN COLLECTS REBOUNDS: Board work-wise, where would the Mavs be if not for the rebounding of DeAndre Jordan? Against the Lakers, Jordan finished the game with 19 rebounds. It’s the 18th time this season Jordan has grabbed at least 15 rebounds in a game. And it’s the ninth time he’s collected at least 19 rebounds in a game. Jordan also has 20 or more rebounds in six games this season. Overall, Jordan has been so dominant on the boards that he has 35 double-digit rebound games this season. And he has 25 double-doubles this season.

    5. DONCIC SHINES: Even while the Mavs were not playing their basketball of the season in the second half Monday, Luka Doncic was doing his best to keep them afloat. I don’t have enough space to explain all that happened in the second half, but the Mavs only scored 30 points after halftime. And Doncic tallied 15 of those points. The Mavs were just 11-of-43 from the field in the second half. And Doncic was 6-of-13 from the floor during that same time frame. In all, Doncic scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 107-97 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs suffer second-half offensive meltdown in losing to the Lakers, 107-97

    DALLAS – After their countless struggles on the road this season, the Dallas Mavericks returned home from a week-long road trip to discover that their home court has now betrayed them.

    Following a flawless first half when they tallied 67 points and appeared untouchable, the Mavs could muster but 30 points in the second half en route to falling to the Los Angeles Lakers, 107-97, before a Monday night American Airlines Center sellout crowd of 20,354.

    It was a weird set of circumstances for the Mavs, who led by as many as 15 points in the first half as they had their way with the Lakers, who played without the injured LeBron James. But in the second half the Mavs just couldn’t generate any offense as they got outscored 32-13 in the third quarter and 21-17 in the fourth quarter and dropped to 18-22 on the season.

    “We didn’t show up in the second half, plain and simple,” guard J. J. Barea said. “It was embarrassing for the fans — the second half was awful.

    “We’re not playing hard enough, especially here at home. We can’t come out like that in the second half and have that showing here.”

    The Mavs were so out of sync that Luka Doncic tallied 15 of the 30 points they scored after halftime, including making six of the 11 field goals Dallas converted in the second half. In that ugly second half, Doncic was 2-of-4 from 3-point range, while the rest of the team was 0-of-15.

    Overall, the Mavs collected a season-low 12 assists, meaning shots weren’t falling and the ball was not moving around the horn the way they wanted it to.

    “I think I led the team in assists with three,” said Barea, who also scored 11 points. “You can’t win the game like that, so hopefully it won’t happen again.”

    Dallas shot just 41.9 percent from the field, missed 22 of its 30 shots from 3-point land, and turned the ball over 19 times. In essence, it was like watching two different ballgames – the efficient offensive showing by the Mavs in the first half and a second half where the air left their balloons.

    “They picked it up and we struggled,” coach Rick Carlisle said, explaining what happened in the second half. “Give them a lot of credit for picking up their intensity and picking up their defense.”

    Brandon Ingram ignited a 22-6 Laker run that LA ahead, 88-80, early in the fourth quarter. The Mavs got as close as seven – 104-97 – following a pair of free throws by DeAndre Jordan with 1:26 left.

    However, Ingram scored inside shortly thereafter and the Mavs saw their record at home drop to 15-4.

    “We missed some shots,” Carlisle said. “They weren’t bad shots, but we were unable to get some traction defensively ourselves, and then all of a sudden it’s a 32-point quarter for them and a 13 (point) quarter for us.

    “That was where things went sideways for us.”

    Doncic led the Mavs with 27 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes and Dennis Smith Jr. tallied 11 points apiece, and Jordan collected 10 points, 19 rebounds, two steals and three blocks.

    “We did bad,” Doncic said. “Our defense wasn’t as great as the first half.

    “I think they played way better defensively in the second half. We didn’t move the ball as well as we did in the first half.”

    The Mavs only picked up two assists in the second half. But the whole night was odd for the Mavs, who scored more points in the first (33) and second (34) quarters than they scored in the entire second half.

    “There’s nothing that guarantees you anything when you walk out on your home court, and certainly nothing guarantees you anything just because you have a 13-point halftime lead,” Carlisle said. “You’ve got to play the whole 48 minutes).

    “I thought the second half as a whole was just ugly. It’s on all of us. We all own it. Everyone with a uniform to me to all the coaches. We own it. And so we’ve got to get back to work tomorrow. Phoenix is coming in here (on Wednesday). They been a tough matchup for us the last three years.”

    Ingram led the Lakers with 29 points and Lonzo Ball finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

    “We obviously got to move the ball better,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to get to a point where it becomes a habit and not something that is only a convenience.

    “A lot of guys will try to do the right thing to make something happen, but we’re best on offense when we do move it. And when we move it we’re always better on defense because we’re always more energized.”

    NOTES: Add coach Rick Carlisle to the list of folks who were taken aback when Minnesota fired coach Tom Thibodeau right AFTER the Timberwolves blew out the Los Angeles Lakers, 108-86, on Sunday night at home. “Surprising to hear after a 22-point win,” Carlisle said. “But Tom’s a great coach. I communicated with him via text. He’s a guy going forward certainly is going to have plenty of options, but you never want to see coaches go at all, let alone in the middle of the year in a situation like that. It was surprising.” In addition to being the Mavs’ coach, Carlisle also is the president to the coaches association. . .Prior to Monday’s game the Mavs observed a moment of silence for Southwest Airlines co-founder Herb Kelleher, who died last Thursday at the age of 87. . .Cowboys players Ezekiel Elliott, DeMarcus Lawrence and Jaylon Smith attended the game, as well as former Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant. The crowd went wild when Elliott was shown on the Jumbotron. Elliott then gave his patented “Feed Me” routine. The Cowboys play the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. in the NFC semifinals in LA. . . .Coach Carlisle said guard/forward Ryan Broefhoff earned the right to be on the active roster for Monday’s game against the Lakers because of the way he was ready and played last Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers. In that game against the Sixers, Broekhoff was 6-of-8 from the field and scored 15 points in only 22 minutes. Thus, Broekhoff was on the active roster Monday, but did not play.

    The post Mavs suffer second-half offensive meltdown in losing to the Lakers, 107-97 appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


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    Here are external options for Rangers at 3B

    The baseball world is waiting to see what happens with free-agent infielder Manny Machado, and that could ultimately have an impact on what the Rangers do at third base in 2019.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 106-100 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers

    Here are my 5 takeaways form the Dallas Mavericks’ 106-100 loss to the Philadelphia 6ers on Saturday night at Wells Fargo Center:

    1. END OF A BRUTAL STRETCH: This just wasn’t the end of a stretch where the Mavs played 14 games in 25 days in 11 different cities and four different time zones. This was the end of a stretch where it seemed like all 14 games were on the road. The trip included four sets of back-to-backs – including one where both ends were a home-and-home series against Oklahoma City. The Mavs also played two games in a row against New Orleans. In addition, the Mavs played at Denver, which has the best record in the Western Conference, and had a back-to-back at Boston and Philadelphia, two of the top contenders to win the East. It also included a game at Golden State, which won the last two NBA titles. The Mavs finished the 25-day excursion with a 4-10 record.

    2. A RYAN BROEKHOFF SIGHTING: One thing that jumped off the charts in regards to Ryan Broekhoff during training camp was his ability to shoot the ball. Broekhoff’s shooting expedition was on full display Saturday when he scored a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shots in just 22 minutes. Broekhoff, who also converted three of his five 3-point shot attempts, was dialing them in from all over Wells Fargo Center as he Sixers had difficulties trying to contain the 6-7 guard. While Broekhoff’s shining moment may have surprised many, it wasn’t to the Mavs, who know he can go get buckets at a moment’s notice. And all of this came one game after he was on the inactive list. In addition, among the 19 players who played Saturday, the +12 Broekhoff finished the game with was exceeded only by the +13 Philadelphia’s JJ Redick recorded.

    3. BENCH CONTINUES TO SHINE: Hailed as one of the best in the business, the Mavs’ bench showed exactly why on Saturday. Even without three of its top players in J. J. Barea, Devin Harris and Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavs’ reserves outscored the team’s starters, 51-49, outrebounded the starters, 25-24, and converted more field goals than the starters – 20-18 – although they combined to play approximately 19 less minutes than the starters. Ryan Broekhoff dusted off the rust and scored 15 points off the bench for the Mavs, Dwight Powell contributed 13 points and four rebounds, and Maxi Kleber added six points and seven boards. Also, rookie Jalen Brunson finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. The reserves were 20-of-42 from the field, while the starters were 18-of-46 from the floor.

    4. BRUNSON TRIPLE-DOUBLE THREAT: What a great homecoming this was for Jalen Brunson. The rookie from Philadelphia-based Villanova played his best game of the season in front of family members and friends while finishing just two assists shy of a triple-double. Not only did Brunson collect 13 points and manufacture season highs in rebounds with 11 and assists with eight, he was simply in attack mode all night. Brunson’s board work was so efficient that the only players who finished the game with more rebounds was Philadelphia’s dynamic duo of Ben Simmons (14) and Joel Embiid (12). From a psychological standpoint, while it’s something about these “homecoming” games that brings out the best in players, they also can go south. Fortunately for Brunson, he proved again that he was one of the steals of last summer’s draft.

    5. MATTHEWS HAD HIS SHOOTING STROKE: Wesley Matthews continues to show that he’s in the midst of a solid season in terms of his shot-making. The 10-year veteran finished Saturday’s game with a team-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shots. He also was 4-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc. It’s the ninth time this season Matthews has made at least four 3-pointers in a game and the first time since he went 7-of-11 from downtown in a Dec. 22 road game against the Golden State Warriors. This also was the seventh time Matthews converted at least seven field goals in a game this season. Overall, Matthews is shooting 42.3 percent from the field. It’s his best season since he shot 44.8 percent from the field in the 2014-’15 season. And his 39.4 percent shooting from downtown is his best since he shot 39.8 percent during the 2012-‘13 campaign.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 106-100 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs end very rough stretch of games with 106-100 loss to the Sixers

    PHILADELPHIA – That very long journey down a very dark alley finally ended Saturday night for the Dallas Mavericks.
    Playing their 14th game over the past 25 days in 11 different cities and four different time zones, the Mavs simply ran out of gas at Wells Fargo Center and dropped a 106-100 decision to the Philadelphia 76ers before a sellout crowd of 20,656.

    During that nightmarish nearly month-long stretch, the Mavs posted a 4-10 record, including a 1-3 worksheet on this just concluded week-long road trip. Overall, the Mavs will take a 18-21 record into Monday’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

    Despite falling behind the Sixers by 19 points with legs that must have been fatigued, the Mavs actually had an excellent chance to atone for some early transgressions and sneak out of town with a victory. A pair of 3-pointers by Wesley Matthews (18 points), a layup by Dennis Smith Jr, and a shot from downtown by Luka Doncic quickly got the Mavs within 101-97 of the Sixers with 1:08 left in the game.

    The Mavs then intentionally fouled Ben Simmons, who split a pair of free throws. And when Dwight Powell went to the line shortly thereafter, he had an opportunity to make this a one possession game with 50.1 seconds to go.

    Powell, however, converted just one of two free throws, leaving the Mavs down 102-98. From there, Joel Embiid and Furkan Korkmaz each connected on two charity tosses to pad Philly’s lead to 106-98 with 14.3 ticks left.

    “It was a tough scheduling game, for sure,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But I thought the whole team showed resilience hanging in and giving ourselves a chance at the end.

    “We got to a point where we basically had to pitch a shutout, which is very hard to do. But you know, we were right there.”

    It was a game that eerily resembled the game the Mavs played Friday night in Boston.

    The Mavs fell behind Philadelphia 18-7 less than five minutes into the game, but actually went up 46-42 late in the second quarter following a layup by Powell and two free throws from rookie Jalen Brunson. However, the Sixers ended the half on a 17-5 run to lead 59-51 at the midway point.

    Nevertheless, Ryan Broekhoff and Brunson led a furious comeback by the Mavs with some serious shot-making. Broekhoff finished with a career-high 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting, and Brunson, who led nearby Villanova to two national titles in the past thee seasons, was only two assists shy of a triple-double as he collected 13 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and eight assists.

    “He was terrific all around, but these homecoming games can be emotional and difficult,” Carlisle said of Brunson. “But he looked like he was right at home, so I was happy for him.

    “He did a lot of very, very good things.”

    So, too, did Broekhoff, who made three of the five 3-pointers he attempted.

    “I came into the league wanting to play and compete,” Broekhoff said. “The coaching staff and the players continue to show a lot of confidence in me and tell me to shoot the ball, and tonight some of them went in, which was a good feeling.

    “When the first one goes in you don’t think about it too much. Shooters are always told to forget about the last shot. But if the first one goes in, it feels good. You’re like, ‘Tonight might be a good night for me.’ “

    Unfortunately, it wasn’t a good night for Doncic, who was just 4-of-16 from the field and finished with 14 points and eight rebounds. Doncic also was lamenting the Mavs’ NBA-worst 3-18 record on the road.

    “We just need to figure out things on the road for sure,” Doncic said. “At home we’re great, so we just have to figure out things on the road.”

    The Mavs’ bench scored 51 of the team’s points, grabbed 25 of their 49 rebounds and made 20 of their 38 field goals. And that was without key bench players J. J. Barea, Devin Harris and Dirk Nowitzki, all of whom rested on the second night of a back-to-back.

    “Brunson kind of led the way at the point position, Broekhoff obviously stayed ready to play,” Carlisle said. “(Maxi) Kleber, Powell and (Dorian) Finney-Smith, those guys all did a good job with their respective roles.

    “Hey, nice when we need help off the bench, we’ve got to have it and nice when the bench is struggling, the starters (have) got to pick them up. That’s why you have a team, that’s why you build a deep roster.”

    That deep roster came in handy because DeAndre Jordan didn’t play the final two-thirds of the fourth quarter due to a left hand contusion. But the injury doesn’t appear to be anything serious.

    “As far as I know DeAndre is OK,” Carlisle said. “I elected to stay with Powell down the stretch because he got some things going, really, at both ends in the last five minutes.”

    For the Mavs, unfortunately, they couldn’t overcome solid games by Ben Simmons, JJ Redick and Embiid. Simmons collected 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, Redick contributed 20 points, and Embiid added 25 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.

    But as the Mavs return home to play the Lakers on Monday and Phoenix on Wednesday, they would like nothing better than to pad their 15-3 record at home by two more victories.

    “I like our team — I’ve said that from the beginning of the year,” Carlisle said. “They’ve grown a lot, they’ve learned a lot about each other.

    “This stretch of a couple of games at home is great. So we’ve got to get back on the plane as quick as possible and get rested up and get ready to play on Monday.”

    NOTES: Coach Rick Carlisle was asked if he was surprised rookie Luka Doncic is in second place on the frontcourt voting for the Western Conference All-Star team. “I think everybody’s surprised he’s gotten the number of fan votes that he’s gotten,” Carlisle said. “But he’s had a terrific year so far. He’s done a lot of good things, and you never know. Zaza Pachulia almost was a starter in the All-Star game four years ago when he was with us, so these kinds of things can happen.” In the 2016 All-Star voting, Pachulia finished in fourth place. He was less than 15,00 votes behind Kawhi Leonard for the third and final Western Conference starting frontcourt spot. . .In Saturday’s game, a cameraman had to get some medical attention after Luka Doncic fell on him following a drive to the basket. During a stoppage of play, Doncic went back over to make sure the cameraman was OK.

    The post Mavs end very rough stretch of games with 106-100 loss to the Sixers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 114-93 loss to the Boston Celtics

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 114-93 loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday night at TD Garden:

    1. CELTICS FANS ROOTED FOR DIRK: Celtics fans had their eyes on Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki all night. From the time he first got off the bench to enter the game for the first time late in the first quarter, right up until the final buzzer, they were madly cheering for Nowitzki. It was as if he was one of the own players and they wanted to see him do good in what likely may have been Nowitzki’s final game playing in Boston if he retires at the end of this season. From chants of: “Dirk, Dirk, Dirk,” to “We Want Dirk, We Want Dirk, We Want Dirk,” the lovefest went on all night long. So much so that the game became an after-thought.

    2. THE BASKET WASN’T KIND TO DIRK: The basketball gods were very cruel to Dirk Nowitzki on Friday night. No matter what he shot – open threes, trail threes, contested threes, perimeter jumpers — the greatest Mavericks’ player of all-time couldn’t get anything to fall. Even Celtics coach Brad Stevens was rooting for Nowitzki to make a basket. Nowitzki only needed two points to past Kobe Bryant and become the Western Conference player to score the most points in games played in Boston. However, Nowitzki attempted 10 shots – including eight 3-pointers – and none of them managed to go through the nets.

    3. DEANDRE DOMINATES THE BOARDS: I truly hope Mavs’ fans aren’t taking what DeAndre Jordan is doing around the rim for granted. On Friday, Jordan reached out and grabbed another 15 rebounds. It’s the 17th time this season he’s pulled down at least 15 rebounds in a game, including collecting 20 or more rebounds on six occasions. Jordan now has 33 games – out of 38 – where he’s snatched at least 10 rebounds. As a team last year, individually, Mavs players only did that a combined total of 43 times. I know Tyson Chandler and James Donaldson did some wonderful things on the boards for the Mavs. But Jordan may wind up being the chairman of the boards for this franchise.

    4. BARNES STRIKES AGAIN: Sometimes he does it in subtle ways. But once the game is over and you start scanning the stat sheet, you’ll look up and see that Harrison Barns scored 20 points. Such was the case again Friday night as Barnes led the Mavs in scoring with 20 points in only 32 minutes. It’s the 12th time this season he’s scored 20 or more points in a game. It’s also the 1th time this season Barnes has made four or more 3-pointers in a game. On Friday, the seven-year veteran was 4-of-7 from 3-point territory. And once again, when the Mavs were struggling to find points, all they did was slow it down and get the ball to Barnes on the post.

    5. TURNOVERS WERE DEVASTATING: Some folks may not have been in their seats yet before the Mavs were throwing the ball all over TD Garden. The Mavs had already committed five of their 14 turnovers by the time the game was less than four minutes old. That led to an early 14-5 deficit, which turned into a 34-23 deficit by the end of the first quarter when Boston turned six Dallas turnovers into nine points. By the end of the third quarter the Celtics were ahead 84-68 and had flipped 13 Mavs turnovers into 13 points. Catastrophic turnovers often lead to transition threes, layups or dunks, and are just not a wise thing to do if you’re trying to win a game.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 114-93 loss to the Boston Celtics appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Celtics defeat Mavs, 114-93, but their fans cheered all night for Dirk Nowitzki

    BOSTON – A game that started with the Dallas Mavericks committing five turnovers in the opening four minutes ended all warm and fuzzy, thanks to the Boston Celtics and their fans rooting for. . .Dirk Nowitzki?

    As the Celtics were busy putting the finishing touches on a 114-93 wire-to-wire victory over the Mavs, their fans were, oddly enough, almost out of breath due to hollering to the top of their lungs while cheering for Nowitzki to make at least one basket. Even Celtics coach Brad Stevens said:

    “I’ve rooted for the opponent to score two times in my life: Paul Pierce and Dirk Nowitzki. I was sitting over there just like everyone else in the building saying, ‘Go in. Go in.’

    “But, what a special player. And you know, kudos to him.”

    It was indeed one of the strangest endings ever to a game, with the Mavs players constantly feeding Nowitzki the ball, the fans urging him on, and Nowitzki jacking up five shots in the game’s final six minutes. Unfortunately, Nowitzki couldn’t steer any balls into the basket on Friday as he was an ugly 0-of-10 from the field, including 0-of-8 from 3-point range, and left Boston perhaps for the last time without scoring any points.

    Still, he was appreciative of the respect the Celtics’ fans gave him on a night when he obviously struggled through his worst performance of the season.

    “It’s sweet when not only your home fans, but when you’re on the road they appreciate what you’ve done in the last two decades,” Nowitzki sad. “I appreciate the fans of Boston, but unfortunately I’m really disappointed I couldn’t make one (basket).

    “I had some great looks. It was one of them nights.”

    Sensing Friday may have been Nowitzki’s very last game playing in Boston, the fans were fully aware that he needed only two points to pass Kobe Bryant and become the Western Conference player who scored the most points in games played in Boston. Thus, Nowitzki received a boisterous standing ovation when he first entered the game late in the first quarter, and the cheering and love kept coming every time he touched the ball.

    “I definitely will never forget the reception, and obviously at the end how they wanted me to break the record,” Nowitzki said. “I really appreciate it.”

    As far as the game itself, the Mavs trailed 17-5 at the 7:06 mark of the first quarter and things kept declining until they were behind, 53-36, after Flower Mound Marcus High School product Marcus Smart drained a 3-pointer with 4:40 remaining in the first half.

    “The early turnovers were a big problem,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It got us behind the eight ball early.

    “We corrected it late first through the second quarter, but then we’re playing from behind all night. It just makes it hard on the road, and they took advantage. They took advantage with transition threes and transition layups, so we got to take better care of the ball.”

    A 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer by rookie forward Luka Doncic, and another trey by Harrison Barnes and Doncic helped the Mavs inch to within 58-57 of the Celtics early in the second half. But Boston was off and running again, outscoring the Mavs 26-9 and assuming an 84-66 lead with 1:30 left in the third quarter following a layup by Gordon Hayward.

    “One of the unlucky things about tonight was in situations where we had really good shots we just were unable to get anything going consistently, and that was tough,” Carlisle said. “I thought our second unit in the first half had a lot of good looks – we just didn’t get them down.

    “But in the end a lot of this comes down to possession of the ball, ball security, rebounding. Those areas on the road we just got to continue to work to do better at.”

    The Mavs, who dropped to 18-20 overall and 1-2 on this four-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Philadelphia at 6:30 p.m., shot 38.6 percent from the field and missed 33 of their 44 attempts from 3-point territory. Barnes led the Mavs with 20 points, Doncic finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, DeAndre Jordan collected 12 points and 15 rebounds, and Wesley Matthews added 11 points.

    When asked to sum up Doncic’s performance, Carlisle said: “He did some good things. But look, when you get beat big and you never have a lead in the game, it’s hard to look for individual positives.

    “This is a team game and we’ve got to approach it that way.”

    Doncic was 7-of-16 from the field and 4-of-8 from 3-point land, and added that: ”It was a bad game for me.”

    Meanwhile, Carlisle, who was a ember of the Celtics team that won the NBA title in 1986, wasn’t surprised the Boston fans paid homage to Nowitzki.

    “They have a lot of respect for him here,” Carlisle said. “It’s pretty amazing. A special moment if you just think about it.”

    Upon reflection of the night as a whole, Nowitzki said: “I just had zero touch. Some of those easy looks I was getting obviously pissed.

    “Normally I would stop shooting, but they kept obviously yelling, so I kind of had to force some shots up there in the end. I had some great looks, and like I said, I just didn’t have it tonight.”

    The post Celtics defeat Mavs, 114-93, but their fans cheered all night for Dirk Nowitzki appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    All-Star votes notwithstanding, Carlisle, Nowitzki very impressed with Luka Doncic

    BOSTON — Coach Rick Carlisle said he’s “a little bit” surprised rookie forward Luka Doncic is second in the voting to become a frontcourt starter on this year’s Western Conference All-Star team.

    “I’m not exactly sure where all the votes are coming from,” Carlisle said. “I’m sure his country is been very busy online. But look, he’s a good player and he’s having a good year.”

    Doncic, 19, collected 679,839 votes in the first round of the fan voting process, which was released Thursday. He trailed only Los Angeles Lakers’ forward LeBron James, who is his childhood idol and who had 1,083,363 votes.

    Forward Dirk Nowitzki has been impressed what he’s seen from Doncic this season, especially with the way he’s made a seamless transition from playing in Europe to playing in the NBA.

    “He felt from day one that he was going to do this and that he belongs here, and he’s been showing that,” Nowitzki said. “He’s got a great all-around package for a young player, whether it’s a shot, whether it’s the floater, whether it’s reading the pick-and-roll.

    “He can post up already some of the smaller guys. I’ve got to say I’ve never seen, for a 19 year old, someone as versatile as him.”

    When asked if, as the elder statesman on the Mavs’ team at age 40, if he’s taken Doncic under his wings and shown him the ropes.

    “It’s been fun to watch, but nobody really takes him under his wing,” Nowitzki said. “He’s a confident young kid, he believes in himself.

    “He’s a millennial obviously, and their swag is a little different than when we got in the league.”

    Last year Doncic was both the Most Valuable Player of the EuroLeague regular season and the MVP of the EuroLeague Final Four after leading Real Madrid to the championship. From there the Mavs acquired Doncic – he was the third overall pick of last June’s NBA Draft – in a draft day trade with the Atlanta Hawks.

    Doncic, who already has amassed 20 games where he’s scored at least 20 points, has taken it from there and been absolutely spectacular with the vast amount of shots in his arsenal.

    “He’s been playing with grown men for a long, long time and you can kind of see how he reads the game that he’s been playing professionally for a long, long time,” Nowitzki said. “He just doesn’t make certain mistakes usually a 19-year old would make coming out (of college).

    “He’s got an incredible knowledge of the game already for a 19-year old. And his basketball IQ is incredible, so all that stuff obviously helped him make it in the league.”

    The post All-Star votes notwithstanding, Carlisle, Nowitzki very impressed with Luka Doncic appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


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    Luka Doncic’s dream of playing in the NBA All-Star game could become a reality

    BOSTON – Luka Doncic was out bowling with some of his Dallas Mavericks teammates in Boston on Thursday when he found out he was in second place among frontcourt players in the fan voting to start for the Western Conference in next month’s NBA All-Star game.

    To say that Doncic was taken aback would be the understatement of the year.

    “I saw the list, so I was just surprised,” Doncic said following Friday morning’s shootaround at TD Garden. “I thought it was amazing. I was the happiest guy in the world right then.”

    Happiness came from Doncic after he received 679,839 votes from fans across the world, with those numbers released by the NBA on Thursday. The only West frontcourt player that had more votes was Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, who collected 1,083,363 votes.

    The fan voting accounts for 50 percent of the total votes in determining the All-Star starters. The other 50 percent is split from votes from the media and coaches.

    Asked if he thought the results of Thursday make it a distinct possibility that he’ll be starting on the front line in the All-Star game next to James, Doncic didn’t mince words.

    “After yesterday, I think it’s a possibility,” he said. “Everyone dreams to be there. When I was a kid I dreamed about being able to play in the NBA, and now I have a possibility to be in the All-Star game, so it’s just a dream.”

    Doncic, 19, leads the Mavs in scoring with 19.5 points per game, and also averages 6.6 rebounds and five assists. The 6-7 forward has been such a dominant force that he’s scored 20 or more points in 20 games, and has captivated fans so much that he always receives a warm welcome during pre-game introductions at home and on the road.

    “It’s Luka-mania. It’s real,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “He definitely deserves to be up there (in the All-Star voting). I’m not sure if in front of (Kevin Durant) and all these guys, but he’s been tremendously efficient and consistent for us.

    “I always say the hardest thing for me was to play consistent where one night you’re great, then the next night you have to bring it again, and he’s been doing that. And that at 19 is really, really hard. I know of that from going through it.”

    Doncic has become such a media darling in part because of the infectious smile he flashes at times when he’s on the court, in part because he’s only a teenager, and in part because he’s a novelty who is just ripping through NBA defenses with hardly any problems. As far as the attention, coach Rick Carlisle said:

    “He handles all that stuff well and he’s playing with teammates that are easy to play with and compliment him and vice versa. He’s not a typical rookie because he’s been playing professionally (in Europe) for four or five years, so the adjustments relative to seeing teams for the second time probably aren’t as abrupt as they would be for younger kids just coming out of college.”

    Doncic was drafted third overall last June and the Mavs made a draft day trade with the Atlanta Hawks to acquire his services. That move has paid high dividends for the Mavs as Doncic has not only wowed fans with his patented step-back jump shot, but also with his ability to knock down the 3-point shot, rebound and make some dizzying passes.

    “He’s been playing consistent ball for us and he’s a highlight reel waiting to happen,” Nowitzki said. “He’s got a lot of stuff in his arsenal, so he’s been fun to watch.”

    Last year Doncic was the Most Valuable Player of the EuroLeague and the MVP of the EuroLeague Final Four. Then he promptly made a smooth transition to the NBA as evidence by being named Thursday as the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the second consecutive month.

    “He’s been a very good player overseas for quite a while,” Carlisle said. “He dominated over there, so it was just a matter of getting a deal done to get him drafted and get him here and have him start playing with his teammates.

    “He’s done very good things – that’s obvious. The more he sees, the more he experiences, the better he gets.”

    And if Doncic is able to survive and become a starter in next moth’s All-Star game, that experience could help take his game to another level.

    “When I was a kid I would just dream about being in the NBA,” Doncic said. “Being an All-Star would be like, I don’t know. I just can’ explain it.”

    The post Luka Doncic’s dream of playing in the NBA All-Star game could become a reality appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


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    Doncic named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the second month in a row

    BOSTON – For the second time in as many months, Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic has been named the Western Conference Player of the Month. The honor came because of his exceptional work during the month of December.

    Doncic joins Jay Vincent (1981-’82 season) as the only Mavs rookie to capture Western Conference Rookie of the Month accolades on multiple occasions. But the third pick in last June’s NBA Draft is the only Mavs rookie to accomplish this feat during the first two months of the season.

    In 15 games in December, Doncic scored 20 or more points 10 times, including 32 or more points on two occasions. He also averaged 21.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 6.1 assists and picked up four double-doubles in December.

    Back on Dec. 22, Doncic scored 19 points against the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Afterwards, Warriors coach Steve Kerr said: “I think he made three step-back threes in the first half. Those are tough to defend.

    “He’s a great player, really fun to watch and a bright, bright future.”

    Warriors perennial All-Star guard Stephen Curry also walked away impressed with Doncic’s skill set.

    “He’s very talented,” Curry said. “He’s a smart high IQ guy and has a lot of confidence and swag to his game.

    “He’s got some patented moves that he’s shown, but he’s a guy that just knows what he’s doing out there.”

    Doncic’s star is rising so fast that there’s talk that he may even be selected to this year’s NBA All-Star game.

    “He’s a major part of why we’re almost .500 in the West, but it’s going to be tough,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “We already know there are some amazing, amazing players in the West – it’s going to be tough for him to get in.

    “But he has a case. He’s been playing well, he’s been running the show, he’s been really clutch for us in big games, so he deserves a shot or at least to be mentioned.”

    In using his talents to plead his case for a spot on the All-Star team, Doncic also was the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the month of November. That means he has a giant leg up on the competition as far as winning the NBA’s coveted Rookie of the Year at season’s end.

    Also, even before Doncic took just 16 shots to score a season-high 34 points against his team on Dec. 28, New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was already singing his praises. Doncic, 19, made 7-of-10 3-pointers in that game, thus becoming the first teenager in NBA history to sink seven 3-pointers in a game.

    “I don’t care if he’s 14, he’s a really, really good player,” Gentry said. “He’s a smart player, and to be honest with you he’s played against pros since he was 15 years old, so it’s not like this is something new for him.

    “He’s played against men his whole life. For him to come over here, there’s no intimidation. And he feels like he’s really good.”

    Gentry likes the confidence Doncic brings to the court. That, within itself, is a form of intimidation.

    “I think he’s confident, but he’s not cocky,” Gentry said. “You can see the chemistry in everything that happens when you watch him play. He’s a guy that really, really enjoys playing.”

    Curry noticed that, also, in his assessment of Doncic.

    “Obviously he’s a rookie, but he’s found a way to impose his will most nights,” Curry said. “It’s going to be good to see him develop in this league and be a star.”

    The post Doncic named Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the second month in a row appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 122-84 win over the Charlotte Hornets

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 122-84 win over the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday night at the Spectrum Center:

    1. DENNIS HAD A GREAT HOMECOMING: Even in the pregame warmups, you could see it in his eyes that Dennis Smith Jr. was going to have a special night. Smith was dunking all over the place with force, and he was focused. With about three dozen friends and members of his family in the building, Smith was going to make sure he put on a show for them. And boy, did he ever. Of the first 19 points the Mavs scored, Smith scored 10 of them and assisted on the other nine. The North Carolina native finished the night with 18 points, seven assists and three steals in just 22 minutes.

    2. THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE. . .THE ROAD: Finally, the Mavs looked like a well-oiled machine on the road like they have been so many times at American Airlines Center. This was one of those very complete games for the Mavs. In winning their third road game of the season, the Mavs won by 38 points, won the rebound battle by 11, committed only 12 turnovers, and held the Hornets to just 35.6 percent shooting. The Mavs simply got angry about their road woes and decided to do something about it. They scored 42 points in the first quarter when they made 10 of their 17 3-point shots. It’s the most treys the Mavs have made in one quarter in franchise history.

    3. THE LOVEFEST FOR DIRK: The lovefest for Dirk Nowitzki moved to Charlotte, where the Hornets’ fans paid respect to the greatest Mavs of all-time. From the moment Nowitzki hopped off the bench to enter the game for the initial time late in the first quarter, there were a bushel of loud ovations for the 21-year veteran. And in the fourth quarter, the fans kept shouting: “We Want Dirk, We Want Dirk!” Nowitzki obliged, stood up, clapped, smiled and waved. . .and the crowd cheered. One fan even wore a costume equipped with a goat hat – horns and all – and carried a sign that read: Dirk=GOAT. Dirk took a photo with that fan.

    4. LUKA ADDING ANOTHER WRINKLE: As if his step-back 3-point shot wasn’t lethal enough, Luka Doncic added another shot to his vast arsenal of weapons. Late in the second quarter, the rookie from Slovenia dribbled across the lane and calmly tossed in a picture-perfect Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-like sky hook and acted like it was no big deal. Hey, Luka. Teenagers aren’t supposed to be doing this type of stuff. If they do, it’s a big deal! A really big deal! Sky hooks are a lost art in today’s game. And Doncic tossed one in Wednesday night in ho-hum fashion. Afterwards, center DeAndre Jordan called him: “Kareem Abdul La Doncic.”

    5. RESERVES HAD THEIR NIGHT: On a night when the starters didn’t play in the fourth quarter because of the blowout nature of this game, the Mavs reserves were able to get some more time on their resume. And they responded with 50 points, 26 rebounds, 17 assists and four steals. They also were 19-of-41 from the field for 46.3 percent and 9-of-20 from beyond the 3-point arc for 45 percent. Dwight Powell led the way with 15 points and eight rebounds, Maxi Kleber contributed eight points and four boards, Dorian Finney-Smith had seven points and seven rebounds, and J. J. Barea added five points and six assists.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 122-84 win over the Charlotte Hornets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Nowitzki believes Luka Doncic “has a case” on if he deserves a spot on this year’s All-Star team

    CHARLOTTE – Anyone wanting to know if Dallas Mavericks rookie forward Luka Doncic deserves to be on the Western Conference All-Star team this year, the last person to ask is Luka Doncic.

    Whenever Doncic is asked that question – and it has popped up several times in recent weeks – he acts like he wants to run to another room and lock the door air-tight. Fortunately for Doncic, others have stepped forward and spoke on his behalf.

    “Well, time will tell,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He’s having a terrific year, but look, we’re in a team thing here and I just am reluctant to get into talking about individual stuff.

    “Generally speaking, if you’re having a great individual year and your team is a winning team you have a chance to make the All-Star team. All those things will probably factor into it.”

    Forward Dirk Nowitzki certainly knows a thing or two about All-Star games. He’s played in 13 of them, and realizes how tough it’ll be for a rookie like Doncic to be a part of the NBA’s midseason classic, especially since the majority of the NBA talent resides in the West.

    “He’s a major part of why we’re almost .500 in the West, but it’s going to be tough,” Nowitzki said. “We already know there are some amazing, amazing players in the West – it’s going to be tough for him to get in.

    “But he has a case. He’s been playing well, he’s been running the show, he’s been really clutch for us in big games, so he deserves a shot or at least to be mentioned.”

    Doncic leads the Mavs in scoring with 19.6 points per game, and also averages 6.5 rebounds and five assists. And he’s also constantly cheered on road games, which means those cheers could turn into votes that may get him into the All-Star game as a starter.

    Ironically, the All-Star game will be played on Feb. 17 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, where the Mavs drilled the Hornets on Wednesday, 122-84. Will Doncic have to pack his bags and return to Charlotte and be – for a day anyway – a teammate of LeBron James, Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kevin Durant, etc.?

    “I think anything’s possible,’’ said center DeAndre Jordan, who played in the 2017 All-Star game. “Luka’s been playing great for us this year.

    “We’ll definitely see what happens, but he’s definitely been a very exciting player to watch this year.”

    As far as Doncic discussing whether he’s done enough and deserves to be named to the All-Star game this year, he smiled when asked about it and almost went totally silent.

    “Actually, it would be a dream for me,’’ Doncic said. “So we’ll see.”

    Asked if he thought he belonged in this year’s All-Star game, a sheepish Doncic lowered his voice and said: “I don’t know.”

    Standing within shouting distance of the conversation, Jordan shouted: “Now you don’t speak English, huh?”

    The post Nowitzki believes Luka Doncic “has a case” on if he deserves a spot on this year’s All-Star team appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs snap nine-game road losing streak with 122-84 blowout win at Charlotte

    CHARLOTTE – All it took for the Dallas Mavericks to finally get their act together on the road was for the calendar to change from one year to the next.

    Hamstrung by a nine-game road losing streak, the Mavericks opened the new year by nearly pitching a perfect game Wednesday night as they ran away and hid from the Charlotte Hornets, winning 122-84 before 16,955 at the Spectrum Center. With the road losing streak snapped, the Mavericks increased their overall record to 18-19 heading into Friday’s game at Boston.

    Nearly everything the Mavs touched turned into gold against the Hornets as they made a franchise-record 10 3-pointers in the first quarter, committed just 12 turnovers, won the rebounding battle by 11 and led by as much as 47 points during garbage time.

    “We played a very good game and showed what we’re capable of,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “The ball moved great, the mindset was good.

    “We started off a little bit trading shots with them, and we got that straighten out and then we did a good job defending after that.”

    The Mavs also did a very god job of putting that nine-game road losing streak to bed.

    “We’ve been talking about (the road losing streak), and we were certainly due, but these things don’t just happen,” Carlisle said. “You’ve got to make it happen.

    “The guys were ready to play. I could sense it in the locker room beforehand. It was just going to be a matter of how we managed the game and managed turnovers and rebounds and stuff, and we did a terrific job.”

    With about three dozen of his family members and friends in the arena, point guard Dennis Smith Jr. bolted out of the starting blocks like he had a point to prove. Smith, who hails from Fayetteville, N.C., and attended college at North Carolina State, either scored or assisted on the Mavs’ first 19 points.

    In the first quarter, Smith tallied 10 points on 4-of-5 baskets – he also made a pair of 3-pointers. In addition, he had three assists on three 3-point baskets – two of those were to Luka Doncic and another to Wesley Matthews.

    “He was active, he penetrated and got some assists,” said forward Dirk Nowitzki, who had six points in seven minutes. “He looked comfortable shooting the ball and I thought offensively we had a good rhythm with our point guard sharing the ball.”

    Smith finished with 18 points, seven assists and three steals while playing only 22 minutes, and Doncic tallied 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Also for the Mavs, Harrison Barnes poured in 17 points, Dwight Powell had 15 points and eight rebounds, Mathews scored 11 and DeAndre Jordan added eight points and 13 rebounds.

    By halftime the Mavs’ lead had already mushroomed to 65-41, and it reached 94-65 after three quarters. None of the Mavs starters played in the fourth quarter, but the lead still skyrockets to 120-73 after a fast break layup by rookie Jalen Brunson with 4:17 remaining in the game.

    “It was good to get a win like this,” Barnes said. “Not just on the road, but one in which everything was clicking on all cyclinders offensively and defensively.

    “Forty-two points in the first quarter, it went good and I think that got us off to a good rhythm. And offensively and defensively I felt like we were on-point.”

    It was just the third road win of the season for the Mavs and padded their road record to 3-16. More importantly, this was a game where the Mavs were in control for the better part of three quarters.

    In the locker room afterwards, Jordan was joking with Doncic about the sky hook Doncic threw down in the first half. “Kareem Abdul La Doncic,” said Jordan, adding that Doncic got the sky hook from J. J. Barea.

    “We did a great job,” Doncic said. “We just got to play like this every time.

    “I think we were moving the ball great, so we got a lot of open shots and we have players who can hit those shots.”

    All 13 Mavs players scored at least two points and they all finished the game in the plus column in the plus/minus category. In the end, it turned out to be the Mavs’ second-largest blowout win of the season behind the 118-68 defeat over Utah on Nov. 14.

    “I thought everybody played well – everybody that stepped on the floor,” Carlisle said. “And I thought Dirk was a big factor. When he went in and hit a couple of shot it spread everyone out.

    “Look, this thing’s all about team right now and that’s where it’s at. When you’re on the road you’ve got to do it together.”

    The Mavs certainly did that on Wednesday night.

    NOTES: Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. hails from the same town – Fayetteville, N.C. — where assistant coach Darrell Armstrong was a star collegiate athlete. When he was a kid, Smith recalls hearing about Armstrong. “He’s a legend in Fayetteville,” Smith said. “I was hearing about a guy name Darrell Armstrong when I was in the fifth grade. He’s somebody who made it to the NBA from Fayetteville State. My sophomore year I basically went to Fayetteville State in high school because I was on campus every day. My junior year, the same thing. I saw his jersey in the arena. I think it’s pretty cool now that he and I are together every day.” Armstrong thinks that’s pretty cool, too. “I guess my name was still good and big in Fayetteville, especially coming a black college Division II. I guess he saw something that he liked in how I used to play. It’s always an honor when you hear people in the community talk about your game and that they like your game.”. .There were an inordinate amount of the Mavs fans at Wednesday’s game. And they were boisterous. In the fourth quarter a lot of fans started shouting: “We want Dirk, We want Dirk, We want Dirk!” Finally, Nowitzki stood up off the bench, clapped and waved to the crowd, and they cheered. . .The 10 shots from 3-point range the Mavs made in the first quarter are the most they’ve ever made in one quarter in a game. . .The 42 points the Mavs scored in the first quarter ties a season high for points n the first quarter. They also scored 42 points the first quarter of the Oct. 24 game in Atlanta. In addition, the Mavs tallied 43 points in the fourth quarter during a 140-136 win over Minnesota on Oct. 20.

    The post Mavs snap nine-game road losing streak with 122-84 blowout win at Charlotte appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The Fast Break: Mavs at Hornets

    Final: Mavs 122, Hornets 84

  • The Mavs’ struggles on the road this season are well-documented; we do not need to review them in this space. For all of those reasons, this one had to feel pretty good for the Mavericks. It was nearly a wire-to-wire win for the Mavericks, who trailed 16-12 at one point before launching an extended blitz which stretched well into the second quarter. Dallas scored 42 points in the opening frame behind a franchise-record 10 3-pointers, which tied for the most points the team has scored in any first quarter this season. The only other occasion: 42 at Atlanta, the last time the Mavs really got off to a good start away from home — and I don’t want to revisit the result of that game. This one had to feel a bit like redemption for Dallas in that regard, and it had to feel pretty good to just play a good game on the road. The Mavericks were never going to go 2-39 on the road, but they had to get win No. 3 somehow. Sometimes it’s better to skip knocking and just blast your way through the door.

  • This was a homecoming game for Dennis Smith Jr., who hails from nearby Fayetteville. Smith played like he had something to prove — or family and friends to impress — from the opening tip, scoring 10 points and handing out three assists in the first quarter alone.

    Smith finished with 18 points and seven assists in 22 minutes, and he knocked down three 3-pointers. This was one of his more active performances of the season, tacking on three steals and playing some impressive defense on Charlotte star Kemba Walker in addition to his typical drive-and-kick game. He certainly didn’t disappoint in his return home.

  • The Mavericks are now 4-0 when they score at least 122 points. They’re 5-2 when they allow fewer than 100 points, and 3-0 when they allow fewer than 90. We as fans and observers pay a whole lot of attention to offense and not nearly enough to defense, but the Mavericks are one of just two teams in the NBA to hold their opponents below 85 points in three games. We know what the other, Oklahoma City, is capable of defensively after having seen it up-close for two nights. Dallas might not have achieved the season-long dominance that OKC has put on display, but three times now we have seen the Mavericks piece together that type of effort. No other team can make that claim. Suddenly, Friday night’s game in Boston is looking like it could be quite a defensive battle, as Boston ranks fourth in defensive efficiency and Dallas — even after Monday’s game in OKC — ranks 12th.

  • Dallas matched its season-high in assists (31) while committing just 10 turnovers, which ties for the second-fewest the team has finished with in any game this season. After giving it away 53 times in two games against OKC earlier this week, the Mavs made it a point to say the turnovers had to stop. You might trick yourself into thinking that could mean assists would go down, but in fact the opposite happened. The passes were crisp and on target, the ball was flying around the horn on nearly every possession in the first half, and most importantly the shots were falling. It resulted in one of the more aesthetically pleasing offensive showings we’ve seen from this team and the fourth-largest road win in franchise history.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (18-19) are shippin’ up to Boston for a meeting with the Celtics. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs at Hornets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


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    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 122-102 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 122-102 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena:

    1. WESTBROOK GETS TRIPLE-DOUBLE: OK, just about everyone knew Russell Westbrook was totally angry about the way he played against the Mavs in Dallas on Sunday. The Thunder point guard finished that game with nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists, and was just 4-of-22 from the field. It’s the first time Westbrook scored less than 10 points in a game when attempting at least 20 field goals. So how did he make amends? Westbrook finished Monday’s game with 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

    2. BARNES RED-HOT: In the third quarter Monday, Harrison Barnes stepped into one of those zones that every NBA player would love to occupy. While playing the entire quarter, Barnes scored 14 points and was 5-for-5 from the field, including 4-for-4 from 3-point territory. Barnes opened the fourth quarter with two more treys in the first 61 seconds. For the night, Barnes tallied 25 points and was 8-of-11 from the field, including 7-of-9 from downtown. His seven threes ties for the most he’s ever made in an NBA game.

    3. THOSE PESKY TURNOVERS: One night after beating the Thunder in Dallas despite committing 24 turnovers, the Mavs couldn’t get away with being so friendly with the basketball two nights in a row. The Mavs threw the ball all over the place – again – on Monday when they turned the ball over a whopping 29 times. That’s three shy of the franchise record for turnovers in a game. Monday’s miscues led to 36 points for the Thunder. Ironically, OKC attempted exactly 29 more field goals than the Mavs on Monday.

    4. THE BOARD BEAT GOES ON: If you’re searching for a bright spot that came out of the year-ending 20-point loss to the Thunder, you’re in luck. For a team that’s had its struggles hanging with folks on the boards this season, the Mavs won the rebounding battle against Oklahoma City on Monday, 49-46. And that comes one night after they also won the rebounding battle against the very physical Thunder in Sunday’s contest in Dallas, 49-39. The Mavs had five players grab at least five rebounds on Monday.

    5. JORDAN SHOWING GRIT: Everyone should take a moment or two and watch how center DeAndre Jordan maneuvers himself around the basket to collect rebounds. It’s an impressive show of style, grit and determination. Jordan corralled another 10 boards on Monday. That’s the 32nd time he’s collected 10 or more rebounds in a game this season, and the Mavs have only played 36 games. To put that in perspective, all the Mavs players who got in a game last season COMBINED to only produce 43 games with 10 or more rebounds.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 122-102 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs end 2018 with a 122-102 road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder

    OKLAHOMA CITY – Count the Dallas Mavericks among the legion of folks who are very happy 2018 is in their rearview mirror.

    While the Mavs may be celebrating that 2019 has arrived, they were not in a joyful mood after what happened to them Monday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena. The Oklahoma City Thunder jumped on the Mavs very early and very often and wouldn’t let go until they walked away with a 122-102 victory in the final game of the year 2018.

    It was indeed a December to forget for the Mavs, who started the month winning five of their first six games, but ended it by uncharacteristically losing eight of their final 10 games. Overall, the Mavs are 17-19 and a dismal 2-16 on the road.

    On Monday, holding onto the ball became a huge problem for the Mavs, who committed eight turnovers in the first quarter, nine more in the second quarter and a season-high 29 turnovers for the game.

    “It was a world’s record,” coach Rick Carlisle said, alluding to the turnovers. “They had a lot to do with it, but we can do better and we’ll keep working at it.

    “The level of force was clearly in their favor, and that put us behind the eight-ball early. We were on our heels early and never really got our bearings, and that kills you on the road.”

    Actually, the turnovers were three shy of the Mavs’ franchise record of 32 turnovers. But at least they were able to gain a split of the home-and-home series with the Thunder after defeating OKC on Sunday in Dallas, 105-103.

    Apparently, Sunday’s loss was a sore spot for the Thunder, who were relentless on Monday as they blasted out of the gate and compiled an 18-5 lead with 5:13 remaining in a first quarter that saw the Mavs miss eight of their first nine shots. OKC went on to mount a 29-12 lead late in the first quarter before the Mavs knew what hit them.

    “You can’t win the game when you have 29 turnovers,’’ said Dorian Finney-Smith, who came off the bench to score 10 points and grab eight rebounds. “We shot ourselves in the foot, but you got to give them credit — they came out ready to play tonight.

    “They pressure you out of your actions, so you just got to attack the rim. You can’t really run too many plays. You just got to be aggressive and attack them, but tonight they came out with an edge and you can tell.”

    With Russell Westbrook registering a triple-double – 32 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists – the Thunder led from wire-to-wire. For Westbrook it was a stark contrast from Sunday when he was just 4-of-22 from the field and finished with nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

    “He was very aggressive,” Carlisle said. “He’s a great player, he’s going to attack and tonight was a situation where overall we just needed to do a better job on him as a team.”

    OKC led 60-43 at intermission, then Harrison Barnes caught fire and made six 3-pointers in the second half, including four in the third quarter when the Mavs got to within 13 points of the Thunder. But things got so bad that the Mavs used their final timeout with 6:45 left in the third quarter.

    “We knew tonight was going to be tough no matter what,” guard J. J. B area said. “The way we won the game (Sunday) night, they were going to come out ready.”

    Barnes led the Mavs with 25 points. He made a career-high tying seven 3-pointers on nine attempts, and also grabbed five rebounds.

    “He got on a great run and guys were finding him,” Carlisle said of Barnes. “So, when that happens you milk the hot hand, and our guys did.”

    Also for the Mavs, Luka Doncic finished with 17 points and six rebounds, Dennis Smith Jr. had 10 points and DeAndre Jordan added 10 rebounds.

    Now the Mavs will flip the calendar to 2019 and open the new year with a game in Charlotte on Wednesday. By the end of that game they hope they’ll have something to celebrate.

    “I’m not into the sentimentality of year changes,” Carlisle said. “This is one NBA season.

    “I really like our group, I like the possibilities, I’ve seen growth. We’ve had setbacks – tonight being one of them – but we’ve got to grow from it. We’ve got to make 2019 a helluva year and it’s going to be work to do it.”

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    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 105-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 105-103 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. SMITH’S REDEMPTION: Dennis Smith Jr. not only redeemed himself after he failed to get off a shot before the final buzzer sounded last Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans, he took it a step farther. This time, Smith didn’t just produce the game-winning basket against Oklahoma City. He also produced the defensive play of the night. After making a terrific spin move and flying inside for the game-deciding hoop with 24.8 seconds left, Smith suddenly found himself staring eye-to-eye with the man – Paul George – who was running around AAC with an extremely hot hand. George was absolutely on fire after having scored 13 straight points for OKC. But it’s still at 13, because Smith’s chest-to-chest defense forced George to miss a 19-foot jumper with four seconds remaining in the game.

    2. BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: The Mavs were prompted by coach Rick Carlisle about the need to get on the boards against a Thunder team that eats rebounds like their pure existence depends on it. Thankfully for the Mavs, they heeded Carlisle’s plea. With a lot of folks crashing the boards, the Mavs won the rebound battle, 49-39. That includes a nine to seven advantage on the offensive boards. This a very significant considering that when the Mavs defeated OKC, 111-96, back on Nov. 10, the Thunder won that board battle, 53-38. That includes a massive 26-4 advantage on the offensive boards. But with DeAndre Jordan getting 17 rebounds, Maxi Kleber grabbing seven, Harrison Barnes six, and Dennis Smith Jr. and Dorian Finney-Smith collecting four each, the Mavs were the chairmen of the bards on Sunday.

    3. HOME DOMINANCE CONTINUES: There’s just something distinctly magical about the Mavs when they play their home games. It’s almost as if they can’t lose for winning. Behind Paul George, the Thunder rolled to a 101-95 lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game. But the Mavs flipped a switch, the wizard came from behind the curtain and granted the Mavs a wish, and the whole game changed on a dime. With the game on the line, Luka Doncic converted a pair of charity tosses, Harrison Barnes had two key steals and two free throws, Dennis Smith Jr. made the game-winning basket and game-saving defensive play, and the Mavs were able to increase their record at home to 15-3. It’s the third-best record home in the NBA behind the Milwaukee Bucks (16-3) and Philadelphia 76ers (16-3).

    4. TURNOVERS MUST BE LOWER: I don’t recommend turning the ball over at a high rate as a recipe for winning, but the Mavs got away with it on Sunday. With the Thunder doing what they do best – clogging up the passing lanes and using their exceptional speed and long arms to pick up 15 steals – the Mavs turned the ball over a whopping 24 times. That was one shy of the season-high 25 turnovers the Mavs committed during a 117-102 loss at Utah on Nov. 7. I can’t sit here and say turning the ball over at a high rate and somehow emerging with a win is an anomaly. That’s because the Mavs are actually 3-5 this season when they commit 19 or more turnovers. They turned it over 19 times and beat Chicago on the road, 103-98, on Nov. 12. And they committed 20 turnovers and walloped Utah in Dallas, 118-68, on Nov. 14.

    5. BARNES QUIETLY GETS IT DONE: You know that guy that comes to work, doesn’t bother anybody, barely says anything to anyone, and you look up and he winds up doing a better job than just about anybody in the organization? That’s Harrison Barnes. When coach Rick Carlisle asked his players to give DeAndre Jordan some help on the boards, Barnes answered the call Sunday night and collected six rebounds. It’s just the second time in the last 14 games that Barnes has grabbed as many as six rebounds in a game. Also, when Sunday’s game appeared to be slipping away, Barnes stepped up and manufactured two steals, scored two points and assisted on a basket – all during a picturesque 47-second span — that enabled the Mavs to emerge with a victory for the second time in the last three games.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 105-103 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Smith redeems himself while leading Mavs to a come-from-behind 105-103 win over OKC

    DALLAS – One game after inexplicably failing to get off a game-tying last-second shot against the New Orleans Pelicans this past Friday, Dennis Smith Jr. bounced back with authority and manufactured two of the biggest plays of Sunday night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    The twin clutch plays by Smith were the impetus the Dallas Mavericks used to eke out a hard-fought 105-103 triumph over the Thunder and stretch their record to 17-18 before a sellout crowd of 20,380 at American Airlines Center. And it shows how quickly the pendulum can swing in an NBA game from one game to the next.

    First, Smith worked his way from the perimeter and wheeled inside and scored with 24.8 seconds left to put the Mavs out front, 104-103. But the second-year point guard wasn’t finished dialing up some heroics.

    After getting caught on a switch and now faced with defending Paul George – he scored the Thunder’s final 13 points – Smith stayed chest-to-chest with the perennial All-Star forward and forced him into missing a step-back 19-footer with four seconds remaining. That put the finishing touches on a whirlwind 48 hours for Smith.

    “This is what being a big-time player is all about,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Smith. “He makes the go-ahead basket at one end and you guard the best player at the other end.

    “He wasn’t intended to be on George, but they were doing a lot of things to facilitate switching. So he ended up on him and made him take a difficult shot and broke the rhythm a little bit.”

    DeAndre Jordan rebounded George’s final missed shot, then split a pair of charity tosses with two seconds to go that gave the Mavs a two-point lead and complete a game-ending 10-2 run. Following a Thunder timeout, Russell Westbrooks’ 3-pointer from the left corner missed its mark and the Mavs were able to pad their home record to an impressive 15-3.

    Between the Mavs showing some resiliency by winning and also beating the Thunder on the boards, 49-39, most of the locker room chatter was about the defense Smith played against George, who finished with a game-high 36 points.

    “It was clutch,” said center DeAndre Jordan, who collected 12 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks. “Paul is a helluva offensive player and he’s being playing extremely well this season for them scoring the basketball.

    “And Dennis, we needed him to get a stop for us late. And he made a great defensive play and made Paul take a tough shot and we were able to get a rebound.”

    After trailing 28-27 at the end of the first quarter and 59-57 at the half, the Mavs started the second half on a blistering 12-0 run. Smith helped engineer that rally by touching it off with a pair of 3-pointers, and Maxi Kleber and Luka Doncic (25 points, seven assists) also each added a 3-pointer as the Mavs mounted a 69-59 lead.

    But the Thunder came roaring back and bolted head, 101-95, with 1:59 remaining after George drained a 3-pointer. However, Doncic hit two charity tosses, Harrison Barnes stole the ball from George and fed Jordan for a flying dunk, and suddenly the Mavs were back in business and only down, 101-99 with 1:40 left.

    A basket by George increased OKC’s lead to four. But Jordan tossed in a free throw, Barnes stole another pass and made a pair of free throws, and Westbrook misfired on a 3-point shot. All of this set the stage for the driving layup by Smith that ultimately was the winning basket and helped him redeem what transpired down the stretch in New Orleans.

    “With Dennis it’s all about keeping his speed in the game,” Carlisle said. ”When he keeps that vertical thrust towards the rim. . .nobody can stay in front of him.

    “Pretty typically the last play of the game he ends up getting by and laying the ball in, so it was a beautiful thing. He’s come a long way, but we always knew the ability was there, the competitiveness was there. It was just a matter of experience, and then tasting winning and tasting a lot of losing and getting to the point where you hate losing even more than you love winning. And that’s where this team has got to find its growth.”

    The Mavs turned the ball over 24 times, but held Westbrook to just nine points on 4-of-22 shooting. But Carlisle isn’t banking on Westbrook being that discombobulated when the Mavs face the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday at 7 p.m.
    “We got lucky — he had an off shooting night,” Carlisle said. “We stayed in front of him pretty well.

    “But look, he’s a great player. Knowing him, I‘m not looking forward to tomorrow night.”

    NOTES: This was the seventh time in the last eight games that Luka Doncic has scored at least 20 points. The only time he didn’t score at least 20 points was on Dec. 22 at Golden State when he scored 19 points. By the way, over the past eight games Doncic is averaging 25.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 7.1 apg on 46.3 percent shooting and 39 percent shooting from 3-point land. He also has attempted 10.1 free throws during that span while shooting 71.6 percent from the line . .Asked prior to Sunday’s game if he thought Doncic had done enough to be considered for this year’s All-Star game, OKC coach Billy Donovan said: “I haven’t seen hm enough. I’m probably the wrong guy to ask. (Mavs coach) Rick (Carlisle) is probably better to ask. Obviously we’ve seen him on film. Obviously he’s very gifted, he’s a smart player, he’s got good skill and good size. But this is the second time we’re playing them, so it’s not like I’ve watched a lot of their games to probably be educated enough to say whether or not he deserves that kind of honor. I’m not saying he does or he doesn’t. I just haven’t seen enough of him.”. .When asked prior to Sunday’s game what he wants this season from Dirk Nowitzki, coach Rick Carlisle said: “Just to be able to play consistent minutes with that second unit. With the ultimate hope that he can build up his base to be able to play as many minutes as necessary. He’s one of the Top 10-15 players of all time and he’s now coming off the bench. It’s not normal. It’s very unique. We knew things were headed in this direction in the offseason. He and I talked about it and we made it public early on. It’s not a normal situation.” . .Before Mavs fans become familiar with Dorian Finney-Smith, Billy Donovan was very familiar with him. Finney-Smith played for Donovan at Florida from 2013-’15 before Donovan left prior to Finney-Smith’s senior season to become the coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Although Finney-Smith went undrafted in 2016, Donovan felt the NBA executives simply got it all wrong. “I always felt like he was a pro, being around him and coaching him,” Donovan said. “I think the biggest thing for him was being a little bit more aggressive at times. He had all the tools. He’s a really competitive guy and he plays the game the right way. Sometimes he can be unselfish to a fault, but he’s got length, he’s got size, he’s a good rebounder, he’s got good hands, he knows how to play, he’s smart and he’s got good passing ability.”

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    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Thunder

    Final: Mavs 105, Thunder 103

  • When Paul George sank a 3-pointer to put Oklahoma City up 101-95 with just 1:59 to go, it felt like this game had slipped right out of the Mavs’ hands. Dallas led for double-digits through most of the third quarter and into the fourth, but a massive bench-led Thunder surge carried over into crunch time and came to a crescendo when George’s second straight long-ball tickled the twine. At that point, according to ESPN’s win probability, Dallas had just a 9.9 percent chance to win. That makes this one of the unlikeliest Mavericks wins in many years. This is still a young team, especially in the backcourt, so wins like this are extremely important. As head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game, all young players – and Dennis Smith Jr. in particular – have to learn how to win, learn how to lose, and learn “how to hate losing more than they like winning.” Somehow, some way, the Mavs found it within themselves to win this game despite overwhelming odds and an absolute masterpiece from Paul George. Defense carried the day, especially late, so credit to Smith and the Mavericks for taking the fight back to OKC and pulling this one out the hard way.

  • It was especially heartening to see Smith play the role of difference-maker late after the disappointing final play in New Orleans left a sour taste in his mouth two nights before. Tonight, Smith found himself with the ball in the middle of a broken play and, instead of slowing down and trying to set something up, made an aggressive drive to the basket and finished a layup to put Dallas in front. In this game in particular, it would almost make sense if his instincts told him to pull the ball out and find a teammate, given what happened in New Orleans. But Smith was not deterred.

    After the bucket, he wound up being switched on to the red-hot George on the ensuing defensive possession, and he played some excellent one-on-one defense in isolation to force George into a contested mid-range jumper. He was in a very unenviable position, on an island against a much taller player to whom the rim looked as big as an ocean. But, again, he attacked the opportunity and made a play. That was such a positive stretch for the 21-year-old.

  • In his last eight games, Luka Doncic is averaging 25.6 points, 7.1 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game, hitting 46 percent of his field goals, 39 percent of his 3s, and 71 percent of his 10.1 free throw attempts per game. There’s not much more to say, other than he’s in some kind of groove right now. He was guarded by Paul George tonight, one of the very best defenders in the entire league. George appeared to make everything pretty difficult for the Mavs rookie, but nevertheless Doncic was able to get to the rim a few times against George, and he hit a few 3s when switched against other players. To open the third quarter, he assisted on three 3-pointers and then hit one himself to cap off a 12-0 Mavs run. This is the new normal. We continue to be spoiled.

  • Two things in this game were pretty extraordinary. First, Dallas limited OKC to just seven offensive rebounds and maintained an 85.1 defensive rebound percentage, which is astonishingly good; the Thunder grab a league-leading 31.5 percent of available offensive rebounds, but Dallas limited them to just 14.9 percent tonight. That was a huge factor in such a tight game. In fact, the Mavericks outscored the Thunder in second-chance points, 11-8.

    Next, the Thunder racked up 31 fast break points against the Mavs’ four, and it was 31-0 before a couple late Dallas buckets on the break, which included a thunderous DeAndre Jordan flush.

    It’s very rare to win a game in which you’re outscored 31-4 on the fast break, and when you commit 12 more turnovers than your opponent. Then again, it’s much easier to win games when you grab 85 percent of potential defensive rebounds. It’s rare to see extreme performances like these independent of one another, but it’s almost unheard-of to see these two things happen in the same game. Rick Carlisle said there are more “events,” as he calls them, in games against OKC than perhaps against any other opponent because of the Thunder’s length and activity level on defense. After tonight, I would have to agree.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (17-18) are already in Oklahoma City for the back end of a home-and-home on Sunday night against the Thunder. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Thunder appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


  • Busy Rangers have 5 more things on to-do list

    The Rangers have had a busy offseason, but they still have some questions to answer before Opening Day.


    Mavs prepare for another battle of the boards ahead of home-and-home with OKC

    Practice Report: Rick Carlisle

    Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle gives an update on the status of Wes Matthews and previews his team's upcoming matchups with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    Though the star power of Luka Doncic and Russell Westbrook is the main attraction, and the uncertainty of Paul George’s and Wesley Matthews’ status creates an air of mystery, the real focus ahead of the Mavs’ upcoming home-and-home series against the Oklahoma City Thunder lies within five feet of the rim.

    Basketball games can be won and lost on the boards. This season, the Mavericks rank fifth in the NBA in defensive rebound percentage, which measures the percentage of available rebounds a team pulls down. Thanks in large part to DeAndre Jordan, Dallas has become a force on the defensive glass. However, in Friday’s 114-112 loss at New Orleans, the Pelicans were able to turn 20 offensive rebounds into 30 second-chance points, the most the Mavericks have surrendered all season long.

    The second-most they’ve allowed is 24 points, which came against — you guessed it — the Thunder, back on Nov. 10. Anthony Davis and Julius Randle only play for one team, which is good news, but the bad news is OKC ranks even better on the offensive glass than New Orleans. Led by Steven Adams’s 4.9 offensive boards per game, the Thunder pull down 31.5 percent of all available offensive rebounds, which ties for the league lead. The Pelicans, meanwhile, rank fifth, so Dallas is moving quickly from one serious threat to another.

    “On paper, Oklahoma City’s an even better offensive rebounding team than New Orleans is,” Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said. “The challenge is gonna be there. It’s gonna be very similar to (Friday) against New Orleans.”

    Typically we think of rebounding as a battle on the inside between the two biggest players on the floor, but Carlisle said the key to attempting to slow down OKC’s offensive rebounding game is to play strong perimeter defense against Westbrook and George, limiting their drives and the ensuing chaos they can create. It’s a true team effort.

    “They get you scrambled up with great perimeter players that cause rotations, and then Adams takes advantage of those scrambles a lot of times on the boards,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to do a good job at the point of attack on the perimeter, and we’ve gotta go get it when it’s in the air.”

    Practice Report: Maxi Kleber

    Mavs forward Maxi Kleber evaluates his play in the starting lineup the last two games and previews their matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    One possible way to counter strong offensive rebounding is to put more size on the floor. Wesley Matthews’s absence on Friday night opened a spot in the starting lineup for Maxi Kleber, who earned his second start of the season. Across the two games against New Orleans, have combined to record 17 points, six boards, and eight blocks. Carlisle considers Matthews day-to-day, so the veteran wing’s availability for Sunday is uncertain at this point, meaning Kleber could once again receive the starting nod, though nothing is set in stone of course.

    “For me, it’s not really about starting or coming off the bench,” Kleber said. “It’s about what you do when you’re on the court, and doing the right thing. I know Rick is going to have an idea of what he’s going to do, and it’s going to be the right thing.”

    As for dealing with Adams, Kleber presented two possible solutions. Primarily, he and DeAndre Jordan will rely on their teammates to help out when they can.

    “It’s gonna be a tough job for the big guys to box out, and it has to be the guards coming in and helping us, because those are big bodies who are going for the rebounds every time. Every game, we’ve got to battle on the boards, but especially against these last two teams now we’ve played, we have to do a better job.”

    The other solution, Kleber said, was to pump some iron.

    “I’m going back there now and doing some weights, putting om some muscle,” he laughed.

    All jokes aside, Kleber and the Mavericks understand the challenge at hand on Sunday and Monday against OKC. Offensive rebounds typically lead to points in the paint, and too many of those have spelled trouble for Dallas this season — the Mavs are 0-7 when opponents score at least 60 paint points against them. The first time the Mavs and Thunder met, Dallas limited Oklahoma City to just 48 points in the paint and cruised to a 111-96 victory. Westbrook missed that game, however, and the former MVP’s presence obviously matters quite a bit.

    Still, with or without Westbrook, and with or without George, the Mavericks understand where these next two games could very well be won: on the glass.

    The post Mavs prepare for another battle of the boards ahead of home-and-home with OKC appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 114-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 114-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday night at the Smoothie King Arena:

    1. SMITH SOLID IN HIS RETURN: After missing 10 of the previous 11 games with a sprained right wrist, Dennis Smith Jr. showed no outwardly ill effects of the injury. Especially when he drove down the lane and threw down a vicious dunk over Julius Randle. Smith played 30 minutes Friday, scored 14 points, handed out four assists, picked up two steals, and was 5-of-9 from the field and 2-of-4 from 3-point land. Also, Smith’s +6 plus-minus was better than any of the 22 players who played except for Solomon Hill (+13) and Randle (+12) of the Pelicans. Yet, Smith knows he had to find a way to get that last shot off before time expired.

    2. LUKA LARGE AND IN CHARGE: This is beginning to sound a bit familiar. Luka Doncic suits up and shows another opponent that he is absolutely no ordinary rookie. Not only did Doncic score a career-high 34 points, but he did it on only 16 shots. You need to understand that an excellent scoring total to shot attempt is, in this case, Doncic taking 22 shots just to get to 33 points. Doncic was 10-of-16 from the field, including 7-of-10 from downtown. He became the youngest player in NBA history to make seven threes in a game. Still, Doncic knows he can’t miss six free throws in a game again. But opponents also know this kid can flat-out ball.

    3. DEANDRE GOBBLING UP REBOUNDS: It’s becoming as routine as he sun rising in the East and setting in the West. Like a magnet, DeAndre Jordan is attracted to rebounds. Friday night the 11-year veteran finished with 15 boards. It’s the ninth straight time in which Jordan has collected at least 10 rebounds in a game, and the 30th time he’s done that this season. How phenomenal is that? I’m glad you asked. As a team last year, Mavs players combined to grab 10 or more rebounds in a game just 43 times, led by Dwight Powell (11) and Harrison Barnes (10). The franchise record – 56 by James Donaldson during the 1986-’87 season — is well without Jordan’s reach.

    4. DIRK FOUND HIS RHYTHM: It may or may not have been Dirk Nowitzki’s last game in New Orleans. But the big fella sure gave folks in the Big Easy a treat. Nowitzki opened the second quarter in, well, Nowitzki-like fashion as he drilled an 18-footer and promptly followed that up with a nasty 3-pointer — all in just 50 seconds. That forced New Orleans to call a quick timeout so Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry could perhaps remind his players that Nowitzki may be 40 years old, but he still can shoot with the best of them. Nowitzki finished the game with a season-high 11 points in 11 minutes, and made 4-of-7 baskets.

    5. DAVIS IS SUPER HUMAN: I’m not really sure how you defend Anthony Davis. No matter what defense the MVP candidate sees, he dissects it, rips it apart and winds up with some video numbers by the time the game is over. It’s a classic case of a superstar player being able to do whatever he wants regardless of what defensive scheme is drawn up to slow him down. If you double Davis, he’ll find an open 3-point shooter. If you go mano y mano against him, good luck with that. Davis poured in 48 points, pulled down 17 rebounds, dispensed four assists, recorded two steals and blocked two shots on Friday.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 114-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs lose another close one on the road,114-112, this time to the New Orleans Pelicans

    NEW ORLEANS – For the Dallas Mavericks, trying to pull out a victory on the road this season has been like pulling teeth. Or in the Mavs’ case, liking going through a root canal.

    The Mavs failed to execute down the stretch Friday night, got beat up inside the paint and also missed 10 free throws on their way to suffering an excruciatingly painful 114-112 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Arena.

    It was the eighth straight road loss for the Mavs (16-18) and dropped their overall road record to an NBA-worst 2-15.

    The Mavs, who led 66-55 at the half and 72-57 early in the third quarter, had a chance to either win the game with a 3-pointer or tie it up and send it into overtime with a 2-pointer. But the last-second shot never materialized.

    With four seconds remaining in the game, Dennis Smith Jr. tossed an inbounds pass to DeAndre Jordan, who threw it back to Smith. As Smith was curling on the right side of the key he was met by Anthony Davis.

    So, Smith tried to weave his way past Davis. However, by the time Smith scooted by Davis and got inside the paint, he failed to get off the shot before time expired.

    “I take responsibility for the last play,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “It’s on me the fact that it was unsuccessful, so let’s just get that out of the way.

    “These road games come down to a lot of little things. We missed 10 free throws, we were at a 10-rebound deficit, we were at a five-turnover deficit. Those are things we just got to keep working to shore up. That’s where we are, that’s how close we were. “

    Playing his first game after missing 10 of the previous 11 contests with a sprained right wrist, an exasperated Smith said he didn’t lose track of how much time was remaining in the game as he was trying to maneuver past Davis.

    “I got to get a shot up, that’s all that is,” Smith said. “It’s on me,

    “That extra dribble cost me.”

    Forward Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a season-high 11 points in 11 minutes, said the close losses on the road are beginning to sound like a broken record. Last week the Mavs lost at the Los Angeles Clippers by four points, at the Golden State Warriors by four points, and at Portland in overtime by three points.

    Now this.

    “We’ve got to find a way to win some of these close games on the road or it’s going to be tough to look around in April and look back and a lot of ones we shoulda, coulda won and we didn’t,” Nowitzki said. “We just got to find a way somehow to get that extra stop, be a little smarter, don’t turn the ball over, take good shots, put the ball in our playmakers’ hands.

    “It’s just tough to not pull at least one of those out in the last five or six road games. It’s just super, super frustrating.”

    It also was super, super frustrating for the Mavs as they tried to contain Davis. The Pelican’s perennial All-Star powered his way for 48 points, 17 rebounds, two steals and two blocks as New Orleans enjoyed a massive 70-32 advantage in points in the paint and a 30-14 advantage in second-chance points.

    Luka Doncic drilled a step-back 3-pointer — en route to scoring a career-high 34 points – that gave the Mavs a 112-111 lead with 1:18 left in the game. But Davis came back and drained a 14-footer and completed a three-point play after he was fouled, and that put New Orleans ahead, 114-112 with 43,9 seconds remaining.

    “If he’s not the MVP, he’s going to be right there,” Carlisle said of Davis. “You double-team him and he finds people for open threes and then you have a hard time rebounding.

    “If you don’t double-team him he’s going to grind you and make tough shots. So it’s a pick your poison situation. What can you say? The guy is a breath-taking talent. He’s a great, great player.”

    A short time after Davis’ 3-point play, he missed a 3-pointer. That set the stage for the final frantic seconds when the Mavs initially tried to get the ball to Doncic, but he was closely guarded by Jrue Holiday.

    As a whole, Doncic was magnificent as he was 10-of-16 from the field, including 7-of-10 from 3-point territory. However, he missed six of his 13 free throw attempts and that bothered him afterwards.

    “We had some great looks, but personally I missed a lot of free throws,” Doncic said. “I’m missing a lot, so I’ve got to work on that.

    “It’s tough, especially for me. I hate losing. I hate it so much. I hate losing, so it’s frustrating for me, especially today. I think we did a great job.”

    Besides Doncic, Harrison Barnes tallied 21 points for the Mavs, Smith scored 14 points in 30 minutes, Jordan had nine points, 15 rebounds and a season-high four blocks, and Dwight Powell added 10 points and eight rebounds before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

    “The effort was great, (there was) a lot going on, a lot of noise, a lot of emotions, guys fought their butts off, played well to win, but we just didn’t quite get there,” Carlisle said. “It’s a good group of guys that’s fighting their tails off.

    “They all believe in each other, we believe in them, we trust them. We’re in the midst of a tough stretch where we’ve got to make one or two more plays to win on the road.”

    On Friday night, that just didn’t happen for the Mavs.

    NOTES: The Mavs will next play a home-and-home back-to-back against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Dallas plays host to the Thunder on Sunday at American Airlines Center, and then play the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Monday in the first of a four-game road trip. . .Guard Wesley Matthews didn’t make the trip to New Orleans due to soreness in his right foot. . .The Mavs are in the midst of playing 14 games in 11 different cities and four different time zones in a 25-day span. It could be overwhelming, but coach Rick Carlisle said they don’t look at the Schule in that fashion. “Looking at the big picture and how daunting it all looks, I’m not into that.” So how do the Mavs find suitable practice time? “We’ll see what the schedule looks like,” Carlisle said. “Sometimes your practices during the busy stretches are film sessions — simple adjustments, tweaking of things. Everybody at this point has got enough stuff in, unless you trade half your team or something like that, and that’s not going to happen. We’ve got a good group of guys who’ve shown that we can play well consistently at times, and we’ve got to do better on the road.”. .In Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, J. J. Barea, Devin Harris and Jalen Brunson, the Mavs have at least five players who can effectively run their offense. And that gives them a distinct advantage over a lot of teams. “Today’s game is built on play-making, so having multiple play-makers is a very important thing to have on your roster,” Carlisle said. “I’ve been talking about this for many years now. We couldn’t have won (the NBA title) in 2011 without having two of those kinds of guys on the floor at al times. It’s Smith, Doncic, Barea, Harris, Brunson. Those guys can (run the offense). We’ve got bigs that can make plays, too. In today’s game there’s no substitute for guys that can see things, put the ball in the hole, find people, drive it and making plays that are the right plays at the right time.”

    The post Mavs lose another close one on the road,114-112, this time to the New Orleans Pelicans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Each team's best defensive play of 2018

    Great defensive plays can leave us awe-inspired and wanting more. As we look back on the 2018 season with the help of each MLB.com beat writer, here is each club's top defensive play of the year.


    Dennis Smith Jr. will play tonight when the Mavs face the Pelicans in New Orleans

    NEW ORLEANS – Dennis Smith Jr. will be back in the starting lineup Friday at 7 p.m. when the Dallas Mavericks face the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Arena.

    Smith missed 10 of the last 11 games with a sprained right wrist, and the Mavs posted a 4-6 record during his absence. The second-year point guard said he was frustrated while watching his teammates struggle without him and can’t wait to get back out on the court and lend a helping hand.

    “It feels like it’s been like two months or something, but I just decided to get back out there and compete and get a road win,” Smith said, referring to how long he’s been sidelined. “(The wrist) feels good.

    “I’m not shooting with any tape on it or anything, so it’s pretty much back to normal. It gets a little sore after a while, but I ice it, keep heat on it during the game and during any activity and afterwards.”

    Considered one of the fastest players in the NBA when dribbling the ball from one end of the court to the other, Smith’s speed and ability to attack the paint and create advantages for the Mavs has been sorely missed.

    “It’s great to have his speed, his athleticism,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said after Friday morning’s shootaround. “He’s been out for a while.

    “I think that’s part of why we struggled a bit. We need his play-making, his ability to get in the lane and create stuff for us.”

    Rookie Jalen Brunson mostly started in Smith’s absence, although the Mavs went with a bigger starting lineup this past Wednesday against New Orleans when they instead decided to start forward Maxi Kleber and make rookie Luka Doncic the starter at point guard.

    Coach Rick Carlisle said Smith and Doncic were meshing very well together on the court before the former suffered an injury. He added that critics are making way too much of Smith’s ability to be effective while playing off the ball.

    “In my view it’s a very over-analyzed aspect of our team, and people need to get off of it and let these guys play and grow together,” Carlisle said. “That’s the right way to approach this.

    “Look, we have two point guards out there. Let’s quit looking at it as Dennis is getting relegated to playing off the ball. We’ve got two point guards out there — which is a great advantage — and we just got to take advantage of that and create a balance and cause problems for teams.”

    For his part, Smith said he can’t control what critics say or write.

    “Everybody’s got their own opinion and they’re entitled to it,” Smith said. “It ain’t my control.”

    Smith added that he and Doncic indeed had some nice building blocks going their way – until he suffered his injury.

    “We were one of the top teams in the West when I went out,” Smith said. “I think it was growing. I just got to work my way back into the game, find a rhythm and let it come to me.

    “We got to sixth (in the Western Conference), then we dropped to 12, 13, something that’s out of the playoffs. I don’t really think that’s great for the morale of the team. I feel like I could have contributed to some of those games, so it is what it is. I’m ready to play now.”

    In other words, sitting during the games in street clothes was no longer an option for Smith. But since he missed four games, then had an unsuccessful comeback when he played on Dec. 13 at Phoenix, Smith wanted to be very cautious when he returned to the court this time around.

    “It’s just tough sitting out,” Smith said. “I already missed a year. I missed my whole high school senior year (with injuries), so I’m not really trying to miss any more time.

    “So any time I’ve got to sit out, I’m really anxious to get back out there. But I understand that it’s a part of recovery.”

    Part of that recovery is getting over the mental aspect of having to use that sprained wrist to break his fall. Smith knows that time will obviously come at some point.

    “I would try to avoid it if possible,” Smith said. “I don’t think it’ll affect me too much if I did.

    “I haven’t done it yet and I don’t plan on doing it tonight.”

    The post Dennis Smith Jr. will play tonight when the Mavs face the Pelicans in New Orleans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 122-119 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 122-119 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. DIRK IS BACK: Did you see the excitement etched on the faces of the folks at American Airlines Center when the Big Daddy Tall Baller From The G entered the game in the first half? It was as if everyone had another gift under the Christmas tree they forgot to unwrap. You call that respect. As long as Dirk Nowitzki dons a Mavs uniform this will be his team. And that’s the way it should be. Nowitzki gave the fans a dose of what they wanted. He drained a 3-pointer, scored seven points, blocked a couple of shots, had a nifty assist and even got angry enough to pick up a technical foul in 12 minutes of action.

    2. KLEBER IS A HANDYMAN: You know that handy man that lives up the street that can do a little bit of everything around the house? That’s Maxi Kleber. Because the Pelicans have a bunch of tall rugged players manning the front line – a.k.a. Anthony David and Julius Randle — the Mavs gave Kleber his first start of the season to help stem the tide. The results: The second-year player from the same hometown in Germany that produced the Big Daddy Tall Baller From The G tallied 10 points and grabbed three rebounds. More importantly, Kleber blocked a career-high six shots.

    3. NOT IN MY HOUSE: Apparently, the Mavs took on a ‘not in my house’ mentality when they took on the Pelicans. And they literally took that slogan to heart. Yes, the Pelicans scored 52 points in the paint. But they could have scored more if not for the aggressive play of the Mavs. In all, the Mavs collected a season-high 13 blocked shots. That’s extremely significant considering during a game last week against the Los Angeles Clippers, the Mavs failed to block any shots. Maxi Kleber had a career-high six blocks, Dirk Nowitzki blocked a season-high two shots, and Dorian Finney-Smith also blocked a pair of shots.

    4. LUKA’S STAR CONTINUES TO RISE: Ok, those “MVP, MVP, MVP” chants the fans serenaded Luka Doncic with late in the game may be a bit premature. But a few years from now when Doncic is actually a legitimate MVP candidate – and it’s going to happen – you’ll be reminiscing back to his rookie days when he walked through the hallowed NBA doors and acted like he’d already been here for years. Against the Pelicans, Doncic was just one rebound shy of collecting his first NBA triple-double as he finished the game with 21 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists. And he had a season-low tying one turnover.

    5. REBOUNDING GAME UP TO PAR: Coach Rick Carlisle has been preaching almost daily about the need for his team to rebound the basketball at a more proficient rate. Well, that happened Wednesday night as the Mavs outrebounded the very active and very athletic Pelicans, 46-39. Leading the way for the Mavs was DeAndre Jordan, who picked up 12 rebounds while also producing 10 or more rebounds for the 29th time this season. In addition, Luka Doncic grabbed nine boards. And even guard J. J. Barea came off the bench and used his fiery disposition to collect five rebounds.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 122-119 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs threw a block party in snapping six-game losing streak with a 122-119 win over the Pelicans

    DALLAS – It was raining outside Wednesday night, so the Dallas Mavericks decided to throw a block party inside American Airlines Center.

    The results: The Mavs finally righted themselves by blocking a season-high 13 shots and went on to upend the New Orleans Pelicans, 122-119, before a sellout crowd of 20,340. With the win, the Mavs (16-17) snapped a six-game losing streak and were able to feel good about themselves after losing their previous three games by a total of 11 points.

    Indeed, it was a gritty performance by the Mavs, who won the rebounding battle by seven, committed just 10 turnovers and converted 32 of 38 shots from the free throw line in overcoming the Pelicans’ three-headed monster combination of Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Jrue Holiday.

    “When you’ve lost six (in a row) and you’re desperate to get a win, this is the kind of win you’ve got to have,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Every little thing that everybody did was needed.

    “The most important thing is to get off a losing streak.”

    A lot of folks pitched in to help the Mavs get off that losing streak. Rookie Luka Doncic finished the game one rebound shy of his first NBA triple-double as he collected 21 points, nine rebounds and 10 assists.

    Doncic snapped a tie by drilling a pair of free throws with 30.1 seconds left to push the Mavs’ lead to 121-119. Then after Davis missed a 3-pointer, Doncic snatched the rebound, was fouled and went to the line and split a pair of free throws to pad the Mavs’ lead to 122-119 with 11.7 seconds to go.

    Davis, who finished with 32 points and 18 rebounds, then misfired on a game-tying 3-pointer and the Mavs were able to breathe a sigh of relief.

    Meanwhile, DeAndre Jordan said the Mavs’ aggressive defensive style is what shifted things in their favor.

    “We know they’re a team that likes to attack the paint,” said Jordan, who finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds. “They got a lot of guys who can score the basketball in there, so we just wanted to alter shots and if we could block them, block them.

    “But overall, just make it tough for those guys.”

    Maxi Kleber definitely made it tough for the Pelicans as he responded with 10 points and a career-high six blocks in making his first start of the season. And that’s not counting the few other shots that he altered.

    “I knew my job today was to bring another big body in there, because they have two centers playing out there really well,” Kleber said. “We had to do a better job on the rebounding end, and of course, challenging shots.

    “That was my part for the game today, so my mindset was going out there and playing defense.”

    As a whole, the Mavs’ mindset was going out and getting a win by any means necessary. And they did plenty to make that happen.

    J. J. Barea (18 points, seven assists) and Devin Harris (16 points came off the bench to provide a much-needed spark. Barea had 11 of his points in the fourth quarter and Harris added 10 of his points in the final quarter.

    On one play, Harris even pump faked – no one was around hm — and waited seemingly forever before finally hoisting and making a 3-pointer that got the Mavs within 105-103 of the Pelicans.

    “I just wanted to hold onto the ball long enough so I could shoot it,” Harris said. “A pump fake left so J. J. could get out of the way, right, so Maxi would get out of the way.”

    Even Dirk Nowitzki came off the bench and played his best game of the season. In playing both halves for the second time this season, Nowitzki collected seven points and blocked two shots in 12 minutes and kept hearing the roar of the crowd with each shot that he attempted.

    “He did a good job out there,” Carlisle sad. “Dirk’s fighting through a lot to be on the court and to compete.

    “I gain more respect for him every day, and he helped us out there tonight a lot. The crowd got more into it, he hit a couple of big shots – it was good stuff.’’

    It also was some good stuff by Doncic, who heard chants of “MVP, MVP, MVP’ when he went to the charity stripe late in the game.

    “I love the fans here,” Doncic said. “They’re amazing. They support us so much, so I really appreciate it.”

    The Mavs simply appreciate the fact they were able to collect a win before hitting the road to play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Friday.

    “It was good to get a win, it was good to come home and protect home court a little bit after a little slippage that we had,” Jordan said. ‘We had a chance to win in all of those games (on the road last week) and that’s what makes it a little bit more frustrating.”

    But thanks to the block party the Mavs had on Wednesday night, all is right in their world again.

    NOTES: Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was passionate before Wednesday’s game when talking about the impact Mavs rookie Luka Doncic has had in the NBA this season. “He’s good,” Gentry sad. “I don’t care if he’s 14, he’s a really, really good player. He’s a smart player, and to be honest with you he’s played against pros since he was 15 years old, so it’s not like this is something new for him. He’s played against men his whole life. For him to come over here, there’s no intimidation. And he feels like he’s really good.” How good? “I like his confidence,” Gentry said. “I think he’s confident, but he’s not cocky. I think what he is is that he feels like he’s a really good player, he can play against anyone and you can see it on the floor. He’s a guy that, obviously he’s a great teammate. You can see the chemistry an everything that happens when you watch him play. He’s a guy that really, really enjoys playing. He enjoys playing the game. You can look at it. That’s not hard to see.” Asked who does Doncic reminds him of, Gentry said: “He’s Luka. That’s all he needs to be. He doesn’t need to be anybody else. He’ll be fine being Luka.” . .With Wednesday’s game, forward Dirk Nowitzki has played in the fourth-most games in NBA history at 1,477 games. The top three spots in games played are held by Robert Parish (1,611), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) and John Stockton (1,504). Nowitzki entered the game tied with Karl Malone for the fourth spot. . .Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry gave Mavs coach Rick Carlisle one of the highest praises that a coach can receive. “Rick is truly one of the great coaches that we’ve ever had in this league,” Gentry said. “I think what he does offensively is really good. I think what he’s able to do is that he’s able to put his guys in a position where they can be successful. Even I you go way, way back, he’s just been able to put Dirk and those guys in great positions where they can utilize their talents to the fullest. You don’t last as long as he has in this league and do what he’s done without being a really good coach. And he’s a great president of our (coaches) association.”

    The post Mavs threw a block party in snapping six-game losing streak with a 122-119 win over the Pelicans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Pelicans

    Final: Mavs 122, Pelicans 119

  • Dirk Nowitzki forever and ever, amen. The Mavs legend made quite a bit of history tonight, when he became just the sixth player ever to win 900 games in his career. Adding to the significance was that win coming in career game No. 1,477, which moves him out of a tie with Karl Malone and into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time games played list. Next up is John Stockton at 1,504, which gives Nowitzki a solid chance of moving his way into third place, behind only Robert Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He added a modest season-high of seven points on 2-of-6 shooting, adding two blocks. Not known for his rim protection, Nowitzki joked after the game that they were more like strips than they were blocks, “but I’ll take it.” So will we, GOAT. So will we.

  • Luka Doncic’s late-game free throws to a chorus of “M-V-P” chants were probably the most significant moments of the game, but in my opinion his best run came in the third quarter, when he put on display his entire playmaking arsenal in a matter of just a few minutes. After starting alongside Jalen Brunson for the last several games, who was nominally the point guard, the Mavs swapped out Brunson for Maxi Kleber tonight for matchup reasons and suddenly there was no question — height-related or otherwise — who the real point guard was. His work in the third quarter was some of his best this season.

    It’s time to start a dialogue. In Doncic’s last eight games, he’s averaging 22.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 7.4 assists (against just 2.8 turnovers), 1.3 steals, and 10.1 free throw attempts per game. Very few players ever reach that level statistically. It’s just an eight-game stretch, of course, and in that time his effective field goal percentage is just 49.0 percent, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to deny his skill level, even this early in his career. The list of rookies all-time to carry Doncic’s current averages — 19 points, six rebounds, five assists — for an entire season is shockingly short (Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Grant Hill), and while these are just counting stats, and stats don’t mean everything, they’re still really, really cool. And that counts for something. So, too, does this stat: Dallas is now 10-8 when Doncic scores at least 20 points. When he’s good, the Mavs are good.

  • Maxi Kleber joined a fun but relatively obscure group of players tonight, becoming just the ninth Maverick in the last 10 years to block at least six shots in a game. Before we continue, take a moment and try to think of as many of those players as you can.

    Here’s the complete list, in order of recency:

    Maxi Kleber. Salah Mejri. Al-Farouq Aminu. Sam Dalembert. Bernard “Sarge” James. Chris Kaman. Brandan Wright. Brendan Haywood. Erick Dampier.

    That’s a “who’s who” of Mavs centers over the years, with Aminu sprinkled in as well. Kleber is still dealing with the toe injury that’s cost him a couple games this season, but he didn’t play like it was an issue in this game, drawing the start against the Pelicans’ super-sized frontcourt of Anthony Davis and Julius Randle. Those two still combined for a whopping 55 points, but Kleber’s six blocks in a three-point game seem awfully significant.

    Opponents are now shooting just 50.6 percent at the rim against Kleber this season, per NBA Stats, which ranks up near the very top of the league, even ahead of defensive titans Joel Embiid and Rudy Gobert, although to be fair they face far more attempts per game than Kleber does. Still, that’s not bad company to be in.

  • One day, we are going to wake up to find that J.J. Barea and Devin Harris are no longer in the NBA. That is going to be an incredibly sad day. Tonight, they combined for 34 points, eight assists, and eight rebounds, made six 3-pointers, and both finished with a positive plus-minus, playing pivotal parts in a long fourth-quarter run to erase a deficit and claim a lead. Those are two of the best Mavericks there have been.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (16-17) will next head to New Orleans for the back end of a home-and-home on Friday night against the Pelicans. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Pelicans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


  • Dallas Tigers Central – 2019 January Tryouts

    Sunday, JANUARY 13TH
    Ages: 8u-14u – 1-2:30pm & Ages: 15u-18u – 2:30-5pm
    Location: Brookhaven College – 3939 Valley View Ln. Dallas TX 75244

    Weather Permitting – Location could move indoors at the same time at The Yard Baseball Academy – 13730 Gamma Rd Dallas TX

    All players attending the Central Tryout need to register via the link below:

    TO REGISTER, LOCATION, AND TIMES CLICK BELOW AND
    FILL OUT GOOGLE TRYOUT FORM UNDER DALLAS TIGERS CENTRAL!

    http://dallastigersbaseball.com/dallas-tiger-tryouts-2018/

    TO SEE COMPLETE LIST OF EACH TEAMS LOOKING FOR PLAYERS AND COACHES BIOS – CLICK ON LINK BELOW:

    CENTRAL TEAMS LOOKING FOR PLAYERS

    The post Dallas Tigers Central – 2019 January Tryouts appeared first on Dallas Tigers Baseball.


    Inbox: What's Rangers' ultimate plan for 2019?

    Rangers reporter T.R. Sullivan answers fans' questions in the latest version of the Inbox.


    One holiday gift for every team

    It's Christmas! We want to get your team presents. Thus, today, we look at giving a Christmas gift for all 30 teams, a player who fits something the team needs and is realistically available during this Hot Stove season.


    10 plays from 2018 that will leave you in awe

    Let's head into 2019 by taking one last look back at 2018, and we'll do that by looking at 10 of the most exciting and interesting plays of the year.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 121-118 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 121-118 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday at the Moda Center:

    1. LUKA WITH THE MIRACLE SHOT: OK, really Luka? Just in case you’ve been under a rock the past day or so, rookie Luka Doncic did something miraculous — again — that had the whole NBA world talking. With only 0.6 seconds remaining in the game and the Mavs trailing the Blazers by three points, Doncic received an inbounds pass from Jalen Brunson and launched a high-arching improbable 3-point shot right near Portland’s bench that somehow found its intended destination and sent the game into overtime. This kid is just full of dramatics.

    2. BARNES ON ANOTHER 3-POINT BINGE: Harrison Barnes started this four-game road trip by making 5-of-8 3-pointers against the Denver Nuggets last Tuesday, and he ended it by making 5-of-8 3-pointers against the Blazers. While Barnes collected a season-high tying 30 points against Denver, the 27 points he scored against Portland were his fourth-highest scoring day of the season. Barnes has extended his shooting range so much that this was the sixth time this year that he’s made five 3-pointers in a game. By contrast, last year Barnes made seven 3-pointers in one game and five in two other games.

    3. DEFENSE HAS TO IMPROVE: For the fourth time on this four-game road trip, the Mavs allowed an opponent to score at least 120 points. Denver started it by tallying 126 points against Dallas last Tuesday. That was followed by the Los Angeles Clippers (125), the Golden State Warriors (120) and the Blazers (121). Granted, the Mavs were going against some of the best teams the Western Conference has to offer on this road trip. If the playoffs started today, those four teams would be among the top six seeds out West.

    4. OFFENSE HOLDING ITS OWN: No one ever accused the Mavs of not being able to score the basket. The 118 points they scored against the Blazers marked the eighth time this season they’ve scored this many points in a game. And it happened three times on this four-game road trip. The Mavs tallied 118 points last Tuesday against Denver and 121 points last Thursday against the LA Clippers in addition to the 118 points they totaled against the Blazers. The only time they failed to reach the 118-point barrier on this road trip was Saturday when they lost to the Warriors, 120-116.

    5. NO CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR YOU: The NBA schedule-maker probably won’t be receiving any Christmas cards from the Mavs. That extremely difficult four-game road trip the Mavs just completed really tested their mettle and challenged them to no end. Especially since Denver has the league’s third-best record, the Warriors own the NBA’s fourth-best record, and the Clippers and Blazers are tied for the league’s ninth-best record. This is like the Grinch having the gall to actually show up and steal Christmas in a mighty big way.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 121-118 overtime loss to the Portland Trail Blazers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Luka Doncic makes dramatic 3-point shot, but Mavs lose in overtime to the Trail Blazers

    PORTLAND – Unfortunately, the Dallas Mavericks are mired right smack in the middle of a losing streak right now. But they sure know how to have a flair for the dramatics.

    One night after taking the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors down to the wire in dramatic fashion, the Mavs were back flashing their magical style again on Sunday night, this time against the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Rookie Luka Doncic created some spectacular eye-popping dramatics for the ages when he connected on a high-arching improbable 3-point shot in the right corner as time expired to send the game against the Blazers into overtime. However, Portland regrouped in the extra session and wound up nipping the Mavs, 121-118, before a Moda Center sellout crowd of 19,707.

    The ending put closure on a disappointing 0-4 road trip for the Mavs, who lost their sixth straight game and dropped to 15-17 on the season. Three of the four losses on this frenetic road trip were by four points or less, making matters even more frustrating for the Mavs.

    “We’ve done a lot of good things with really nothing to show in terms of wins, but there is progress,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We need to keep building on the good things and keep working on the challenging things.

    “It took a lot of resolve to hang in there when you’re down 14, second night of a back-to-back, getaway game, all that stuff. This team is playing with a lot of heart and we just have to stay with it.”

    The Mavs were down, 66-52, early in the third quarter as the game appeared to be getting away from them. And on the last game of a week-long road trip – and on a back-to-back – not many would have blamed them if they decided to mail it in.

    Instead, the Mavs kept making big bucket after big bucket after big bucket. And the biggest bucket of them all came when rookie point guard Jalen Brunson inbounded the ball to Doncic with a mere 0.6 seconds left in regulation.

    Doncic quickly rose up and launched the ball over Maurice Harkless—a ball that seemingly stayed suspended in air forever. As the ball finally nestled into the nets, tying the score at 107-107, the arena got eerily quiet – except for the thunderous noise coming from the Mavs’ contingent.

    “It just went in – it was a tough shot,” Doncic said. “I don’t know what to say.”

    Neither did Carlisle.

    “I don’t know what to say,” Carlisle said. “The guy’s got an uncanny knack for making shots like that.

    “I can’t say I was surprised when it went in. I’ve seen him do things like that too many times.”

    It’s a shot Doncic often practices – and perfects — in practice. And it was on full display during the final frantic seconds of Sunday’s game.

    “It’s amazing,” guard J. J. Barea said. “He loves those moments, those shots. We see him practicing it.

    “I think you guys are going to see more of those in the next few years.”

    Unfortunately, while the hair-raising shot by Doncic gave the Mavs some much-needed momentum going into overtime, they failed to seize the opportunity. Portland opened the overtime session with a dunk by C. J. McCollum and a 3-pointer by Al-Farouq to take a 112-107 lead, and the Mavs found themselves again in chase mode.

    Still, with some fight left in their tank, the Mavs inched to within 116-115 of the Blazers when DeAndre Jordan received a pass from Doncic and dunked it. But Damian Lillard slithered inside to score two of his 33 points and give Portland a 118-115 lead with 34.2 seconds remaining.

    But with a chance to tie the score, Harrison Barnes, Doncic and Brunson all misfired on 3-point attempts on the same trip down the court, and a pair of free throws by Lillard with 15.6 seconds left gave Portland an insurmountable 120-115 lead.

    “Getting into overtime was great, and then we got a bit of a sluggish start, which got us up against it a little bit, and then it was tough,” Carlisle said. “It’s a case of the Western Conference being almost an invisible margin for errors. We’ll just keep banging away.”

    It was the fifth straight road loss for the Mavs and dropped their record away from American Airlines Center to 2-14. The Mavs, who led 27-25 after the first quarter, but trailed 62-52 at the half, must feel like they can’t catch a break.

    Barnes led the Mavs with 27 points, Doncic finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, and Jordan added 14 points and 10 rebounds. Also for the Mavs, Dwight Powell scored 14 points in 19 minutes, and Brunson collected 11 points and six boards.

    Now as they pause to celebrate Christmas, the Mavs will try and snap out of their doldrums when they host the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.

    “We’re in a tough stretch, but the last two games we showed a lot,” Barea said. “We had a chance in both games.

    “It’s tough to win here. But we had a chance. We just have to stay together and keep fighting and go home and get a win and see if we can get back on track.”

    NOTES: Since it was the second leg of a back-to-back, Sunday’s game was a scheduled off day for Dirk Nowitzki, who has played limited duty in his four games since returning from left ankle surgery. . .Point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is hopeful of playing Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans after missing nine of the last 10 games with a sprained right wrist. . .Prior to Sunday’s game, coach Rick Carlisle was asked when was the last time he’d seen a rookie like Luka Doncic come into the NBA and be so effective so fast. “There’s a lot of (rookies) that play well,” Carlisle said. “(Dennis) Smith (Jr.) played well for us last year. Look, I understand the questions. Every time we go to a new city there’s a new round of reporters asking the same questions. I get it. It’s OK. (Doncic is) a good player and we really like him and he’s doing a lot of good things. He’s good, he loves to play, he loves playing with his teammates. He has fun playing, and that’s one of the reasons people like watching him.” Carlisle noted that Mavs president of basketball operations Donne Nelson had his eyes set on Doncic as a possible high draft pick for quite some time. “We knew he was good,” Carlisle said. “How good, how fast, nobody knew. Donnie Nelson had a great good grasp on the situation. He has felt for well over a year that he was the best player in that draft last year. We’ve been in rebuilding modes, so we’ve been looking very closely at draft prospects during the season – the last two seasons — way more than I ever have. So we’re very pleased to have him and have an opportunity to draft him.”

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    DeAndre Jordan “one of the great rebounders” in recent NBA history

    PORTLAND – As a team, rebounding has been a challenging proposition for the Dallas Mavericks this seaosn. But not for DeAndre Jordan.

    Entering Sunday’s road game at Portland, Jordan was second in the NBA in rebounds with 14.4 boards per game. That includes picking up at least 20 rebounds in six games this year.

    Jordan, in fact, has 22 or more rebounds in three of the last four games, including a season-high tying 23 boards during Saturday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.

    “He’s one of the great rebounders really in the recent history of our league,” coach Rick Carlisle said prior to Sunday’s Mavs-Portland game at the Moda Center. “He’s one of the top two or three guys every year, and one of the reasons we wanted him here was to solidify our defensive rebounding, and it’s gotten a lot better.”

    Jordan led the league in rebounds in 2014 and ’15, was second in ‘16, third in ‘17 and second last season. Because they had issues rebounding the basketball in recent years, the Mavs signed the 6-11, 265-pound center to a one-year free agent contract this past July.

    But in addition to his rebounding skills, Jordan also is averaging a career-high 2.3 assists per game, as he sometimes roams near the top of the key and drills a pinpoint bounce pass to his teammates.

    “He hadn’t been featured very much doing it,” Carlisle said, referring to Jordan’s passing skills. “I’m always opened-minded as to what guys can do as opposed to what they can’t do.

    “We felt very good about his free throw shooting getting better. As far as the passing, he’s doing some really good things and has shown improvements as the season’s gone along, and he’s gotten more used to his teammates and they’ve gotten more used to him. He’s seeing things and seeing cut opportunities that our guys are picking up on it and taking advantage of it.”

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    The best wins of 2018 for all 30 teams

    When we look back at the 2018 season, we see countless memorable moments from an exciting MLB campaign. But each club had one signature victory, in many cases embodying its season. With the help of each MLB.com beat writer, here is each club's best win of '18.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 120-116 loss to the Golden State Warriors

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 120-116 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Saturday at Oracle Arena:

    1. COMEBACK FELL SHORT: The fact that the Mavs rallied from an 18-point deficit in the third quarter and had a shot to take the lead with 33.5 seconds left speaks volumes about the way they stayed engaged in the game. Especially when you consider the Warriors are the two-time defending NBA champions, and they have arguably the toughest arena for opposing teams to play in. When you factor in the notion that the Mavs haven’t won but two road games this season, that’s a positive for the Mavs.

    2. LUKA INJURY KEY: There’s no discounting the fact that the absence of rookie Luka Doncic had an impact on this game. Doncic left the game for good with 6:13 to go with a right hip contusion. Just his presence on the court would have made the Warriors adjust their defense accordingly. But before he left, Doncic left his imprint on this contest. Doncic started the game with a bang when he drilled a pair of 3-pointers in the opening 2:40. He wound up scoring 14 of his 19 points in the first quarter.

    3. JORDAN A ROBO REBOUNDER: Not many NBA players rebound the basketball with more efficiency than DeAndre Jordan. On Saturday, Jordan was so effective on the boards that he grabbed exactly half of the 46 rebounds the Mavs collected. It’s the sixth time this season Jordan has grabbed at least 20 rebounds in a game. It’s also the third time in the past four games that he’s snatched at least 22 boards. By the way, Jordan also has two other games this season where he finished with 19 rebounds.

    4. MATTHEWS HAD THE HOT HAND: Wesley Matthews scored a season-high 25 points on 9-of-15 shots. The nine made field goals are the most Matthews has converted in a game this season. He also was 7-of-11 from 3-point range. The seven made 3-pointers are the most by any member of the Mavs this season. In the second half alone, Matthews was 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point arc as his shot-making helped keep the Mavs in a game the Warriors threatened to blow open in the third quarter.

    5. JONAS WHO?: When the average NBA fan talk about the Warriors, they readily know All-Stars Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green. They even know Andre Iguodala, who was the Most Valuable Player of the 2015 NBA Finals when the Warriors won it all. But, Jonas Jerebko? Who’s he? Yep, it was Jerebko who was 10-of-12 from the field, tallied a career-high 23 points and grabbed six rebounds off the bench Saturday while doing considerable damage to the Mavs.

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    Luka Doncic suffers right hip contusion as Mavs lose to the Warriors, 120-116

    OAKLAND – No matter the venue or the time zone, the Dallas Mavericks continue to be snake-bitten on the road.

    The Mavs put up a valiant effort Saturday night at Oracle Arena, but the Golden State Warriors held on to squeak out a 120-116 victory before a sellout crowd of 19,596. It was the sixth consecutive road loss for the Mavs and dropped their overall record on the road to a dismal 2-13.

    This also was the fifth straight loss for the Mavs as they dropped below .500 (15-16) for the first time since they were 8-9 back on Nov. 21.

    The Mavs led for most of the way and gave the two-time defending NBA champions all they could handle, then somehow fell behind by 18 points (111-93) with 7:51 remaining in the third quarter. But with the injured Luka Doncic on the bench for the game’s final 6:13, the Mavs rallied and actually had a chance to go ahead.

    However, with the Mavs down 117-116, Harrison Barnes misfired on a 3-pointer with 33.5 seconds remaining and Kevin Durant sealed it for the Warriors when he banged in a 3-pointer with 15.6 seconds to go.

    “I didn’t make any (shots) tonight, but that one felt good,” said Barnes, who scored 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting. “I had a good look.”

    Earlier, with the Mavs trailing 117-115, DeAndre Jordan went to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game with 59.5 seconds left. Jordan, however, split the two free throws, then stole a pass from Draymond Green to set up the dramatic ending when the shot by Barnes went astray.

    “He got a good look,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Look, I trust our players to create and he created a good look.

    “He liked it, he went up decisively and just — we won’t make every shot. The process was good. We just got to stay with the process.”

    The Mavs had to stay with the process without Doncic, who fell hard on the floor and slid into a chair when he tried to maneuver past Green while driving for a fast break layup. Doncic, who was very aggressive all night and wound up with three dunks, suffered a right hip contusion and finished the game with 19 points and five assists.

    “I just fell down,” Doncic said. “I know that I hit the key and I don’t know if I hit something else.

    “We’ll see tomorrow how it is, if I can play.”

    Doncic came out with guns ablaze as he fired in a pair of 3-pointers right out of the gate. He later added a three-point play, another 3-pointer and a beautiful driving dunk to give him 14 points and the Mavs a 24-22 lead with 3:24 left in the first quarter.

    “I felt great,” Doncic said. “I was using my step-back, which I always do, and I played with energy and that’s how I did at the start of the game.”

    A Jordan alley-oop dunk off a feed from Doncic moved the Mavs out front, 31-22, late in the first quarter. But with Stephen Curry pouring in 11 of his 22 points in the second quarter, Golden State got within 61-58 of the Mavs at intermission.

    Then, after the Mavs were nursing an 81-77 lead, suddenly the walls came crashing down as the Warriors went on a 34-12 run and bolted ahead 111-93. Ironically, it was primarily reserve center Jonas Jerebko who played an extremely key role during that Warriors’ rally, including scoring the final seven points of his career-high 23 points during the surge.

    “He’s a made a lot of big plays this year,” Carlisle said of Jerebko. “He had a game-winning tip-in in Utah, he’s has some big nights.

    “It’s no shock that the guy can make open shots, and he plays with effort. Everybody knows abuot him. He hurt us, no question about it.”

    The Mavs, who had seven players score 10 or more points, were also hurt because they missed 10 free throws and got outrebounded 54-46. However, Jordan held up his end of the bargain as he corralled a season-high tying 23 boards – exactly half of the Mavs’ total.

    “Our level of fight was good all night, and that’s a positive,” Carlisle said. “But a five-game losing streak is not a positive.

    “There’s a lot of little things we can do better. The rebounding hurt us tonight, the free throw line has been an issue on this trip. We did a great job with turnovers in the first half, we struggled in the second half, so we’ve got to continue to keep that as a priority to keep ball security at a premium, and we just to keep moving forward.”

    Dirk Nowitzki made a major step forward on Saturday when he played in both halves for the first time this season. Nowitzki played seven minutes in the first half and five minutes in the second half and finished with three points and was 1-of-4 from the field.

    “Obviously I’ve come a long way since the Phoenix game just wind-wise and legs-wise,” Nowitzki said. “But I still got a lot of work left to do.

    “So overall I’m encouraged, but I got to still keep working.”

    The Mavs, who play at Portland on Sunday at 8 p.m., also have to keep working if they have designed on ending their five-game losing streak.

    “This season we have done a good job of fighting and going up against adversity, and tonight was one of those things where they kind of got into a rhythm,” Barnes said. “We got down a little bit there in the second half and we can do better.

    “We brought it to a couple of points, so we just have to bring that same fight to tomorrow.”

    NOTES: Before the game, coach Rick Carlisle talked about some of the challenges Luka Doncic faces in his first year in the NBA. “In his case he has a background as a professional for several years, but there is a higher frequency of games here,” Carlisle said. “That’s got to be a big adjustment. And he is still, in most cases, going his first time around the NBA, so seeing new things every night.”. .Carlisle discussed putting his trust in Doncic to run the Mavs’ offense. “We’ve had a progression that’s been a little bit unpredictable,” Carlisle said. “We’ve had injuries and so on and so forth that have facilitated him having the ball more than expected. Off of his European films it certainly looked like being a point guard in the NBA was certainly possible and perhaps probable. People didn’t expect him to do what he’s done so far. But that said, he’s got a pretty good level of humility, he’s got a good vibe with his teammates and he’s learning what it’s like to be in a different kind of grind in the NBA with three-and-a-half games a week instead of two. It’s a big difference.”. .Carlisle expressed how Dirk Nowitzki has been an inspirational mentor to young players like Dennis Smith Jr., Luka Doncic, Dorian Finney-Smith and Jalen Brunson. “Well, there is no substitute for having an all-time great player that is meticulous in his preparation for everything from preparing his body, preparing his game, day-to-day, game-to-game,” Carlisle said. “It’s been a different kind of situation with Dirk coming back from his surgery. He didn’t participate in training camp, he didn’t play in the first game of the season. Guys like Doncic and Brunson and Dennis Smith Jr. — there are others — Finney-Smith, they get to see what it’s like to operate in a process that can lead to greatness.” . .After grabbing 23 rebounds Saturday, this is the third time in the last four games that DeAndre Jordan has collected at least 22 boards in a game. He also picked up 22 games Thursday against the Los Angels Clippers and 23 rebounds last Sunday against Sacramento. . .Luka Doncic, who rarely dunks the ball, had three dunks on Saturday after entering that game with just four dunks during the entire season. . .Wesley Matthews led the Mavs against the Warriors with 25. He was 7-of-11 from 3-point range.

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    Devin Harris back practicing at the scene where the Mavs traded him last season

    SAN FRANCISCO – The awkward scene is one Dallas Mavericks guard Devin Harris probably will never forget.

    The Mavs had just finished a shootaround at the Olympic Club in San Francisco when Harris received the sobering news that he had been traded to the Denver Nuggets. It was Feb. 8 of last season – the day of the trading deadline and the day the Mavs were preparing to play the Golden State Warriors.

    It was the day the Mavs executed a three-team deal that landed them Doug McDermott, and it also was the last time Harris and the Mavs practiced in this swanky upscale facility in downtown San Francisco until Friday. The (bad) memories were not lost on Harris.

    “It resonates, but it’s out of my control,” Harris said. “It happens. It’s not the first time I was traded, it might not be the last time I get traded.

    “Once it happens the first time you’re over the initial shock. It’s just something that you deal with and you move on and you get acclimated to a new team.”

    Unfortunately, when trades happen in the middle of the season, sometimes the player has to move on to the next city and leave the wife and kids back in the previous city they played in. That was the case with Harris.

    “I left to go to Denver and the family stayed behind (in Dallas),” Harris said. “Obviously I would like to see them a little bit more, but the kids were still in school.

    “They came on some weekends and spring break, but for the most part I’m in Denver alone and just trying to get it done.”

    Harris has certainly gotten it done this year with the Mavs, who signed him to a free agent contract this past summer after he played the final 27 games of last season with the Nuggets. Harris played just six minutes opening day against the Phoenix Suns because of a strained left hamstring and then missed the ensuing 10 games.

    Counting the contest against the Suns, the Mavs posted a 3-8 record when Harris was sidelined. But once he returned on Nov. 10 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, both Harris and the Mavs had a rebirth and a fresh new strut in their step.

    Not only did the Mavs race to a 12-3 record upon Harris’ immediate return, but it was as if the team took on a new life with him on the court. Coincident?

    “I don’t think it coincided with me coming back,” Harris said, referring to the Mavs’ winning ways. “I think as a team we just, defensively, something clicked for us.

    “Obviously, we have kind of lost that in the last (four) games that we’ve had. But defensively is where we made our mark and when we started winning consistently.”

    The Mavs (15-15) hope they can start clicking on defense again on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. when they play the Warriors (21-11) at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

    Harris averages 6.9 points in 15.7 minutes per game this season and is one of the key components on the Mavs’ defense. And yes, coach Rick Carlisle remembers when the Mavs started making waves in the NBA this season.

    “Our success this year has been coincided with his coming back from the original injury,” Carlisle said of Harris.
    “So he’s a very important guy, there’s no question about that.’’

    As far as that trade deadline deal that last season sent Harris to the Nuggets, Carlisle said: “That was light years ago.”

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    Devin Harris and Dwight Powell surprise 50 North Texas families and pay off their layaways right before Christmas

    DWIGHT POWELL’S PAYAWAY THE LAWAWAY

    Devin Harris and Dwight Powell surprise 50 North Texas families and pay off their layaways right before Christmas


    DALLAS – Across the country, there’s a holiday tradition blooming that involves a group of “Layaway Angels” who show up at stores and pay off the layaway plans for complete strangers ahead of Christmas.

    Two such “angels” happen to play for the Dallas Mavericks.

    Veteran guard Devin Harris and forward Dwight Powell have worked with the nonprofit group Pay Away the Layaway the last few years and they were back at it this season, showing up at a local store and footing the entire bill for 50 local families in need.

    It’s a day, Powell said, they anticipate all year long.

    He said the process works like this: the store informs 50 families with unpaid layaways to show up the next day for a “store appreciation day.”

    “Devin and I then address the crowd,” Powell said “and tell them this appreciation day doesn’t really exist. We explain that we are really here to pay off their layaway stuff and they can take everything home. They don’t have to pay one single cent today.”

    The unsuspecting families show an array of emotions; some stand there in shock, others laugh and smile – and then there are plenty of tears.

    “I came to support Dwight the first year and had a really unique experience with the families,” Harris said. “I saw the tears and the happy, joyful kids and it kept me coming back. I try to support what our guys are doing and try to help out. To be in a position to help others and bless them is really special for us and we are happy to do that.”

    One man called it a Christmas miracle. He explained to us that his family endured a tough financial year and he was worried about how to make Christmas special for his two children.

    “We had put stuff on layaway for my daughter,” he told us. “Yesterday we walk in to try and pay it off because we were behind on payment, and they told us to come back today.”

    He arrived with his two young children only to be met by two men who happen to play basketball for the Dallas Mavericks.

    “That’s when we found out Dwight and Devin were paying for our stuff. You see them on TV as a professional athlete, but they are role models and a lot of people look up to them. It shows what we give to our team, they give right back to us. They take care of their community.”

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    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 125-121 loss to the Clippers

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 125-121 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night at the STAPLES Center:

    1. DONCIC RULES THE NIGHT: Folks are running out of superlatives to describe what Luka Doncic has done in a little over a third of the way through this season. The 19-year old rookie from Slovenia added another glowing chapter to his ever-growing list of accolades Thursday when he scored a season-high 32 points, grabbed four rebounds, handed out five assists and picked up four steals. The only other NBA teenager to put up similar numbers – LeBron James.

    2. TRIBUTE TO DEANDRE: What a nice tribute the Clippers and their fans gave DeAndre Jordan. The lovefest started during Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ pre-game press conference when he acknowledged that he wants to one day retire Jordan’s jersey. It continued when fans gave Jordan a very loud ovation during pre-game introductions. Then came the warm video tribute to Jordan during the first timeout. Jordan responded with 11 points, 22 rebounds and four assists.

    3. DEFENSE WAS A NO-SHOW: The Mavs’ defense was a no-show. Not only did the Clippers score 125 points, but they tallied at least 60 points in each half. Overall, the Clippers shot 56.6 percent from the field and seven of their 11 players that played shot at least 50 percent from the floor. Also, this was one of those rare NBA games where the Mavericks finished the entire night without blocking at least one shot.

    4. THE BENCH PLAY: This was a game where both benches were huge factors. Behind 26 points and eight assists from Lou Williams — along with 18 points and six rebounds from Montrezl Harrell – the Clippers bench players outscored the Mavs’ reserves, 67-49. However, when the Mavs climbed out of a 13-point hole and took a 109-104 lead midway through the fourth quarter, that spark came compliments of their bench. J. J. Bare (19 points, eight assists) and Devin Harris (13 points) led the solid play of the Mavs off the bench.

    5. SALAH MEJRI A FACTOR: For a player who was sick earlier in the day, Salah Mejri emerged and played arguably his best game of the season. Mejri was congested earlier Thursday, and therefore missed the morning shootaround. But he wound up scoring five points, grabbing two rebounds, handing out three assists and picking up a steal during his short time on the court. That in itself was phenomenal considering Mejri had played just seven minutes in the previous eight games.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 125-121 loss to the Clippers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


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    Teammates and brothers, DaSmithWay is a way of life

    Three years ago, Dorian Finney-Smith finished his third and final season at the University of Florida and was named to the Second Team All-SEC Team for the second year in a row. Then it was time for the NBA Draft.

    Finney-Smith never heard is name called on draft night, but his dream didn’t stop there. Just a few weeks later, he found himself signing with the Dallas Mavericks to compete in Summer League and training camp for a spot on the final roster that fall.

    Not only would Finney-Smith make the final roster, but he would go on to start 35 games for the Mavs and average over 20 minutes a game during his rookies season. His fit on the court was seamless, but off the court, he didn’t have many guys his age to connect with on the team.

    “It was different the first two years,” Finney-Smith said as we reminisced on his early days in Dallas. “It was just me and A.J. Hammons. But A.J would go down to the D-League for a minute. I was the only person who was under 23 years old.”

    Guys like Deron Williams, Wesley Matthews, Dirk Nowitzki, J.J. Barea, and others were already in their 30s. As a team, Dallas had seven players over 30 years old. Harrison Barnes had just arrived, but Barnes’ vet-like personality and experience in the league set him apart from being one of the “young guys” on the team.

    “HB was a little different because he had been in the league for a minute and he has an older mentality,” Finney-Smith recalled.

    Then, on the night of the 2017 NBA Draft, Finney-Smith’s off-the-court life in Dallas would change forever as the Dallas Mavericks drafted a 19-year-old by the name of Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth overall pick.

    It didn’t take long for the two Smiths to cross paths.

    “In the training room,” Smith recalled on the first time he met Finney-Smith. “I was coming down to get ready for Summer League and we introduced ourselves to each other. He knew my cousin.”

    Finney-Smith had made an earlier family connection to the Smith family through the school he attended growing up and already knew about Dennis before the Mavericks drafted him on draft night. But after their pleasantries were exchanged in the training room on the first day, it was time for them both to see what each other had.

    “The first day I met him we played one-on-one,” Finney-Smith said. “Right then I knew I was going to like him.”

    And ever since then, the Smith bros have been inseparable. They would play that Summer League together and head into training camp as two young pieces of the future for the Mavericks. Even though Finney-Smith battled injuries throughout their first year together, the two formed a bond off the court that is as strong as ever now.

    Dennis credits the strength of that bond to their similar upbringings growing up.

    “We have similar backgrounds and we are into the same things off the court,” Smith said. “Similar mentalities and we came up kind of the same way. We can relate to so much that the other person got going on. It is easy to really rock with somebody like that.”

    The friendship was natural and easy from the beginning even going as far as creating a tagline between the two that has now became a popular hashtag among Mavs fans on social media: #DaSmithWay.

    “It is a term that way. We just call it DaSmithWay,” Smith Jr. described it as. “It is our way, point-blank period.”

    “It means going hard,” Finney-Smith added. “Having fun with the game and throwing alley-oops. Playing hard and diving after the ball.”

    In a way, DaSmithWay sets the tone for them on the court. Their energy. Their grit and determination. Their pit bull-like mentality in which they feed off each other. When Dorian grabs a rebound, Dennis is the first person he is looking for, and in the same way Dennis drives to the basket and looks for a cutting Dorian.

    In fact, it was this type of play that provided Dennis’ favorite memory of the two on the court up in Toronto back last season.

    “The Toronto game, I drove and saw him cutting. I dropped it off and he yoked on Valanciunas,” Smith said as he thought through their memories on the court. “That’s probably my favorite memory.”

    But sometimes it isn’t all fun and highlights between the two on the court. Sometimes it’s hard conversations and teaching moments between the two. And the ability to hold each other accountable on the court is something that makes their bond so special.

    “He can talk to me if he sees me not playing hard,” Finney-Smith said.

    In the home win over the Rockets recently, Dorian recalled a play in which he was called for a foul on James Harden. Except Dorian didn’t think it was a foul. Dennis was the first person to come over and tell him that it in fact was an infraction.

    “Like tonight, he was telling me to get up on Harden and he says it was a foul,” Dorian said. “He has my back, but if he says that it is a foul, then I probably fouled him.”

    It is the chemistry they have built off the court that enables this type of truth and honesty on the court.

    “When you have a relationship you can really get onto one another and you don’t take it personal. It is coming from a good place,” Smith added.

    When it comes to what they have learned from each other on the court, they both shared unique pieces of their games that they have adapted into their own repertoire. For Dorian, it all stems from the confidence that he soaks up from Dennis on the court. In his early years in Dallas, Dorian was his own worst critic and would stay down on himself for an entire game because of a mistake earlier in the game. But over time, he’s adopted Smith’s short memory.

    “I used to think about my last shot a lot,” Finney-Smith said. “Back in the day, if I missed that dunk, I would be thinking about it the whole game.”

    And that boost in confidence is evident when it comes to Finney-Smith’s shooting. Attempting more 3s per game than his entire career, Finney-Smith is also shooting his highest percentage in his career from behind the arc and was one of the best 3-point shooters in the league through the first part of the season.

    For Dennis, it is the energy and pride that Finney-Smith puts into his defense that has made him take it up a notch on that end of the ball.

    “Locking in on defense and how important defense is,” Smith said in regards to what he has learned from Dorian. “He takes pride in that.”

    And just like Finney-Smith’s improved outside shot, Smith’s tenacity on the defensive end of the ball has been one of his biggest improvements since last season. In fact, of the Mavericks’ five-man lineups that have played over 80 minutes together, both Dennis and Dorian are in the five-man lineup that possesses the best defensive rating, according to NBA.com.

    The bond on the court is evident, but ever since the beginning, it is the friendship off the court that is something you don’t see on every professional sports team. They might battle one-on-one after practice at times, but as far as who the better shooter is between the two, that is up for debate.

    “My wrist is messed up right now but he can’t shoot with me,” Smith Jr. said with a laugh. “He know that. He won’t put his money on that.”

    Finney-Smith had a simple response, “Come on now.”

    Dorian is also confident in his fashion game over Dennis’ and Dennis recognizes that Dorian can dress, but not on his level though. “He got some swag to him…he can dress. He can’t dress better than me, but he can dress,” Dennis said with a grin.

    In regards to their battles on the sticks, “I know he didn’t say he was better in that,” Dennis loudly proclaimed. Finney-Smith acknowledged that many of the young guys on the team play video games together, but credited Dennis for his skills in Madden.

    “He good at Madden though. I can’t take that from him,” Finney-Smith said.

    Dennis proceeded to expand on his domination over Dorian. “Look, we play on the plane. I scrape him on the plane, the hotel room,” Dennis said. “Call of Duty. Madden. I am super cold at Madden. Ain’t nobody mess with me in Madden. I scrape him in 2K too.”

    As far as a good story between the two off the court that could be published on the team site, Dennis laughingly said the he “might not be able to tell some of those stories until he [Dorian] retires.”

    They might throw alley-oops to each other on the court, but their bond off the court is what will last a lifetime.  They are teammates and friends, but there was one word they both kept referencing when talking about each other.

    They are brothers.

    “They try to sit in between us because they say we are always together,” Finney-Smith said. “Everywhere we go, he is somewhere close to me. We’re always joking with each other. He’s like my brother.”

    They are the Smith brothers and as far as they are concerned, nothing is coming between DaSmithWay.

    The post Teammates and brothers, DaSmithWay is a way of life appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Rangers deal Profar to A's in 3-team trade

    Acquiring young pitching for the future has been a high priority for the Rangers this offseason. That continued Friday, when infielder Jurickson Profar was traded to the Athletics for four Minor League prospects in a three-team trade that also included the Rays.


    The Clippers and their fans showered DeAndre Jordan with praise during Thursday’s game

    LOS ANGELES –After the first timeout during Thursday night’s game between the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers, a video tribute was shown on the STAPLES Center Jumbotron in honor of DeAndre Jordan.

    Before signing a one-year free agent contract with the Mavs last July, Jordan spent the first 10 years of his NBA career toiling for the Clippers. So, they were more than happy to express their pleasure on what he meant to their organization – via the video tribute.

    “I watched a little bit of It, I thought it was great,” Jordan said. “I really appreciate those guys doing that. It was cool.”

    Along with Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, Jordan was an integral part of the Clippers’ renaissance that turned this franchise from one of the NBA’s laughingstocks to one of its better programs. Thus, in a show of respect to Jordan and the blood, sweat and tears he gave this organization, Clippers coach Doc Rivers said he wants to retire Jordan’s jersey first.

    “That’s humbling,” Jordan said. “There’s no secret that Doc is my favorite. I love Doc and he is a big reason of a lot of the success I’ve had in this league, and I appreciate him a lot.

    “And for him to say something like that, that’s cool.”

    Jordan even shared a laugh about Rivers when Rivers inadvertently slipped and fell in the second half while Thursday’s game was going on.

    “I thought he was going to be out two to four weeks,” Jordan said. “That guy’s got some good joints.”

    Jordan finished a game the Mavs lost, 125-121, with 11 points, 22 rebounds and four assists. It was the first time he played against the Clippers in Los Angeles since joining the Mavs.

    Coach Rick Carlisle was impressed with the way Jordan held up against the Clippers. Particularly since the 6-11 center missed Thursday morning’s shootaround with an illness.

    “I thought all night long that he was an impact player in the paint,” Carlisle said. “It was great to see the warm welcome back he got from the fans.

    “I saw the video thing, it was terrific, very deserving. These things can be very challenging coming back to a place you’ve been to for a decade. He handled it great and I thought they gave him his due respect.”

    Clippers backup center Montrezl Harrell said he learned a lot from Jordan, especially with the way he dominates in the paint.

    “I’ve got great relationships with all of my teammates regardless of who it is,” Jordan said. “We talk a lot, we learn from each other on and off the floor, and I learned a lot from (Harrell) as well.

    “I think that’s a good thing to have a camaraderie aspect with the team.”

    That same camaraderie Jordan had with the Clippers, now he has it with the Mavs.

    “He’s a great dude, great teammate, great person,” guard J. J. Barea said. “I know (the Clippers) love him, so it’s awesome that they did that (video tribute).”

    Jordan collected 16 points and a season-high 23 rebounds when the Mavs beat the Clippers back on Dec. 2. But that contest was in Dallas, while Thursday’s game was emotional for Jordan because it was in the place where is NBA career started.

    The respect for Jordan started early, as the fans gave him a thunderous ovation when his name was called while the starting lineups were introduced. From there, Jordan went out and showed the Clippers what they’ve missed.

    “He was a factor, even though he was obviously under the weather,” backup center Dirk Nowitzki said. “He missed the shootaround in the morning, but there was no way he was going to miss this game.

    “It was his first game back and he had over 20 boards. He was active. Unfortunately, we didn’t get him the win.”

    For Jordan and the Mavs, that was unfortunate. But for Jordan, it still was exhilarating to walk into the STAPLES Center and see so many friendly and smiling faces.

    “They were great teammates and we had some really great times,” Jordan said. “The coaching staff, we talked a little bit, too.

    “I had a lot of memories here. I was here for 10 years and I loved every second of it.”

    The post The Clippers and their fans showered DeAndre Jordan with praise during Thursday’s game appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Doncic, Jordan shine, but Clippers walk away with a 125-121 victory over the Mavs

    LOS ANGELES – Luka Doncic scored a career-high 32 points Thursday night at the STAPLES Center and DeAndre Jordan collected 20-plus rebounds for the fifth time this season.

    However, it wasn’t enough as the Los Angeles Clippers extended the Dallas Mavericks’ losing streak to four games in a row with a 125-121 victory before a crowd of 17,528.

    The loss evened the Mavs’ record at 15-15 and dropped them to 0-2 on this four-game road trip which continues Saturday at 8 p.m. when Dallas plays the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors in Oakland.

    Doncic tallied 19 of his points in the second half on a variety of shots. But it was the Mavs’ bench that dug deep and helped keep Dallas in the mix.

    Dunks by Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith, a pair of free throws by Finney-Smith, a dunk and basket inside the paint from Salah Mejri, and a five-foot bank shot by Kleber via a feed from Mejri sparked the Mavs and had them nursing a 109-104 lead with 5:14 remaining in the game.

    But the Clippers (18-13) immediately went on a game-changing 15-2 run, fueled by nine points from Danilo Gallinari, and assumed a 119-111 lead with 1:02 left.

    “We did some great things, especially in the second half,” Doncic said. “We had great defense.

    “I think we had some bad calls at the end of the game. I think if we’re going to play like this we’re going to win a lot of games.”

    Two free throws by Jordan, a fast break layup from Doncic and a 3-pointer by J. J. Barea got the Mavs within 121-118 of the Clippers with 11.6 seconds left. Then a step-back 3-pointer from Doncic inched the Mavs to within 123-121 of the Clippers with 3.8 seconds to go.

    However, Tobias Harris nailed a pair of free throws with 2.3 ticks left, and the Mavs’ chance at a comeback was ultimately thwarted.

    “Our disposition in the second half was great,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “In the first half we didn’t play with enough force.

    “In the second half we were tough, we played with collective force, we took care of the ball, we shared it, we made shots and we were tough in the paint. On this trip with these opponents, we just got to put 48 minutes together.”

    The game’s outcome notwithstanding, Jordan put on an impressive performance in his first time playing the Clippers in Los Angeles since he left that organization after 10 years and signed a one-year free agent contract with the Mavs this past July. With the fans cheering him on, Jordan scored 11 points, grabbed 22 rebounds and handed out four assists.

    It was a massive showing by Jordan, who missed Thursday morning’s shootaround with an illness and received a thunderous ovation from the fans during pre-game introductions.

    “We played against the Clippers before (on Dec. 2 in Dallas), so (Thursday’s game) was cool,” Jordan said. “I wish we would have won the game, but it was fun to be back in front of the Clippers fans and play in front of those guys.

    “I was a little sick earlier. I don’t miss games anyway, so I’ve got to play.”

    Harrison Barnes tallied nine of his 16 points in the first quarter, which the Mavs trailed 30-27 when it ended. With Montrezl Harrell (18 points) and Gallinari (32 points) working their magic, the Clippers led 65-54 at intermission.

    And when Lou Williams came off the bench to pour in 26 points and dispense eight assists – he was 9-of-12 from the field and 7-of-10 from the charity stripe, the Mavs had their hands full trying to contain this trio.

    “He was great,” Carlisle said of Williams. “He made a lot of plays, made a lot of shots.

    “He got to the free throw line a lot. An awful lot.”

    Meanwhile, Doncic was busy showing the national TV audience – the game was televised on TNT—why he is the best of this season’s rookie crop. Doncic was 10-of-20 from the field, 3-of-6 from 3-point range, 9-of-13 from the free throw line, and also added four rebounds, five assists and four steals.

    “We didn’t get a win, so for me that doesn’t matter,” Doncic said of his performance. “I just want to win.”

    Carlisle, meanwhile, made a point to praise Mejri, who played a total of seven minutes in the previous eight games prior to getting five points, two rebounds and three assists in nine workmanlike minutes against the Clippers.

    “I can’t say enough good things about how he’s kept himself ready, attached to the team, engaged, supportive of his teammates that were playing ahead of him,” Carlisle said. “It’s been great to see, and then he gets the call tonight.”

    Mejri even missed the Thursday morning shootaround after saying he was congested. Yet he was very engaged around the basket and helped light a fire under the Mavs.

    “He hasn’t played in a while, and he went in there and was a big factor,” Carlisle said. “I’m very happy for him, impressed, but not surprised.”

    In the meantime, Barea tallied 19 points and distributed eight assists off the bench, and Devin Harris added 13 points in 19 minutes.

    Also, Dirk Nowitzki continued a trend of only playing in the first half. The 21-year veteran went scoreless, missed his only shot attempt – a 3-pointer – and played just six minutes.

    While he said he could have played in the second half if he was asked to, Nowitzki was just proud Jordan had a solid showing in his homecoming game.

    “He was a factor, even though he was obviously under the weather,” Nowitzki said. “He missed the shootaround in the morning, but there was no way he was going to mis this game.

    “It was his first game back and he had over 20 boards. He was active. Unfortunately, we didn’t get him the win.”

    The post Doncic, Jordan shine, but Clippers walk away with a 125-121 victory over the Mavs appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Crouse ready to break out in 2019

    Who could be the top prospects with breakout 2019 campaigns? William Boor, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum provide one candidate from each organization.


    Dinner with Santa


    Rookie Luka Dončić: “This is more important than basketball. The kids needed this…they are happy, we are happy.”

    MAVS IN THE COMMUNITY: Dallas Mavs players, employees surprise 50 underprivileged children with gifts and toys at the annual Dinner with Santa event

    By Tamara Jolee | Digital Story By Jonathan Lim

    DALLAS — Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Dončić was curious how Americans celebrated the holidays. He recently got his answer at the Dallas Mavericks annual Dinner with Santa event that took place this year at Scout at The Statler, presented by PlainsCapital Bank.

    “I figured out we pretty much celebrate the holidays the same,” said Dončić, a native of Ljubljana, Slovenia. “Today is my first Christmas experience here and the main thing is children. Smiles are universal.”

    Dinner with Santa

    Dallas Mavs players, employees surprise 50 underprivileged children with gifts and toys at the annual Dinner with Santa event


    Those smiles arrived courtesy of 50 spunky local children with Rainbow Days and Vogel Alcove, the two organizations chosen by the Dallas Mavericks as this year’s gift recipients. Rainbow Days helps youth in adversity build coping skills and resilience to create positive futures, while Vogel Alcove is a non-profit organization on a mission to help young children overcome the lasting and traumatic effects of homelessness.

    “I think we had more fun today than even the kids,” Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan told Mavs.com, while kids zoomed in and out between his legs. “Anytime you can serve children and take their mind off reality for a moment, it’s really special. This is a day we’ll always remember and so will the kids.”

    The stories of the children hit close to home for Dallas Mavericks CEO, Cynt Marshall, a mother of four adopted children who were once left abandoned and forced to care for themselves.

    “Events like this are personal to me and always touch my heart,” said Marshall. “One of the children came up to me today and grabbed my knees and talked about how excited he was,” she said. “That hits straight to my heart. This is what life is all about.”

    Marshall reminded the media that Dinner with Santa is a process that starts months before the annual event.

    “Dallas Mavericks Vice President of Community Relations, Katie Edwards, and her team has done an amazing job with Vogel Alcove and Rainbow Days and this event is extremely special for our organization and community during this NBA Cares Season of Giving.”

    PlainsCapital Bank served as the event sponsor and Scout at The Statler provided the dinner and event space for the Dallas Mavericks’ annual Dinner with Santa celebration.

    Scout is a 12,000-square-foot dining area and gaming hub outfitted with a bowling alley, ping pong tables and event space, making it the perfect location for this year’s Dinner with Santa event. Santa Claus even arrived from the North Pole and praised everyone for putting together such a memorable afternoon for underprivileged children.

    “A lot of us on the (Dallas Mavericks) team, didn’t have this growing up,” Jordan said. “This is our purpose in the NBA…to use our platform to reach people and make them smile. Seeing the kids ride their bikes, laugh, smile and rip open their presents so fast is something none of us will ever forget.”

    The children arrived via the FOX Sports Southwest Mavs Express Bus and each child received a hero’s welcome courtesy of the entire Dallas Mavericks team, along with Dallas Mavericks Dancers, ManiAACs, Champ the Mascot and PlainsCapital Bank’s mascot “Mo” the Buffalo.

    After snacking on mini burgers and sugar cookies, the children and players gathered on the carpet as Santa read the holiday-classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

    Dončić said events like Dinner with Santa even transitions to the locker room because it builds camaraderie between teammates in a setting outside of basketball.

    “We have a lot of players on our team that really care about children and the community,” he said. “We have great team chemistry and it helps to come together and remember how basketball is just a small part of what we do.”

    The Dallas Mavericks Community Relations Department once again shopped and selected gifts for each child, spending weeks gathering lists and checking them twice – to make sure every kid received exactly what they wanted. It’s a process that starts months before the holidays and takes a team of helpers including Edwards and community relations staff members, Hannah Sherertz and Emily Luth.

    “We get a Wish List from all 50 kids,” said Edwards, “and they list both needs and wants. Every child gets clothes, coats and warm clothing to get them through the winter. Then they receive special surprises like toys, bikes and electronics. Most of all, it’s fun for them to meet the players and the players love to give out the gifts and visit with the children. Santa is here and it’s just a really special event.”

    With the gifts neatly wrapped, the Dallas Mavericks players gave every child individual attention and read their names out loud on the microphone as they dashed to the front and claimed their gifts and box of goodies.

    The highlight of the afternoon took place when the biggest kid in the room – 21-year NBA veteran Dirk Nowitzki – counted to three as the children ripped open their gifts and boxes with plenty of screams, cheers and joy that deeply touched the Dallas Mavericks players.

    Devin Harris admits the players enjoy the annual Dallas Mavericks Dinner with Santa celebration just as much as the children.

    “It’s always an exciting time and one of my favorite events each year,” he said. “We have great chemistry with a lot of funny guys and a lot of guys with really big hearts.”

    After the presents are unwrapped, the players assist the children with their newfangled gifts. Dirk Nowitzki was in one corner, pushing a little boy on his new bicycle while Wesley Matthews was in the center of the room helping little girls opening up baby dolls and helping the children situate them inside pink and polka dot strollers.

    When we caught up with Harris, he was battling a group of children in a fierce game of foosball while Dwight Powell sat nearby with four kids who snacked on red and green sugar cookies as they admired and caressed their shiny new presents.

    Throughout the NBA Cares Season of Giving, the NBA, its players and teams are out in full force in various communities hosting hundreds of charity events around the United States and Toronto. The plan is to brighten the holidays for thousands of families and their children.

    “For our entire team to be in one setting together, serving children, is really special,” Harris said. “This event always puts us in the holiday mood and brings great joy to everyone involved.”

    ABOUT MAVS CARE: The Dallas Mavericks strive to be champions on the court and in the community. We are dedicated to building a stronger community through educational programs, health and wellness initiatives, environmental efforts, support for military veterans, and grants to nonprofit organizations. Through our community programs and the Mavs Foundation, we are changing lives in North Texas and have impacted thousands of children, families and communities. Learn more at Mavs.com/Community. Twitter: @MavsCare

    ABOUT VOGEL ALCOVE: Vogel Alcove is a 501c3 nonprofit agency which provides therapeutic early childhood services, school-age programs and family support services for homeless children ages six weeks to 12 years old, and their families. Since 1987, the agency has served more than 16,000 Dallas-area homeless children. We’re on a mission to help young children, and their families, overcome the lasting and traumatic effects of homelessness. It is our vision that every child in our community has a home, a self-sufficient family and a foundation for success in school and life.

    ABOUT RAINBOW DAYS: Rainbow Days is a 501(c)(3) Dallas-based nonprofit organization. Founded in 1982, Rainbow Days has a mission to help children and youth in adversity build coping skills and resilience to rise above life’s challenges and create positive futures. Through support groups, camps, mentored events and tangible items, Rainbow Days serves over 11,000 at-risk children and youth in the Dallas area annually. For more information, please visit our website, www.RainbowDays.org, or call our office at (214) 887-0726.

    ABOUT PLAINSCAPITAL BANK: As of Sept. 30, 2018, Dallas-based PlainsCapital Bank, the sixth largest Texas-headquartered bank by deposit market share, operated 20 branches in North Texas. With 65 locations statewide and more than 1,200 employees, PlainsCapital Bank provides highly personalized relationship banking through a single point of contact. Offering commercial lending, treasury management, small business banking, private banking, and trust and wealth management services, PlainsCapital Bank empowers responsive, local decision making in each of its major markets: Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Lubbock, the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. PlainsCapital Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE:HTH). Find more information at PlainsCapital.com. Source: SNL Financial

    ABOUT SCOUT: Scout, one of six concepts created by hospitality group Epic Food and Beverage, is located inside The Statler and serves as a social space that celebrates the spirit of the great outdoors. Complete with refreshments and recreation in this national park-inspired space, activities range from bowling to ping-pong, foosball and pool. Scout’s menu is ideal for large gatherings, featuring a variety shareable dishes and large-format cocktails.

    The post Dinner with Santa appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    New coaches bring fresh outlook to Rangers

    This will be Luis Ortiz's first shot as a Major League hitting coach. Assistant hitting coach Callix Crabbe has never been a coach at the professional level. Pitching coach Julio Rangel and bullpen coach Oscar Marin have never been in the Major Leagues in any capacity. This staff is going to be quite different from any other assembled by a Rangers manager.


    Jordan, Mejri and Broekhoff all missed this morning’s shootaround with an illness

    LOS ANGELES – Dallas Mavericks centers DeAndre Jordan and Salah Mejri, along with guard Ryan Broekhoff, all missed Thursday morning’s shootaround at the STAPLES Center with an illness.

    The three players’ availability for Thursday 9:30 p.m. tipoff against the Los Angeles Clippers is not known.

    In addition, coach Rick Carlisle said point guard Dennis Smith Jr. may not play in any of the remaining three games on this four-game road trip.

    “DJ, we hope he can go tonight,” Carlisle sad. “He was feeling a little under the weather in Denver, too, (this past Tuesday), but I hope he’s OK.

    “Salah is fighting it a little bit. Broekhoff is more sick than the other two guys.”

    If Jordan is able to play Thursday, it’ll be the first time the 11-year veteran has played a game in Los Angeles against the team he spent the first 10 years of his NBA career playing for. Drafted by the Clippers on the second round in 2008 out of Texas A&M, Jordan signed a one-year free agent contract with the Mavs this past July.

    Also, back on Dec. 2 when the Mavs defeated the Clippers in Dallas, Jordan scored 16 points and grabbed a season-high 23 rounds. Thus, the Mavs are holding out hope that he’ll be able to play Thursday and create havoc again inside the paint.

    “I don’t know exactly who’s going to be available, but I’m hoping that DJ and Salah will be,” Carlisle said. “And Broekhoff, I’m not sure.”

    Meanwhile, Smith said he doesn’t plan on playing again until his sprained right wrist is fully healthy. And as far as his status for Thursday’s game against the Clippers, Saturday’s game against Golden State and Sunday’s game in Portland, Carlisle said:

    “I’m not ruling Dennis Smith Jr. out from playing on this trip. But at this point I feel it is unlikely that he’ll play in these three games.

    “But he is making progress and he’s doing better. We just want to keep his progress upward and consistent.”

    The post Jordan, Mejri and Broekhoff all missed this morning’s shootaround with an illness appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Profar to receive Durrett Award for hard work

    Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar has been selected as the 2018 winner of the Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man Award by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.


    Profar to receive Durrett Award for hard work

    Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar has been selected as the 2018 winner of the Richard Durrett Hardest Working Man Award by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.


    Rangers serve lunch to Globe Life Field workers

    The Rangers served holiday lunch to construction workers, who are building the club's new ballpark -- Globe Life Field.


    Rangers serve lunch to Globe Life Field workers

    The Rangers served holiday lunch to construction workers, who are building the club's new ballpark -- Globe Life Field.


    MLB, MLBPA reach deal with Cuban Federation

    Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced today an agreement with the Cuban Baseball Federation (FCB) that will provide Cuban baseball players with a safe and legal path to sign with a Major League Club.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center:

    1. DONCIC IS VERY SPECIAL: How much more proof do you need before you realize how special Luka Doncic is? The rookie put on a clinic during the eight minutes and 59 seconds he played in the third quarter. Of the 26 points the Mavs scored during that time frame, Doncic had a hand in 25 of those points. The only point he wasn’t a part of came when Harrison Barnes made a free throw after Nuggets coach Michael Malone was whistled for a technical foul. Doncic scored 11 points and collected five assists in the third quarter, and also assisted on a pair of 3-point baskets apiece in the quarter from Wesley Matthews and Barnes. Doncic finished the game with 23 points, six rebounds and a career-high 12 assists.

    2. MAVS KEPT THEIR TURNOVERS DOWN: For one of the rare times in recent weeks, the Mavs didn’t have to use the postgame interview session to discuss any catastrophic turnovers that cost them a ballgame. Against the Nuggets, the Mavs turned the ball over a season-low eight times. And that’s a considerably low number under any circumstances. But it’s especially low since Denver is a very good defensive team who plays an up-tempo game that forces opposing teams to push the pace where it lends itself to an inordinate amount of turnovers.

    3. JORDAN’S FOUL PROBLEMS WERE AN ISSUE: From the time he picked up his second foul with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter, center DeAndre Jordan battled foul problems all night. And that was crucial, because the Mavs sorely needed Jordan to guard Denver center Nikola Jokic, who is just a beast around the basket and on the perimeter. Jordan eventually fouled out for the first time this season with 6:29 left in the game and the Mavs down 110-106. His departure weighed heavily on the Mavs as Jokic just created so many mismatch situations that kept Dallas off-balanced.

    4. REBOUNDS WERE IN SHORT SUPPLY: The Nuggets won the board battle as they outrebounded the Mavs, 47-33. That includes a 12-6 advantage on the offensive end of the floor. However, it wasn’t just the 16 rebounds Denver’s Nikola Jokic plucked that were a problem for the Mavs. The Nuggets had three other players – Mason Plumlee, Jamal Murray and Juancho Hernangomez – who collected at least six rebounds apiece. By contrast, the only players who grabbed at least six rebounds for the Mavs were DeAndre Jordan with 12 and Luka Doncic with six.

    5. BAREA MAKES SUCCESSFUL RETURN: After missing the previous two games with a sprained left ankle, guard J. J. Barea was back on the court and running the second unit with amazing aplomb. Barea played 21 minutes, scored 10 points, handed out five assists and was 4-of-11 from the field. Meanwhile, there are those within the Mavs’ organization who staunchly believe that Dallas would have beaten Phoenix and Sacramento in the previous two games if Barea had been healthy enough to play. That’s how much they believe in his value to the Mavs.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night at the Pepsi Center:

    1. DONCIC IS VERY SPECIAL: How much more proof do you need before you realize how special Luka Doncic is? The rookie put on a clinic during the eight minutes and 59 seconds he played in the third quarter. Of the 26 points the Mavs scored during that time frame, Doncic had a hand in 25 of those points. The only point he wasn’t a part of came when Harrison Barnes made a free throw after Nuggets coach Michael Malone was whistled for a technical foul. Doncic scored 11 points and collected five assists in the third quarter, and also assisted on a pair of 3-point baskets apiece in the quarter from Wesley Matthews and Barnes. Doncic finished the game with 23 points, six rebounds and a career-high 12 assists.

    2. MAVS KEPT THEIR TURNOVERS DOWN: For one of the rare times in recent weeks, the Mavs didn’t have to use the postgame interview session to discuss any catastrophic turnovers that cost them a ballgame. Against the Nuggets, the Mavs turned the ball over a season-low eight times. And that’s a considerably low number under any circumstances. But it’s especially low since Denver is a very good defensive team who plays an up-tempo game that forces opposing teams to push the pace where it lends itself to an inordinate amount of turnovers.

    3. JORDAN’S FOUL PROBLEMS WERE AN ISSUE: From the time he picked up his second foul with 5:22 remaining in the first quarter, center DeAndre Jordan battled foul problems all night. And that was crucial, because the Mavs sorely needed Jordan to guard Denver center Nikola Jokic, who is just a beast around the basket and on the perimeter. Jordan eventually fouled out for the first time this season with 6:29 left in the game and the Mavs down 110-106. His departure weighed heavily on the Mavs as Jokic just created so many mismatch situations that kept Dallas off-balanced.

    4. REBOUNDS WERE IN SHORT SUPPLY: The Nuggets won the board battle as they outrebounded the Mavs, 47-33. That includes a 12-6 advantage on the offensive end of the floor. However, it wasn’t just the 16 rebounds Denver’s Nikola Jokic plucked that were a problem for the Mavs. The Nuggets had three other players – Mason Plumlee, Jamal Murray and Juancho Hernangomez – who collected at least six rebounds apiece. By contrast, the only players who grabbed at least six rebounds for the Mavs were DeAndre Jordan with 12 and Luka Doncic with six.

    5. BAREA MAKES SUCCESSFUL RETURN: After missing the previous two games with a sprained left ankle, guard J. J. Barea was back on the court and running the second unit with amazing aplomb. Barea played 21 minutes, scored 10 points, handed out five assists and was 4-of-11 from the field. Meanwhile, there are those within the Mavs’ organization who staunchly believe that Dallas would have beaten Phoenix and Sacramento in the previous two games if Barea had been healthy enough to play. That’s how much they believe in his value to the Mavs.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Luka Doncic puts on dazzling passing display in Denver

    The list of Mavs rookies to hand out 12 assists in a game doubled in length last night.

    Luka Doncic joined Jason Kidd as the only first-year Mavericks in history with 12 dimes, as the Slovenian rookie continued his emergence as one of the league’s best, most entertaining passers. The 19-year-old added 23 points, joining LeBron James as the only other teenager in NBA history to record that line in a game. A few days earlier against Sacramento, he became the fifth teenager ever with 28 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in a game. He’s pretty good, it seems.

    Back to last night, though. With Dennis Smith Jr. still out with a wrist injury, Dallas was without one of its key playmakers. (Smith, for what it’s worth, had three 11-assist games as a rookie last season.) Jalen Brunson replaced him in the starting lineup, but Doncic assumed de facto point guard duties. Despite his 6-foot-8 frame suggesting otherwise, and regardless of who else is on the floor, eventually we’re all probably going to call him a point guard.

    Doncic recorded five assists in the first quarter alone, but one of his best passes of the night didn’t even go down as a helper. Rather, it was a hockey assist to Harrison Barnes via DeAndre Jordan, in what’s quickly becoming one of Doncic’s favorite plays: the jump pass.

    This kind of play is where Doncic’s size gives him such an advantage. Nikola Jokic steps out as the Nuggets ice the pick-and-roll, preventing Doncic from getting into the middle of the floor and forcing him toward the sideline. This is not a problem for him, though; in fact, it’s already game over. He immediately rises to make the pass as Jordan rolls hard into the paint, and this is what he sees.

    Juancho Hernangomez tags Jordan on the roll, but Wesley Matthews has already cut to the top of the 3-point arc. At this point, Doncic is just reading what Hernangomez is doing. If he commits to Jordan, he can swing a pass over to Matthews for 3. If he runs back out to Matthews, Jordan will be open. Doncic doesn’t even need this long to make up his mind, though, because even though Hernangomez is in a nice tagging position, there’s still a gaping-wide passing lane to Jordan if he can thread the pass around Torrey Craig and closer toward the rim. He does this, of course, and Jordan makes an excellent catch and pass in one fluid motion out to Barnes in the corner. Ice has been one of the defining defensive coverages of this era, and Doncic has shown he can beat it. In his seven passes out of traps in the pick-and-roll this season, the Mavericks have scored 16 points.

    Forty seconds later, the Mavs decided they didn’t want to be iced anymore so they put Doncic and Jordan into a pick-and-roll on the right side of the floor. The Nuggets send two at Doncic anyway, and again he makes the play.

    Watch where his eyes are when he makes the pass.

    Once again, Doncic is eyeing Hernangomez, who’s slid over from Matthews and into position to make a play should he try slipping another pass to Jordan. But while Hernangomez and Mason Plumlee are fixated on Doncic, neither has realized that Barnes has assumed blocking duties for Matthews. It’s a sneaky play on the weak side by Dallas, and Doncic helps sell it by not even looking in that direction before he makes the pass. If he’d looked over to Matthews before delivering the pass, Plumlee could have side-stepped Barnes and Hernangomez could’ve scrambled over to help out as well.

    For the season, the trio of Barnes, Matthews, and Dennis Smith Jr. has combined to shoot 52 of 123 on 3-pointers following a Doncic pass, per NBA Stats, good for an astonishing 42.3 percent.

    Ninety seconds later, Doncic and Jordan pair up again on the left side of the floor, and this time it’s point guard Jamal Murray who has to make the decision on whether to step in front of Jordan or stay committed to Jalen Brunson. Doncic makes a pass so on-the-money that it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway, and Jordan throws it down. (Bonus points for style.)

    It cannot be stressed enough how difficult a position this play puts the Denver defense in. Plumlee would be the perfect candidate to help against a rumbling Jordan, but it’s not his rotation. If he does slide any further from Barnes than he already is, he’d have to close out hard and Barnes could probably take him off the dribble. Instead, Dallas has forced the smallest defender on the floor to help against Jordan, which is a difficult proposition. Point guards are of course not the most ideal candidates to defend centers in any situation, but especially in the midst of such a quick-strike play as this one; point guards are used to defending the ball-handler in an early pick-and-roll, not from the weak-side corner. This is inverted offense at its finest.

    A couple times, Nuggets defenders slid over perhaps a little too soon to impede Jordan, and that’s when Doncic made his most advanced passes of the night, and maybe his best with the Mavericks. It makes sense that they would work to stop Jordan first, because dunks are easy and Doncic has delivered more assists to Jordan (41) than he has to any other teammate. Jordan remains a fearsome rim-runner, which opens things up for his 3-point shooting teammates — so long as the ball can find them. That’s where Doncic comes in. The following plays are extremely difficult for anyone regardless of position to make, but they’re based on the simple fact that the ball moves faster than humans do.

    He made other pretty passes in this game, but those two crisp beauties topped the list for me. It should be noted, as well, that West-leading Denver has the fourth-best defense in the league, per NBA stats. Last night Dallas finished with a 115.7 offensive rating, the most efficient performance any offense has had in Denver in more than a month. It wasn’t enough to get a win, of course, as the Nuggets prevailed 126-118, but Doncic is quickly blossoming as a playmaker and the offense is beginning to reap the rewards. Last night was something special.

    The post Luka Doncic puts on dazzling passing display in Denver appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Luka Doncic puts on dazzling passing display in Denver

    The list of Mavs rookies to hand out 12 assists in a game doubled in length last night.

    Luka Doncic joined Jason Kidd as the only first-year Mavericks in history with 12 dimes, as the Slovenian rookie continued his emergence as one of the league’s best, most entertaining passers. The 19-year-old added 23 points, joining LeBron James as the only other teenager in NBA history to record that line in a game. A few days earlier against Sacramento, he became the fifth teenager ever with 28 points, nine assists, and six rebounds in a game. He’s pretty good, it seems.

    Back to last night, though. With Dennis Smith Jr. still out with a wrist injury, Dallas was without one of its key playmakers. (Smith, for what it’s worth, had three 11-assist games as a rookie last season.) Jalen Brunson replaced him in the starting lineup, but Doncic assumed de facto point guard duties. Despite his 6-foot-8 frame suggesting otherwise, and regardless of who else is on the floor, eventually we’re all probably going to call him a point guard.

    Doncic recorded five assists in the first quarter alone, but one of his best passes of the night didn’t even go down as a helper. Rather, it was a hockey assist to Harrison Barnes via DeAndre Jordan, in what’s quickly becoming one of Doncic’s favorite plays: the jump pass.

    This kind of play is where Doncic’s size gives him such an advantage. Nikola Jokic steps out as the Nuggets ice the pick-and-roll, preventing Doncic from getting into the middle of the floor and forcing him toward the sideline. This is not a problem for him, though; in fact, it’s already game over. He immediately rises to make the pass as Jordan rolls hard into the paint, and this is what he sees.

    Juancho Hernangomez tags Jordan on the roll, but Wesley Matthews has already cut to the top of the 3-point arc. At this point, Doncic is just reading what Hernangomez is doing. If he commits to Jordan, he can swing a pass over to Matthews for 3. If he runs back out to Matthews, Jordan will be open. Doncic doesn’t even need this long to make up his mind, though, because even though Hernangomez is in a nice tagging position, there’s still a gaping-wide passing lane to Jordan if he can thread the pass around Torrey Craig and closer toward the rim. He does this, of course, and Jordan makes an excellent catch and pass in one fluid motion out to Barnes in the corner. Ice has been one of the defining defensive coverages of this era, and Doncic has shown he can beat it. In his seven passes out of traps in the pick-and-roll this season, the Mavericks have scored 16 points.

    Forty seconds later, the Mavs decided they didn’t want to be iced anymore so they put Doncic and Jordan into a pick-and-roll on the right side of the floor. The Nuggets send two at Doncic anyway, and again he makes the play.

    Watch where his eyes are when he makes the pass.

    Once again, Doncic is eyeing Hernangomez, who’s slid over from Matthews and into position to make a play should he try slipping another pass to Jordan. But while Hernangomez and Mason Plumlee are fixated on Doncic, neither has realized that Barnes has assumed blocking duties for Matthews. It’s a sneaky play on the weak side by Dallas, and Doncic helps sell it by not even looking in that direction before he makes the pass. If he’d looked over to Matthews before delivering the pass, Plumlee could have side-stepped Barnes and Hernangomez could’ve scrambled over to help out as well.

    For the season, the trio of Barnes, Matthews, and Dennis Smith Jr. has combined to shoot 52 of 123 on 3-pointers following a Doncic pass, per NBA Stats, good for an astonishing 42.3 percent.

    Ninety seconds later, Doncic and Jordan pair up again on the left side of the floor, and this time it’s point guard Jamal Murray who has to make the decision on whether to step in front of Jordan or stay committed to Jalen Brunson. Doncic makes a pass so on-the-money that it probably wouldn’t have mattered anyway, and Jordan throws it down. (Bonus points for style.)

    It cannot be stressed enough how difficult a position this play puts the Denver defense in. Plumlee would be the perfect candidate to help against a rumbling Jordan, but it’s not his rotation. If he does slide any further from Barnes than he already is, he’d have to close out hard and Barnes could probably take him off the dribble. Instead, Dallas has forced the smallest defender on the floor to help against Jordan, which is a difficult proposition. Point guards are of course not the most ideal candidates to defend centers in any situation, but especially in the midst of such a quick-strike play as this one; point guards are used to defending the ball-handler in an early pick-and-roll, not from the weak-side corner. This is inverted offense at its finest.

    A couple times, Nuggets defenders slid over perhaps a little too soon to impede Jordan, and that’s when Doncic made his most advanced passes of the night, and maybe his best with the Mavericks. It makes sense that they would work to stop Jordan first, because dunks are easy and Doncic has delivered more assists to Jordan (41) than he has to any other teammate. Jordan remains a fearsome rim-runner, which opens things up for his 3-point shooting teammates — so long as the ball can find them. That’s where Doncic comes in. The following plays are extremely difficult for anyone regardless of position to make, but they’re based on the simple fact that the ball moves faster than humans do.

    He made other pretty passes in this game, but those two crisp beauties topped the list for me. It should be noted, as well, that West-leading Denver has the fourth-best defense in the league, per NBA stats. Last night Dallas finished with a 115.7 offensive rating, the most efficient performance any offense has had in Denver in more than a month. It wasn’t enough to get a win, of course, as the Nuggets prevailed 126-118, but Doncic is quickly blossoming as a playmaker and the offense is beginning to reap the rewards. Last night was something special.

    The post Luka Doncic puts on dazzling passing display in Denver appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Romano on list of top 15 traded prospects

    Every offseason, there's a sense of anticipation to see what moves Major League teams will make, either to improve its 25-man rosters or to rebuild the farm system. There is never any question whether prospects will get moved; it's always a matter of how many, and how good they will be.


    Mavs had problems containing Jokic as Nuggets walk away with a 126-118 victory

    DENVER – Anyone contemplating jumping off the Dallas Mavericks’ ship just because they’ve lost three straight games, DeAndre Jordan offered a profound message about the losing streak.

    “We not worried,” the Mavs’ center said following Tuesday’s 126-118 loss to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. “We had a (six-game) losing streak earlier in the season.

    “You (media) guys talked (negative) about us and then we won (13 of 17) games. The season is like that. It’s up and down.”

    Tuesday was obviously one of those “down’ nights for the Mavs as their third straight loss dropped their record to 15-14 and got this rugged four-game road trip off to a rocky start. It also dropped the Mavs’ road record to just 2-11.

    There were numerous times Tuesday when the Mavs were able to get some sustained traction against the Nuggets. But Denver just had too much in its arsenal down the stretch for the Mavs to contend with.

    Mainly, the Mavs had a difficult time trying to contain Nuggets enter Nikola Jokic, who used his 7-foot, 260-pound frame to score 32 points, grab 16 rebounds and take up a massive amount of space in the paint.

    “He’s a talented player,” said center DeAndre Jordan, who finished with 11 points and 12 boards. “He takes advantage of space and angles, and he’s a real skilled big man.

    “He also takes advantage of the new NBA and how soft it is, so you have to give him credit. It’s hard to guard players when you can’t touch them.”

    And when Jordan fouled out with 6:29 remaining in the game and the Mavs only behind 110-106, that was the meal ticket the Nuggets used to chew away at the Mavs and eventually put this game on ice.

    “We missed some shots and they made some shots,” coach Rick Carlisle said in explaining what happened after Jordan fouled out. “Going smaller was tough to deal with Jokic.

    “He was a real problem for both our first and second units. He causes a lot of problems because he creates calls — he’s very good at it. DJ was a huge factor in the game and not having him certainly hurt us.”

    The Mavs were still hanging around until a 3-pointer by Jamal Murray increased Denver’s lead to 124-114 with 1:19 remaining in the game.

    This was a night where the Nuggets shot a sizzling 55.6 percent from the field, made 12 of their 29 shots from 3-point territory, and out-rebounded the Mavs, 47-33, including 12-6 on the offensive end of the floor.

    “Defensively, we obviously could have been better,” Carlisle said. “Some of it was great shot-making by them, some of it was some untimely mistakes by us.

    “We’ve got to build on the positives and we’ve got to pick up the defensive rebounding. We can’t get beat by 14 boards on the road and give yourself a chance.”

    Things started well for the Mavs as Harrison Barnes opened the game by burying a 3-pointer. It was one of a season-high tying five 3-pointers Barnes converted en route to matching his season-high point total of 30 points.

    “The most important thing is to go out and get a win,” said Barnes, who was 10-of-16 from the field. “Playing on the road this year has been a struggle for us, and we just got to be better and it starts on the defensive end.”

    Meanwhile, rookie Luka Doncic took stock of what was happening and simply shifted all of his incredible talents into another gear. After having no free throw attempts in the first half, a more aggressive-minded Doncic was 8-of-10 from the charity stripe in the third quarter.

    In fact, when the Mavs went from being down 74-69 at intermission to assuming a 95-91 lead with 3:55 left
    in the third quarter, Doncic amazingly accounted for all 25 of the Mavs’ points during that stretch except for one point. And that one point was a free throw Barnes made after Nuggets coach Michael Malone was whistled for a technical foul.

    During this Doncic-led comeback that gave the Mavs new life, it was vintage Doncic as he scored 11 points and assisted on five other baskets, including a pair of 3-pointers each by Wesley Matthews and Barnes.

    “I was just being more aggressive,” Doncic said. “We shared the ball a lot this game.”
    Doncic finished with 23 points, six rebounds, a season-high 12 assists and only one turnover in one of his best all-around games of the year.

    “He did a great job from the beginning of the game until the end of moving it to open people,” Carlisle said. “He has great vision and he took advantage of it tonight.”

    Matthews scored 14 points for the Mavs, J. J. Barea returned after a two-game absence while dealing with a sprained left ankle and tallied 10 points. And in his third game of the season, Dirk Nowitzki played seven minutes and 13 seconds – all in the first half – and finished with three points on 1-of-2 shots while making his first 3-pointer of the season.

    “I thought so, but we scraped that at halftime,” said Nowitzki, when asked if was going to play in the second half. “Definitely everything is better than the Phoenix game (last Thursday), so everything else is working towards the right way.”

    In the meantime, the Mavs can’t get too discouraged by the way they played on the offensive end of the court. They shot a respectable 46.5 percent from the field, converted 15 of the 37 shots they attempted from 3-point land, dispensed 26 assists and only committed eight turnovers.

    Now it’s on to Los Angeles for the Mavs, who will play a nationally televised TNT game on Thursday night against the Clippers. And they hope to leave the sad memories of another hiccup on the road behind them.

    “If somebody thought we were going 82-0, they’re crazy,” Jordan said. “That’s not how the NBA is. You’re going to lose games, you’re going to win games in a row.

    “You’re going to lose, but I don’t think this is a time for us to panic like we panicked early on in the season, the first month of the season. You’ve got to be realistic. You’re going to win some nights, and come out and play great and still lose. And that’s just how the game is.”

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    Smith hoping to get his sprained right wrist 100 percent before he plays again

    DENVER – Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is having difficulties getting back on the court after sitting out the Nov. 24 game against Boston with a sprained right wrist, and then re-aggravating it four games later in a game against Portland when he landed on it awkwardly.

    Thus, when the Mavs (15-13) face the Denver Nuggets (20-9) at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Pepsi Center, Smith will be sidelined for the sixth time in the last seven games. But he is thankful for one positive note.

    “It’s nothing wrong with (the wrist) structurally,” Smith said.

    Smith is listed as day-to-day, and he doesn’t know when he’ll be healthy enough to play again.

    “It’s super frustrating,” Smith said. “I tried to rush back in the Phoenix game and obviously I wasn’t myself, so it’s just a tough situation.

    “You don’t really want to sit out, but you don’t really want to go out and play and not be at 100 percent, because there’s no excuses whenever you go out and play. So it’s tough to sit out right now, but it’s just something I know I’ve got to do.”

    Coach Rick Carlisle believes there’s a way for Smith to play without having to worry about jumping and landing on his hand and re-aggravating his wrist again.

    “There’s a way to avoid it,” Carlisle said. “Land on your feet! The wrist is going to get better.

    “Look, he played for a year-and-a-quarter without injuring his wrist, so don’t tell me it can’t be done. I don’t believe that.”

    For now, rest is the ideal medicine for Smith, who just wants to make sure he doesn’t have any setbacks whenever he returns to the court. A Dec. 13 game against Phoenix, when he had four points and five turnovers in 27 uneventful minutes, taught him to be patient while dealing with his wrist injury.

    “It makes the process a little longer,” Smith said. “I just want to have it 100 percent before I go out and play.”

    Carlisle concurred.

    “Look, we need him, but we need him being able to play his game and being able to shoot the ball,” Carlisle said. “We got to hope Mother Nature is kind to us.

    “He’s doing the work, he’s doing the rehab work, he’s keeping himself ready and we’ll go from there.”

    The post Smith hoping to get his sprained right wrist 100 percent before he plays again appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Smith hoping to get his sprained right wrist 100 percent before he plays again

    DENVER – Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is having difficulties getting back on the court after sitting out the Nov. 24 game against Boston with a sprained right wrist, and then re-aggravating it four games later in a game against Portland when he landed on it awkwardly.

    Thus, when the Mavs (15-13) face the Denver Nuggets (20-9) at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Pepsi Center, Smith will be sidelined for the sixth time in the last seven games. But he is thankful for one positive note.

    “It’s nothing wrong with (the wrist) structurally,” Smith said.

    Smith is listed as day-to-day, and he doesn’t know when he’ll be healthy enough to play again.

    “It’s super frustrating,” Smith said. “I tried to rush back in the Phoenix game and obviously I wasn’t myself, so it’s just a tough situation.

    “You don’t really want to sit out, but you don’t really want to go out and play and not be at 100 percent, because there’s no excuses whenever you go out and play. So it’s tough to sit out right now, but it’s just something I know I’ve got to do.”

    Coach Rick Carlisle believes there’s a way for Smith to play without having to worry about jumping and landing on his hand and re-aggravating his wrist again.

    “There’s a way to avoid it,” Carlisle said. “Land on your feet! The wrist is going to get better.

    “Look, he played for a year-and-a-quarter without injuring his wrist, so don’t tell me it can’t be done. I don’t believe that.”

    For now, rest is the ideal medicine for Smith, who just wants to make sure he doesn’t have any setbacks whenever he returns to the court. A Dec. 13 game against Phoenix, when he had four points and five turnovers in 27 uneventful minutes, taught him to be patient while dealing with his wrist injury.

    “It makes the process a little longer,” Smith said. “I just want to have it 100 percent before I go out and play.”

    Carlisle concurred.

    “Look, we need him, but we need him being able to play his game and being able to shoot the ball,” Carlisle said. “We got to hope Mother Nature is kind to us.

    “He’s doing the work, he’s doing the rehab work, he’s keeping himself ready and we’ll go from there.”

    The post Smith hoping to get his sprained right wrist 100 percent before he plays again appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Rangers sign right-hander Lynn to 3-year deal

    The Rangers were able to land a significant free-agent starter for their rotation, as they announced Tuesday they have signed right-hander Lance Lynn to a three-year contract. The deal is for $30 million, according to sources.


    Mavs have a very challenging four-game road trip against some of the NBA’s best teams

    DENVER – As NBA road trip go, they don’t get too much tougher than the one the Dallas Mavericks will be facing over the ensuing six days.

    Starting with Tuesday’s game against the Western Conference’s No. 1-seeded Denver Nuggets, the Mavs will play four of the top eight teams in the West on this rugged journey. The trip includes a Thursday contest against the No. 5-seeded Los Angeles Clippers, a Saturday game against the No. 2-seeded two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors, and it ends with a Sunday matchup against the No. 8-seeded Portland Trail Blazers before the Mavs return home to host New Orleans on Dec. 26.

    The Nuggets (20-9), Clippers (17-12), Warriors (20-10) and Blazers (16-13) have a combined 73-44 record for a winning percentage of 62.4 percent. Meanwhile, those four teams also have combined to produce a staggering 44-13 record at home for a winning percentage of 77.2 percent.

    For the Mavs, this is a trip strapped with a lot of challenges in that it’s against some of the best teams the NBA has to offer.

    “It’s the ultimate trip to challenge an NBA team,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Monday’s practice. “All these teams are playing well.

    “It’s a great schedule in terms of challenge, and we just got to go one game at a time, whistle to whistle.”

    The Nuggets present a unique challenge because opposing teams have to also deal with the mile high altitude. It’s real, and it can make a team alter their substation patterns.

    “You just got to go in there and understand the conditions,” Carlisle said. “Rotations and subs generally are a little sooner, and guys, as the game goes on, adapt somewhat.

    “You just got to play the game. And this is where our depth comes into play.”

    So how long does it take for players to adjust to the mile high air in Denver?

    “Depends how the flow of the game goes,” guard Wesley Matthews said. “If it’s an up and down game you get to it a little bit faster.

    “It’ll hit you faster and then you kind of reach your second wind a little bit earlier.”

    Either way, the Mavs will have to contend with Denver’s Nikola Jokic (17.7 points, 9.9 rebounds) and Jamal Murray (17.5 points), plus the deep cast of characters the Nuggets have on their bench.

    “They’ve got a lot of depth, obviously,” Carlisle said. “Jokic is having a great year, Murray’s having a helluva year, their role players have really stepped up.

    “It’s a situation where it’s a tough venue because of the altitude and all those kinds of things. But we just got to play our game, be efficient and give ourselves a chance.”

    Jokic is a 7-footer who has been a very bright spot for the Nuggets. But if Matthews finds himself in a situation where he is forced to make a switch and guard Jokic, he already knows how he’ll defend the four-year veteran.

    “What I try to do against anybody — make them uncomfortable,” Matthews said. “Whatever that is, wherever he is in the situation on the court, I try to make him as least comfortable as possible.”

    The Mavs created some enormous uncomfortable situations for themselves during last Thursday’s 99-89 loss at Phoenix when they turned the ball over a whopping 23 times. More of the same occurred during Sunday’s 120-113 loss at home to the Sacramento Kings as the Mavs committed 14 turnovers.

    Those miscues are some of the primary reasons the Mavs are riding a two-game losing streak for the first time since they dropped six straight from Oct. 24-Nov. 2.

    “The recent challenges have been too many turnovers, problems rebounding the ball,” Carlisle said. “We’ve got to start with addressing those and the rest of the things we can resolve.

    “Things involving possession of the ball are really big, especially on the road.”

    It doesn’t help matters that the Mavs will be trying to beat some of the NBA’s best teams all while being away from their families during this holiday season. However, Carlisle has a definitive solution.

    “We’re going to have to make it a positive,” he said. “And with where we’re going and the difficulty of the schedule, we’re going to have to be together.

    “Hey, these are opportunities for us. Last night was tough. Sacramento played well, we didn’t play good enough. We’ve got to keep moving forward.”

    NOTES: Coach Rick Carlisle said guard J. J. Barea “participated in some things” during Monday’s practice. Barea has missed the last two games with a sprained left ankle and said he plans to play Tuesday against the Nuggets. . .Guard Dennis Smith Jr. is listed as doubtful for the Denver game. Smith has missed five of the last six games with a sprained right wrist.

    The post Mavs have a very challenging four-game road trip against some of the NBA’s best teams appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 120-113 loss to the Sacramento Kings

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 120-113 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. TRANSITION DEFENSE LACKING: The way the Kings ran the ball up and down the floor reminded me of the old Steve Nash-led Phoenix Suns when they disregarded the 24-second shot clock and fired up shots in seven seconds or less. Even when the Mavs made baskets against Sacramento, about six seconds later the Mavs were taking the ball out of the basket at the other end of the court, because the Kings had scored that quickly. Sacramento’s engine was so fine-tuned that it outscored the Mavs in transition points, 32-14.

    2. DIRK GETS STANDING OVATION: The buzz was going on all day from fans. They wanted to see Dirk Nowitzki play his first home game this season and give him the proper ovation. Then it happened. The loud noise (of appreciation) from the fans started as soon as Nowitzki rose from the bench and headed to the scorer’s table with about four minutes remaining in the first quarter. It reached a crescendo when, with 3:17 left in the first quarter, American Airlines Center announcer Sean Heath – in his own way — announced that “The Big Daddy Tall Baller From The G” was entering the game.

    3. SMITH, BAREA SORELY MISSED: When you’re playing a team like the Sacramento Kings that depend heavily on guards De’Aaron Fox and Buddy Hield, ideally you would like to have all of your best guards available. That wasn’t the case with the Mavs on Sunday. The Mavs were without starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) and backup point guard J. J. Barea (ankle) – he runs the second unit so eloquently — and that was a major factor in what transpired Sunday.

    4. SHOOTING HAS TO BE BETTER: The Mavs only converted 41.7 percent of their field goals and also missed 26 of the 35 shots they attempted from beyond the 3-point arc. Indeed, it was an exercise in futility for the Mavs as shots either totally missed their marks, or went halfway in the basket and decided to come back out. The Mavs also missed seven free throws. Fortunately for the Mavs, something as mundane as missed shots/missed free throws are as correctable as making a u-turn after you got off the freeway on the wrong exit.

    5. DONCIC IS NBA’S BEST ROOKIE: Luka Doncic keeps on proving that he’s the NBA’s best rookie. Doncic led the Mavs in scoring for the 11th time this season as he poured in 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting. It was the second-highest scoring game of Doncic’s career, eclipsed only by the 31 points he tallied against the San Antonio Spurs on Oct. 29. This also was the 14th time in his 27-game career that Doncic has scored 20 or more points in a game. In addition, Doncic pulled down six rebounds and handed out nine assists for the second time in the past four games.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 120-113 loss to the Sacramento Kings appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs Mondays: the return of Dirk Nowitzki in a .500 week

    Rewind

    Dallas 101, Orlando 76

    Seeking their 10th straight win at home, the Mavs welcomed an Orlando team led by Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. Behind the stellar play of rookie point guard, Jalen Brunson, the Mavericks never let the Magic take control of the game.

    Stat of the Game: Averaging over 20 points per game, Nikola Vucevic was held to just eight points.

    Mavs Box: Harrison Barnes led the way with 19 points, but it was Jalen Brunson stepping into the starting lineup with 17 points that sparked the team. Luka Doncic finished with seven points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists.

    Out: Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Smith Jr.

    Read the full game recap here.

    Dallas 114, Atlanta 107

    In a draft night trade that landed Luka Doncic in Dallas, Trae Young was the player sent in return and he made his debut trip to Dallas. The Mavs also welcomed back Vince Carter to the AAC where they notched their 11th straight home win on the season.

    Stat of the Game: Luka Doncic went 12 of 15 from the free throw line

    Mavs Box: Harrison Barnes finished with 25 points while Doncic stuffed the stat line with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. J.J. Barea and Dorian Finney-Smith combined for 29 points off the bench.

    Out: Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Smith Jr.

    Read the full game recap here.

    Dallas 89, Phoenix 99

    On a second night of a back-to-back, Dallas traveled to Phoenix to face a Suns team without their leading scorer in Devin Booker. The Mavs could never find their rhythm despite the season debut of Dirk Nowitzki and the return of Dennis Smith Jr. to the lineup.

    Stat of the Game: The Mavs went 5 of 33 from the 3-point line.

    Mavs Box: Five players finished in double-figures with Harrison Barnes leading the way with 15 points. DeAndre Jordan finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

    Out: J.J. Barea

    Read the full game recap here.

    Sacramento 120, Dallas 113

    In the home debut of Dirk Nowitzki, the Mavericks found their 11 game home streak coming to an end. Taking a big step forward from last season, the Kings back court of Buddy Hield and De’Aaron Fox currently have their team fighting for a playoff spot.

    Stat of the Game: Hield and Fox combined for 56 points on 23-of-42 shooting.

    Mavs Box: It was Luka Doncic who led the team in scoring with 28 points on 9-of-15 shooting. DeAndre Jordan had eight points and 23 rebounds while Matthews and Brunson combined for 25 points.

    Out: Dennis Smith Jr., J.J. Barea

    Read the full game recap here.

    Play of the Week

    Trae Young and Luka Doncic will forever be linked due to the draft night trade between the two franchises. Fans debate while both franchises seem to be happy with the results. The first matchup in Dallas between the two took center stage and this drive by Young ignited the fans in Dallas.

    Doncic helps off his defender and swats the shot of Young at the basket. It was a huge energy play for the Mavericks in their 10th win at home.

    Player of the Week

    Luka Doncic

    Luka Doncic isn’t just one of the best scorers on the team, but this past week Doncic put an imprint on other areas of the game with his rebounding and passing.

    In the first game of the week, Doncic was on triple-double alert as the Mavs pulled away from the Magic. With the starters being pulled from the game early, Doncic would finish with seven points, 11 rebounds and nine assists.

    In the matchup vs. the Hawks at home, Doncic finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. In the two losses against Phoenix and Sacramento, Doncic combined for 41 points, 11 rebounds, and 15 assists.

    Quote of the Week

    This was a pretty glaring quote from a head coach of a franchise that passed on Luka Doncic in the NBA Draft.

    Moment of the Week

    Dirk Nowitzki Makes His Debut

    For the first time in NBA history, a player has played in 21 seasons for one franchise.

    Due to an offseason ankle surgery, Dirk Nowitzki’s 21st season debut has been pushed back over the first part of the season. On the second night of a back-to-back, Nowitzki made his debut in Phoenix off the bench. In his first shot of the game (and season), Nowitzki knocks down a jump shot over Josh Jackson.

    Social Check In

    https://twitter.com/MavsCare/status/1074062873964490752

    Must Read

    DeAndre Jordan Has Found His Free Throw Zone by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer

    “DeAndre Jordan is in the zone. After years of being hacked by opponents to force the 45.5 percent career free throw shooter to the line, Jordan is shooting a career-best 75.8 percent on free throws during his first season with the Dallas Mavericks. In his warm-up before a game against the Lakers last week in Los Angeles, Mavs assistant coach Jamahl Mosley shouted “Free throw zone!” when it was time for Jordan to begin a rapid-fire shooting drill…”

    Read the full story here.

    Record

    This Week: 2-2

    Overall: 15-13

    Fast Forward

    12/18 Dallas @ Denver

    12/20 Dallas @ Los Angeles Clippers

    12/22 Dallas @ Warriors

    12/23 Dallas @  Portland

    The post Mavs Mondays: the return of Dirk Nowitzki in a .500 week appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Rangers visit children's hospitals on holiday trip

    The Rangers made their annual visit to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth on Monday. They will make a similar visit to Children's Medical Center Dallas on Tuesday as part of their annual holiday celebration.


    Bush reunites with Rangers on Minors deal

    Right-handed reliever Matt Bush is staying with the Rangers, the club announced on Monday.


    Kings beat Mavs, 120-113, ends Dallas’ 11-game home winning streak

    DALLAS – For the Dallas Mavericks, all good things came to an unfortunate abrupt end Sunday night at American Airlines Center against the surprising Sacramento Kings.

    The Mavs entered the game packing an 11-game home winning streak. But the Kings kept producing timely baskets and making timely defensive stops and were able to get out of town armed with a 120-113 victory before a sellout crowd of 19,935.

    It’s the first time the Mavs have lost at home since suffering a 118-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Nov. 2, and it’s the first time they’ve lost two games in a row since they dropped six straight games from Oct. 24-Nov. 2.

    Overall, the Mavs are 15-13 and in ninth place in the Western Conference standings after going into Sunday’s game in sixth place.

    For some reason, the Mavs just could dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s against the Kings. Dallas shot 41.7 percent from the field, missed 26 of their 35 shots from 3-point land, and couldn’t keep pace with the ultra-fast Kings.

    “It’s a long season and it’s a process league,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “You’re going to have bad shooting nights.

    “As we look at the film we’ll analyze whether they’re shots that we like in the context that we like. A lot of them – not all of them – but a lot were, and we were just a little unlucky tonight.”

    After trailing most of the night, the Mavs inched to within 112-107 of Sacramento with 1:46 left following a three-point play by Luka Doncic and a 3-pointer by Wesley Matthews. But De’Aaron Fox scored in the lane as the 24-second shot-clock was about to expire.

    And following an official’s review on a close out of bounds play gave the ball to the Kings, a dunk by Willie Cauley-Stein padded Sacramento’s lead to 116-107 with 52.6 seconds remaining in the game.

    “It’s tough when you’re playing from behind,” guard Devin Harris said. “You’ve got to kind of sort of play perfect throughout.

    “We got enough stops. We obviously didn’t shoot it well, especially in the second half, and we gave up a ton of points in transition.”

    Doncic led the Mavs with 28 points, six rebounds and nine assists, Harrison Barnes scored 15, Wesley Matthews had 14, Jalen Brunson poured in 12, and Maxi Kleber added 11. Also for the Mavs, DeAndre Jordan blocked three shots and collected his fourth 20-plus rebound night of the season as he finished with a season-high tying 23 boards.

    The game featured the 2018-’19 home debut of superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki. The 21-year veteran received a warm standing ovation when he entered the game with 3:17 to go in the opening quarter.

    Nowitzki wound up leaving for good in the second quarter after playing eight minutes and 22 seconds. He finished the night with three points and four rebounds and was 1-of-4 from the field.

    “It was definitely a step forward,” said Nowitzki, who played six minutes in Thursday’s game in Phoenix. “I played a couple more minutes. I thought my wind was a little better.

    “(I’m) plugging along, plugging along in the right direction. But we are 0-2 since I’ve been back. We lost two tough games, two games we feel like we should have had, so it’s frustrating.”

    The Mavs fell behind 34-31 after the first quarter, but received a spark – thanks to Nowitzki – in the second quarter. Dwight Powell powered home an offensive rebound for a dunk, Nowitzki drained a technical foul free throw, then added one of his patented jumpers, and Doncic drove hard to the basket and scored, and suddenly the Mavs were nursing a 47-40 lead following a brisk 14-2 run.

    But that lead was short-lived as the Kings kept getting up and down the floor at a lightning pace and – led by Fox — were even scoring in about seven seconds after the Mavs scored. Sacramento led 61-58 at the half.

    “He’s fast, to say the least,” Brunson said of Fox. “He’s a good playmaker, unselfish and he was a big part of why they won tonight, so you’ve got to give him credit.

    “We had opportunities there, and the shots just didn’t fall. You’ve got to give them credit. They played a heckuva game.”

    Buddy Hield and Fox led the Kings (16-13) with 28 point apiece.

    The Mavs played with Dennis Smith Jr. (sprained right wrist) and J. J. Barea (sprained left ankle). Meanwhile, the loss was disheartening in that the Mavs now embark on a rugged four-game road trip that starts Tuesday night in Denver.

    “This is a learning experience for us,” Brunson said. “We’re going to learn from this.

    “We’re going to watch film tomorrow and get better from it and move forward. You can’t get down on any game. You just got to find ways to make it help you.”

    NOTES: Coach Rick Carlisle was asked about all of the attention rookie forward Luka Doncic has been receiving this season. Doncic was named the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the months of October and November. “I’m not big into analyzing awards, but he’s a very good player,” Carlisle said. “He’s had some great games and some great stretches. In today’s world of social media and a lot of instant access from, you know, guys play well the whole universe finds out in a hurry. When guys play well they’re going to get attention.”. .J. J. Barea missed his second straight game Sunday with a sprained left ankle. But he said he plans to play Tuesday when the Mavs start a four-game road trip in Denver. Barea also said he’ll continued wearing a mouth guard after he had four stitches put in his lip two weeks ago.

    The post Kings beat Mavs, 120-113, ends Dallas’ 11-game home winning streak appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Source: Rangers mull dealing Minor to Phillies

    The Phillies have expressed interest in left-hander Mike Minor, who is currently the Rangers' No. 1 starter. It is a move Texas has to consider because Philadelphia is deep in young, controllable pitching.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 99-89 loss to the Phoenix Suns

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 99-89 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena:

    1.DIRK IS BACK: Dirk Nowitzki made his long-anticipated 2018-’19 debut. And all things considered, he did pretty good. Nowitzki played just six minutes in the first half, banked in his first field goal attempt from 15 feet, and missed his only 3-point attempt. The 21-year veteran was 1-of-2 from the field, scored two points, grabbed one rebound and admitted afterwards that he was winded.

    2. BAD LOSS: All losses are obviously bad, but this one carries a particularly extra brand of “bad” with it. That’s because the Suns have the NBA’s worst record. And they were without their best player (Devin Booker). And they had lost 10 straight games entering Thursday’s contest. Counting their opening-day victory over Dallas, the Suns are 2-0 against the Mavs this season and 3-24 against the rest of the NBA.

    3. TOO MANY TURNOVERS: The Mavs wound up committing 23 turnovers against the Suns. The fact that they were still in this game in the final three minutes means if they had committed, let’s say, 18 turnovers, they may have gotten out of here with a victory. Those turnovers led to the Suns attempting more field goals than the Mavs — 92 to 78. It also put more pressure on the Mavs’ defense to try and get more stops.

    4. DOWNTOWN WAS CLOSED: This was one of those nights where the 3-point shot just wasn’t falling for the Mavs. Dallas attempted 33 shots from downtown and only five of them managed to go through the rim. But those five makes were critical, because it extends the Mavs’ franchise record of making at least five 3-pointers in a game to 209 games in a row. The streak started on Mar. 9, 2016.

    5. SMITH RETURNS: Lost in the shuffled that occurred Thursday was the return of starting point guard Dennis Smith Jr. Smith missed the previous three games with a sprained right wrist, but coach Rick Carlisle said he came to him and told him he wanted to play. Smith admittedly was a bit rusty and finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, one assist, three steals and five turnovers.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 99-89 loss to the Phoenix Suns appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Nowitzki returns, but the Suns defeat the Mavs for the second time this season

    By Dwain Price

    PHOENIX — Dirk Nowitzki made his much-anticipated 2018-’19 debut Thursday night at Talking Stick Resort Arena. But not even his presence could prevent the Dallas Mavericks from getting burnt by the Phoenix Suns for the second time this season.

    In his first game since undergoing left ankle surgery on Apr. 5, Nowitzki only played six first-half minutes and finished with two points and one rebound. Meanwhile, the Mavs suffered through a miserable night where they committed 23 turnovers and missed 28 shots from 3-point land en route to surprisingly falling to the Suns, 99-89.

    “Generally, I thought our effort was good,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We held them under 100.

    “We just had a rough night offensively. We turned it over too much and their offensive rebounding hurt us.”

    The loss snapped the Mavs’ three-game winning streak and dropped them to 15-12 overall, including a mere 2-10 on the road. Meanwhile, the Mavs were champion the return of Nowitzki, who, with the game against the Suns, became the first player in NBA history to play 21 seasons with the same franchise.

    Nowitzki began this season tied with former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant in that exclusive category, but now the 7-footer from Germany stands alone.

    Against the Suns, Nowitzki entered the game for the only time with 3:27 remaining in the first quarter and left for good with 9:17 to go in the second quarter. And it was at the 2:41 mark of the first quarter when Nowitzki rose up and took his first shot of the season, and banked it in from 15 feet on the right side that gave the Mavs a brief 21-20 lead.

    “I had the ball in the post and just faced up and I said it’s now or never, and I’m glad I was able to make it,” said Nowitzki, who later missed a 3-point shot. “But honestly I’m a little more mad at the three.

    “I had a great look there, and that was the one I wanted to make.”

    The plan all along was for Nowitzki to only play in the first half, which ended with the Suns nursing a 50-40 lead after Mikal Bridges banked in an improbable halfcourt shot at the buzzer.

    Although the Suns entered and left the game with the NBA’s worst record, they sure didn’t play like it. In breaking a 10-game losing streak, Phoenix built a 15-point lead late in the third quarter, and the Mavs didn’t get closer than seven points thereafter.

    Overall, this is just the fifth win of the season for the Suns. And two of those victories were over the Mavs, who they also beat on opening night in Phoenix.

    “I thought we attacked the paint a lot better in the second half,” Carlisle said. “But any time we’d creep close there would be an untimely thing for us and a timely thing for them that would tilt it back in their favor.

    “In the NBA today it doesn’t matter what records are or anything else. If you go bad in a couple of key categories — statistical categories — you’re going to have trouble winning on the road.”

    The game also marked the return of point guard Dennis Smith Jr., who missed the previous three games with a sprained right wrist. Smith finished with four points, eight rebounds and five turnovers, and was 2-of-6 from the field.

    “I didn’t have a good game,” Smith said. “You miss a couple of games in the NBA against the best players in the world you know you’ve got to knock some rust off.

    “My main thing was to come out and play as hard as possible. I struggled tonight, so it happens. You charge it to the game and go on to the next one.”

    Harrison Barnes led the Mavs with 15 points, DeAndre Jordan collected 14 points and 16 rebounds, Luka Doncic had 13 points, five rebounds and six assists, Jalen Brunson scored 13 and Wesley Matthews added 11.

    The Mavs only shot 39.7 percent from the field and were also just 5-of-33 from beyond the 3-point arc.

    “We’re not going to win playing the way that we did today,’ Barnes said. “Obviously you have to tip your hat to them –they played hard. But there’s a lot of things that we didn’t do.”

    At least the Mavs got Nowitzki back in the fold, although he is under a minutes restriction. o ow did he do in his first game?

    “I’m Ok,” Nowitzki said. “Obviously the wind wasn’t great. There was a stretch where I went back-and-forth a couple of times, then I fell over like a tree at some point because I was so tired.

    “But it was good to be out there, and I’m sure my wind is going to get better as we go.”

    NOTES: Guard J. J. Barea missed Thursday’s game with a sprained left ankle. “We don’t think it’s serious,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’re hoping it’s a day-to-day thing. He had a good day (Thursday)today. . .We’ll see where things are on Sunday.”. . The Mavs host the Sacramento Kings on Sunday at 6 p.m. The Mavs have won 11 straight home games. . .On Dirk Nowitzki’s first game Thursday, coach Rick Carlisle said: “All things considered, he did fine, he did well. This s a challenging situation for Dirk, because coming back and getting re-acclimated mid-stream with no real live practice time to speak of, he’s been busting his butt and I respect the hell out of him for what he’s done to get himself back on the floor.”. .The Mavs won at home n Wednesday against Atlanta. So they were playing the Suns on the second leg of a back-to-back. “It certainly makes it harder,” Carlisle said. “But we don’t make excuses.”. .Carlisle said the 23 turnovers the Mavs committed were a huge factor in the game’s outcome. “That along with giving up (12) offensive rebounds,” Carlisle said. “At the end of the day the NBA is still a possession game. So losing control of that many possessions — many of them catastropical — makes it hard.”

    The post Nowitzki returns, but the Suns defeat the Mavs for the second time this season appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 114-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 114-107 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. ROOKIE BATTLE WINNER IS: Go ahead and admit it. You came to American Airlines Center on Wednesday night, or snuggled up in front of the TV, so you could see for yourself the rookie battle between the Mavs’ Luka Doncic and the Hawks’ Trae Young. After all, these two were traded for each other on draft day last June. And the winner was? Doncic played 35 minutes, scored 24 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, handed out six assists, picked up a steal and blocked a shot and turned the ball over four time. He was 6-of-14 from the field, 2-of-6 from 3-point range, and was so aggressive that he went to the line 15 times – one more than the entire Atlanta team – and made 12 free throws. On the flip side, Young also played 35 minutes and also scored 24 points. In addition, he collected 10 assists, two steals and two turnovers, and was 11-of-20 from the field and also was 2-of-6 from 3-point territory. So the rookie battle winner is? You like apples, the next person likes oranges. Doncic’s team won the game.

    2. BARNES THE LONG-RANGE SHOOTER: Harrison Barnes has been putting more pressure on defenses this season by stretching his offensive game to include an inordinate amount of shots from 3-point land. And as any good player knows, if you have an effective 3-point game in your arsenal that’s just one more weapon that can give defenses a migraine headache. Against the Hawks, Barnes was an impressive 5-of-8 from behind the 3-point arc. That came one game after he was 5-of-10 from downtown during Monday’s win over the Orlando Magic. Barnes, in fact, has four games this season where he’s made at least five 3-pointers. The other two: He was 5-of-8 from beyond the 3-point line against Brooklyn on Nov. 21, and in the very next game on Nov. 24 against Boston he was 5-of-7 from downtown. By contrast, it took 77 games last season for Barnes to make at least five 3-pointers in four games. This season he’s already hit the five 3-point mark four times in just 22 games.

    3. BAREA CONTINUES TO BLOSSOM: I know some of you look at J. J. Barea and wonder how does he do what he does on the basketball court? But the dude can flat-out ball. Generously listed as six feet tall – he’s not that tall – Barea is, pound-for-pound, one of the most physical players in the entire NBA. That’s part of why he’s been so successful. He knows how to stick his nose into situations and come out smelling like a rose. Against the Hawks, Barea poured in 18 points, was 7-of-11 from the field and 3-of-5 from 3-point range, and also distributed three assists. And he only played 16 minutes. The 13-year veteran left the game for good with 9: 22 remaining when he sprained his left ankle after inadvertently stepping on a teammates’ foot while headed to the bench during a timeout. When the Mavs arrived at their team hotel in Phoenix in the wee hours of Thursday morning, Barea was seen walking with a noticeable limp.

    4. FINNEY-SMITH SHINES IN THE BACKGROUND: You ever go to an office party and notice that one person who is off to himself and not bothering anyone. But when he’s at the office, he’s one of the co-workers who often shines without much fanfare. That’s Dorian Finney-Smith. His name rarely gets put in headlines, but Finney-Smith is one of the best defensive stoppers wearing a Mavs uniform. The man can effectively guard the small forward, power forward, point guard and shooting guard positions. He also can guard the center position — if pressed into it. Finney-Smith’s contributions often goes unnoticed by the average fan. But his teammates and coaches, they know. Opposing players and coaches also know. In the locker room after Wednesday’s game, Finney-Smith was – as usual – downplaying his defensive performance against the Hawks tho the media. His next door locker room neighbor, DeAndre Jordan, intervened and told him to stop being so humble.

    5. PROTECT HOME COURT: Another home game, another home win. That’s the mantra these days for the Mavs. These guys just can’t lose at home for winning. The Mavs are an impressive 13-2 at home this season, including victories in their last 11 home games. That’s the longest home winning streak for the Mavs since they won 12 in a row at American Airlines Center from Dec. 29, 2007-Feb. 29, 2008. That’s also the same season the Mavs started the year with a 13-2 record on their home court. The win over the Hawks completed a three-game home stand sweep for the Mavs. Unfortunately for the Mavs, the NBA schedule maker didn’t give them any home stands this season that lasts longer than three games. And since you’re inquisitive, the Mavs’ two losses at home this season were to the Utah Jazz (113-104 on Oct. 28) and New York Knicks (118-106 on Nov. 2). The Mavs were just 9-32 at home last season. Could the success at home this season be a sign of bigger and better things down the road?

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 114-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Rangers deal for Rule 5 Draft pick Romano

    The Rangers have acquired right-handed pitcher Jordan Romano through some quick dealings during the Rule 5 Draft with the intention of moving him from starter to a possible relief role.


    Texas closes busy Meetings with Claudio trade

    The Rangers traded left-handed reliever Alex Claudio to the Brewers in exchange for a Competitive Round A Draft pick on Thursday. The pick is expected to be the 39th overall.


    Rangers deal Rule 5 pick Ellis, acquire Romano

    The final day of the Winter Meetings begins with the annual Rule 5 Draft. Teams are only able to make a selection if they have space on their 40-man roster. The order is based on the reverse order of standings from the end of the 2018 regular season.


    Mavs get a spark from Carlisle and rallied for a 114-107 victory over the Hawks

    DALLAS – It took some time for the Dallas Mavericks to shake totally free of the lowly Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. And they can thank coach Rick Carlisle for the huge assist.

    Not happy with the officiating, Carlisle received a pair of technical fouls and an automation ejection less than four minutes into the third quarter. That appeared to be the spark that helped catapult the Mavs to a 114-107 triumph over the Hawks before a sellout crowd of 19,643 at American Airlines Center.

    The victory was the Mavs’ 11th straight at home and their longest winning streak at home since they won 12 in a row from Dec. 29, 2008-Feb. 29, 2008. It also increased the Mavs’ record to 15-11 and moved them four games over .500 for the first time since they were 33-29 on Mar. 3, 2016.

    Carlisle received his two technical fouls after he vehemently protested what he thought should have been a foul when Harrison Barnes drove to the basket. After Dewayne Dedmon nailed the two free throws, the Hawks had netted their largest lead of the game at 63-57.

    However, Carlisle’s two technicals apparently lit a fire under the Mavs as they outscored the Hawks 57-44 the remainder of the game and flew to Phoenix for a Thursday night game against the Suns with 12 wins in their last 15 games.

    Mavs lead assistant coach Stephen Silas took over the head coaching chores after Carlisle’s departure. And when asked why did the Mavs start playing better following Carlisle’s ejection, he said: “Rick did that. He got them going. His energy got them going and I tried to continue that energy with the group.

    “They did a really good job after Rick got thrown out of the game. They hung on and were great. The first timeout was chaos because everyone was talking to each other and I was trying to get my point across, but I think everyone settled down after that.”

    A series of 3-point field goals by Maxi Kleber, Dorian Finney-Smith, Luka Doncic and Barnes bolted the Mavs ahead, 109-94, with 3:22 remaining in the game and they cruised to the winner’s circle from there.

    In snapping a 10-game losing streak to the Hawks, the Mavs were able to avenge a 111-104 loss in Atlanta back on Oct. 24 when they blew a 26-point lead. The Mavs were 32-of-43 from the free throw line, including 12-of-15 by Doncic, who was sporting a fresh new haircut.

    “Tonight was just a testament to what we’ve been able to battle through since the beginning of the season,” said Barnes, who led all scorers with 25 points. “We battled through adversity, especially not having coach out there with us.

    “I thought as a team we did a good job. One through 15, I think we did a great job to get a great win.”

    Barnes had three early 3-pointers which staked the Mavs to a 15-9 lead and helped Dallas nudge ahead, 28-26, after the first quarter. But the pesky Hawks clawed ahead 52-51 at intermission before the fireworks began early in the third quarter.

    “You don’t usually see a head coach get tossed so quickly in a game,” Barnes said. “But even with that we have to give credit to coach Silas and (assistant) coach (Jamahl) Mosley.

    “Those guys both stepped up almost seamlessly running the show for us and they kept us locked into what we needed to do.”

    While all of that was going on, of course the featured attraction in this game was the rookie clash between the Hawks’ Trae Young and Doncic, who were traded for each other on draft day last June. Young collected 24 points and 10 assists, while Doncic finished with 24 points,10 rebounds and six assists.

    “We talked about (Doncic) getting to the free throw line and he got there 15 times tonight,” Silas said. “That was big.

    “He is so big and has such a good feel for angles. He actually got a cutting foul tonight which was really big for us, so creating for other guys but also getting to the free throw line was a really big part of the win tonight.”

    Also a big part of the win for the Mavs was DeAndre Jordan (11 points, 11 rebounds) and reserve players J. J. Barea (18 points) and Finney-Smith (11 points, six rebounds, three steals). And Silas.

    “I did not know I was going to be coaching tonight, but as the lead assistant you are always prepared just in case,” Silas said. “So you prepare for every single game just in case.

    “I didn’t expect it at all, but I was happy that we came out with a win.”

    NOTES: Guard J. J. Barea rolled his ankle while running off the floor during a timeout when he accidentally stepped on a teammates’ foot. He hopes the swelling goes down so he’ll be able to play Thursday night in Phoenix. But he was limping very noticeably when the Mavs arrived at their hotel in Phoenix. . .At halftime of Wednesday’s game, Mavs rookie Luka Doncic received a trophy for winning the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for the month of November. . .Folks got excited when they heard Dirk Nowitzki was listed as questionable for Wednesday’s game. In the Mavs’ previous 25 games Nowitzki was listed as “out.’ Despite the upgrade, Nowitzki didn’t play against the Hawks and has yet to play this season after undergoing left ankle surgery on Apr. 5. The “questionable” status means Nowitzki is getting closer to making is 2018-’19 debut, which could come Thursday night in Phoenix. . .Before Wednesday’s game, coach Rick Carlisle was praising Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter, who played for Carlisle and the Mavs during the 2011-’14 seasons. “Vince was great here in Dallas,” Carlisle said. “He was just phenomenal. The first year he was a starter, then he asked to become our designated sixth man when Jason Terry left, and for two years he was just tremendous. He was a leader of the team, he never missed practice, he went hard, he became a fan favorite. He was a big part of some real success stories in those two years, including the seven-game run against San Antonio that one year when he hit a big game-winner in that series.” In the first round of the 2014 playoffs, the No. 8-seeded Mavs took the No. 1-seeded San Antonio Spurs to the limit before losing in seven games. Carter, though, drilled a double-pump 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Mavs to a dramatic 109-108 win in Game 3 of that series. “Just really an amazing career, an amazing athlete, just a tremendous person,” Carlisle said of Carter. “I don’t know how long he’s going to keep playing. I don’t know that he’s said this is his last year, but whatever he does beyond basketball he’ll be extremely successful. I think he’ll probably do broadcasting or go into politics. Whatever it is he’ll be impactful and a very positive force.” At 41 years old, Carter is the oldest player in the NBA. At 40, Dirk Nowitzki is the second oldest. The two former teammates had a warm embrace after the game. . .Carlisle said, leading up to the draft when he saw Luka Doncic on film for the first time, his first reaction was: “That guy’s good. That guy’s good and I’m not sure what position he is, but he is going to be an impact player. You could tell he was good. How good? (Mavs general manager) Donnie Nelson was the one that thought he was going to be really exceptionally good and exceptionally good early.”

    The post Mavs get a spark from Carlisle and rallied for a 114-107 victory over the Hawks appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Sources: Rangers agree to deal with Lynn

    The Rangers reached an agreement with right-hander Lance Lynn on a three-year, $30 million contract on Wednesday, according to Major League sources. The deal has yet to be announced by the club.


    Everything you need for Thursday's Rule 5 Draft

    Every year, the Winter Meetings unofficially conclude with the Rule 5 Draft. It might not be the headline-grabber of a blockbuster trade or free-agent signing, but every year, teams do find talent via this avenue. And recent history shows that many of the players selected are coming to a big league stadium near you next season.


    Big free-agent splash not in Rangers' plans

    Free-agent infielder Manny Machado is 26 and a proven offensive star who hit .297 with 37 home runs, 107 RBIs and a .538 slugging percentage for the Orioles and Dodgers this past season. He would seem to be a good long-term fit for the Rangers as they rebuild their team around young players and get ready to move into a new ballpark in 2020.


    Texas lands Wisdom, deals Robinson to Cards

    The Rangers acquired third baseman Patrick Wisdom from the Cardinals on Tuesday for utility man Drew Robinson in a trade involving two guys who were blocked on the depth chart by their former team.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 101-76 win over the Orlando Magic

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 101-76 win over the Orlando Magic on Monday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. BRUNSON, STEAL OF THE DRAFT: Jalen Brunson is the perfect example of why the NBA Draft is an inexact science. How else can you explain why the National College Player of the Year winner Jalen Brunson wasn’t drafted until the second round last June? Hello, NBA General Managers! Are you guys asleep at the wheel? Brunson was not only the best player in college basketball, he led Villanova to their second national title in three years. How is he not drafted on the first round? Anyway, against the Magic on Monday, Brunson started in place of the injured Dennis Smith Jr. and responded with a career-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shots. Coupled with steering the Mavs to secure Luka Doncic, if Mavs GM Donnie Nelson doesn’t win the NBA Executive of the Year award this year, the award really should be abandoned. Especially considering the Mavs also acquired DeAndre Jordan over the summer.

    2. STARTERS GOT SOME REST: The Monday blowout over the Magic enabled the Mavs’ starters to get some well-deserved rest, especially with the schedule about to get a little rough. Wesley Matthews and Luka Doncic sat out the final 15:03 of the game, DeAndre Jordan was on the bench for the final 13:24, and Harrison Barnes sat the entire fourth quarter. The other starter, rookie Jalen Brunson, played eight minutes and 12 seconds of the fourth quarter, mainly so the Mavs wouldn’t have to tax 34-year old J. J. Barea and 35-year old Devin Harris. And with the Mavs’ regular starting point guard, Dennis Smith Jr., out the past three games with an aggravated sprained right wrist, that afforded more playing time for Brunson, who has an effective old man’s basketball game. Also, starting with Wednesday’s home game against Atlanta, the Mavs will play 14 games in the ensuing 25 days that will encompass 11 cities and four time zones.

    3. NICE BOUND-BACK GAME FOR POWELL: Dwight Powell will be the first to tell you that he didn’t have a very good game on Saturday against the Houston Rockets. Powell finished that contest with only two points and three rebounds in 16 minutes. That’s the fewest amount of points Powell has scored in a game this season when he’s played at least 15 minutes. But on Monday, Powell redeemed himself nicely. In 21 workmanlike minutes, the five-year veteran was 7-of-12 from the field, scored 16 points and grabbed three rebounds. It’s the second-highest scoring game for Powell out of the last 20 games he’s played, topped only by the 17 points he tallied on Nov. 30 against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Mavs need Powell so they can give starting center DeAndre Jordan some ample rest. He also has a different motor than Jordan. At any rate, it’s a quality change of pace that a lot of teams don’t have from their backup center.

    4. KIDD-LIKE GAME FROM LUKA: Back in the day, when Jason Kidd was roaming the court for the Mavs, before I would pick up the postgame stat sheet, I would re-hash in my mind how Kidd totally dominated the game on that particular night. And in my mind, before seeing the stat sheet, I just knew Kidd finished the game with 18 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists. But to my amazement, Kidd only had a pedestrian-like seven points, 11 rebounds, nine assist game — although he was dominant when putting up numbers in games of that fashion. Well, guess what? Luka Doncic had one of those Kidd-like dominant performances on Monday against the Magic. So what if the rookie missed nine of his 11 field goal attempts. He finished the night with seven points and career highs in rebounds (1) and assists (nine). Also, don’t forget the hops he did after his assist on the DeAndre Jordan dunk. And guess who was in the house to witness it all? Jason Kidd.

    5. HOME DOMINANCE CONTINUES: With the win over Orlando, the Mavs have won 10 consecutive games at home. The last time they won double-digit home games in a row was from Dec. 29, 2007-Feb. 29, 2008 when they won 12 straight home games. To put this in better perspective, the Mavs were only 9-32 at home last season. So, from Nov. 6 through Monday, the Mavs won more home games (10) during that span than they won in all of last season (nine). Overall, the Mavs are an impressive 12-2 at home. During the 2016-17 season the Mavs finished the year 12-29 at home. After 14 home games last year the Mavs were only 4-10 at home, and after 14 home games during the 2007-’08 season the Mavs were 12-2. The only team with a better home winning percentage than the Mavs are the Philadelphia 76ers, who are 14-1 at home for a gaudy 93.3 winning percentage. The Mavs’ 12-2 home record gives them a winning percentage of 85.7 percent.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 101-76 win over the Orlando Magic appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Brunson’s steady hand helps Mavs to a convincing 101-76 blowout win over the Magic

    DALLAS – Jalen Brunson proved Monday night while he may wind up being the steal of this past June’s NBA Draft.

    Starting at point guard in place of the injured Dennis Smith Jr., Brunson poured in a career-high 17 points and distributed four assists as the Dallas Mavericks made the Orlando Magic disappear, winning 101-76, before a sellout crowd of 19,334 at American Airlines Center.

    It’s the 12th win in their last 16 games for the Mavs, who never trailed in this game and increased their record to 14-11. It also was the 10 straight home victory for the Mavs.

    The last time the Mavs manufactured a double-digit home winning streak was from Dec. 29, 2007-Feb. 29, 2008 when they won 12 straight games at AAC.

    For some odd reason, Brunson wasn’t drafted until the second round – No. 33 overall – of this past summer’s NBA Draft, despite being the consensus National College Player of the Year after leading Villanova to their second national title in three seasons. But he’s been steady as rock for the Mavs, as evident by his 7-of-9 shooting and the solid floor game he produced against the Magic.

    “He plays a very steady game, he played a very mature game for a guy that’s a first-year player in the NBA,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “I really like how he fits with that group. They moved the ball beautifully tonight.
    “We didn’t make every shot, but the ball movement was very good – much better than it was in the Houston game (last Saturday) – and he makes the plays that are there.”

    Besides the 32 minutes Brunson played, none of the Mavs’ starters played more than 28 minutes, because it wasn’t necessary and it was the ideal game to get the starters some much-needed rest.

    Meanwhile, the Mavs’ other rookie – Luka Doncic – was hopping around and smiling on the court like a kid in the first half after he fed DeAndre Jordan for an and-1 basket. That came after Doncic and Jordan failed on two previous lob-dunk attempts.

    Doncic only scored seven points on 2-of-11 shooting, but he also grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds and collected a career-high nine assists.

    “He’s moving the ball better each game, which is really important,” Carlisle said of Doncic. “We know he can make spectacular plays.

    “The key is to be able to do that while involving all your teammates so that guys are constantly involved in the action. I thought tonight was his best game doing that.”

    The Mavs led 24-19 after the first quarter, 52-40 at intermission and 75-53 after the third quarter. The lead expanded to as high as 28 points (92-64) following a three-point play by Dwight Powell with 6:51 remaining in the third quarter.

    “We came out and executed the game plan to perfection,” guard Devin Harris said. “The guys were tuned into what we were supposed to be doing defensively.

    “Offensively, we kind of had some trouble with it in the first half in regards to ball movement. I think we did a better job with it in the second half, moving the ball and getting opened shots.”

    The Mavs held Orlando to just 33 points in the second half, including only 13 in the third quarter. Overall, the Mavs accumulated 28 assists, turned the ball over just 13 times and limited the Magic to 36 percent shooting from the field.

    “I think we had a great study on them,” Harris said. “Their (power forwards) and (centers) like to space the floor a lot, so we knew that they were going to try to draw and kick it to a (center) who was spacing the floor.

    “So we did a great job of late switching and kicking out to the (center) to take away the three. I think that caught them off-guard a bit.”

    Harrison Barnes led the Mavs with 19 points and five rebounds, Powell finished with 16 points in 21 minutes, and Wesley Matthews added 10 points. But the steadiness in which Brunson controlled the flow of the offense is what helped the Mavs to this 25-point victory.

    “He’s a very stable guy, he’s a worker, he loves to play, he understands the game, he’s a student of the game, he’s a great teammate,” Carlisle said of Brunson. “He’s a guy who is a man of few words, and when he speaks up people listens because they respect how he conducts himself on a day-to-day basis.

    “He’s earned everything that he’s gotten here, he’s earned every minute that he’s gotten from the very beginning of the year.”

    The post Brunson’s steady hand helps Mavs to a convincing 101-76 blowout win over the Magic appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Magic

    Final: Mavs 101, Magic 76

  • Luka Doncic has grabbed all the headlines, both written and sung, throughout much of this recent streak. But Dallas did it tonight with a well-balanced approach, scoring 100+ for the 24th time in 25 games this season, despite no player scoring more than 19 points. Harrison Barnes led the way, followed closely by rookie Jalen Brunson, who racked up a career-high 17 points. Brunson once again started for Dennis Smith Jr., and was terrific. He scored 14 against Houston, but he just seemed consistently aggressive in this game, scoring early and often to establish a new career-high for the second straight game. Dwight Powell chipped in with 16 off the bench, and the only other Maverick to even reach double-figures was Wesley Matthews with 10. (Doncic failed to reach double-digits, but he did tally 11 rebounds and nine assists, and likely would’ve become the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double if the game were more competitive in the second half. He still has 30 more days to beat Markelle Fultz, who’s the youngest ever with a trip-dub at 19 years, 317 days.)

  • While the offense struggled, relatively speaking, the defense was spectacular. Dallas held Orlando to just 36.0 percent shooting from the field, 28.6 percent from beyond the arc, and the Magic attempted just five free throws. (The Mavericks were whistled for just 11 fouls, tied for the fewest in a game by any team this season.) Only three times this season has a team held its opponent below 80 points; Dallas has achieved the feat two of those three times, with the other coming last month against Utah. In fact, the two lowest-scoring games in the NBA this season are by Utah (68) and Orlando tonight (76). So that’s pretty cool.

  • Maxi Kleber’s talent doesn’t necessarily go unnoticed, but it’s difficult to explain just how important he is to this whole thing. Here’s an attempt, though. The Milwaukee Bucks allow just 39.3 points in the paint per 100 possessions this season, the best mark in the league by a wide margin. No other team is even below 42.0. The Mavericks rank seventh in that area, allowing just 44.4. With Kleber on the floor, however, Dallas allows only 39.7 paint points per 100 possessions. Tonight, Orlando scored eight points in the paint in 14 minutes with Kleber on the floor, per NBA Stats, and on the season opponents are shooting just 49.3 percent at the rim against the second-year pro, which ties for the third-best in the league among players who defend at least three of those shots per game.

    He completely shuts down the inside game most nights, and while he doesn’t do it single-handedly, he’s often the main reason why opponents simply cannot engineer layups against the Mavs’ second unit, even when it often sacrifices size in the frontcourt and on the wing. That’s no easy feat. Kleber has been great, and the Mavericks are simply better when he plays. The Mavericks allow just 98.5 points per 100 possessions when Kleber is on the floor, per NBA Stats, the best mark of any rotation player by more than two points. (I know that was a lot of stats, but just trust me: He’s very good at defense.)

  • Dallas is kinda rolling right now. Since the team’s Nov. 2 home loss to the Knicks (the last time the Mavs lost at American Airlines Center), the club ranks 12th in the league in offense, third in defense, fifth in net rating, and second in win percentage, the most important stat of them all. In that time, Dallas has beaten playoff teams even when missing players like Doncic, Dennis Smith Jr., or Wesley Matthews. The Mavericks are playing some of the best basketball in the entire NBA right now, and yet it still feels like there are very obvious and tangible ways in which this team can still improve. That’s true for 29 other clubs around the league, of course, but the point of this all is Dallas is far from a finished product — Dirk hasn’t even played yet! — and the wins are beginning to stack up quickly. It’s sometimes hard to remember that last season was actually only last season, but the team’s 14th win of the 2017-18 came on Jan. 9. This has been a mighty quick turnaround. Plenty of work remains to be done, but man, this has been a fun month of basketball.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (14-11) are at home again on Wednesday, looking for revenge against the Atlanta Hawks. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Magic appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


  • Rangers keeping open mind in trade talks

    The possibility of the Rangers being a trade match with the Braves involving outfielder Nomar Mazara may be the most intriguing development for Texas at the Winter Meetings on Monday.


    Donnie Nelson gets the credit for pointing the Mavs towards Luka Doncic

    DALLAS – Rick Carlisle was analyzing the effects Luka Doncic has had on his team when the Dallas Mavericks coach paused to give credit to the man who helped deliver the rookie from Slovenia to the Mavs.

    “Donnie Nelson, who I really think is as good an evaluator of talent as I’ve ever met or come across in this league, told me over a year ago that he thought (Doncic) was going to be the best player in this draft,” Carlisle said. “He was pretty certain of it.”

    So certain that Nelson – the president of basketball operations and general manager of the Mavs – helped engineer a draft day trade last June that enabled the Mavs to acquire Doncic from the Atlanta Hawks. It was as if the Mavs already knew Doncic would have an immediate impact in the NBA.

    “I had heard so many things about him being a special player,” Carlisle said. “The one thing that I have consistently said about him based on the European films was that the European films didn’t show the strength and the size and the quickness that we’ve seen here. And speed as well.

    “When he gets the rebound and goes, he’s really, end-to-end, extremely fast. He’s caught some people by surprise, but I’m not surprised or shocked at all that he’s having an impact.”

    Doncic leads the Mavs in scoring with 18.1 point per game, and also averages 6.5 rebounds and 4.1 assists. In addition, he has developed a very impactful step-back 3-point shot that has been absolutely difficult to stop.

    Some may consider Doncic’s step-back 3-pointer as a low percent shot. But he buried a pair of them during a personal late 11-0 run this past Saturday that was key to the Mavs’ 107-104 win over the Houston Rockets.

    “I like the shot as a weapon,” Carlisle said. “I don’t like it as your only weapon, especially with the other things that he can do — put pressure on defenses.

    “It’s all about the balance he’s able to create on the shot. Early in the year he was shooting them and he was ending up falling back and being short. If you can get on balance, it’s a great weapon.”

    Lately, Doncic has been able to get on balance while keeping defenses off-balanced with his patented weapon.

    “He’s such a good penetrator I feel it’s important that he strikes a balance between direct vertical paint attacks and rim attacks with using the step-back to create space and get the three,” Carlisle said. “What he did at the end of the Houston game was unique.”

    The post Donnie Nelson gets the credit for pointing the Mavs towards Luka Doncic appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mavs Mondays: Luka Doncic caps off another winning week

    Rewind

    Dallas 111, Portland 102

    In his first game since winning the Western Conference Rookie of the Month Award, Luka Doncic held down the fort at home with the Mavericks as Dallas won their eighth game in a row at home.

    Stat of the Game: Every single Maverick that checked into the game finished with a positive plus/minus.

    Mavs Box: Luka Doncic led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds while Wesley Matthews followed behind with 17 points on 3-of-6 shooting from behind the arc. DeAndre Jordan finished the game with another double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

    Out: Dirk Nowitzki

    Read the full game recap here.

    New Orleans 132, Dallas 106

    Flying out directly after the win over Portland, the Mavericks played the Pelicans the next night in a game where they could never find their groove. Behind monster games from Julius Randle and Anthony Davis, the Pelicans never let the Mavericks get close in the fourth.

    Stat of the Game: New Orleans shot 58 percent from behind the arc by hitting 17 of their 29 attempts.

    Mavs Box: Harrison Barnes finished the game with 16 points while Wesley Matthews followed behind with 15 points of his own. Eight players logged over 20 minutes of playing time.

    Out: Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Smith Jr.

    Read the full game recap here.

    Houston 104, Dallas 107

    A night that will be remembered for a very long time. Down by eight points with under three minutes to go in the game, Luka Doncic goes on an 11-0 run to help propel the Mavericks over the Rockets.

    James Harden finished the game with 35 points, but it was the Mavericks who won their ninth game in a row at home.

    Stat of the Night: Luka Doncic scores 11 straight points late in the fourth to give the Mavs the lead.

    Mavs Box: Wesley Matthews and Luka Doncic both led the way for the Mavericks with 21 points each. DeAndre Jordan pulled down 20 rebounds while Finney-Smith and Barnes both finished with 14 points.

    Out: Dirk Nowitzki, Dennis Smith Jr., Maxi Kleber

    Read the full game recap here.

    Play of the Week

    This could honestly be considered the play of the season so far.

    With the Mavericks down by eight points with under three minutes to go, Luka Doncic goes on a personal 11-0 run to give the Mavs the lead. Previous to the above play, Doncic had scored eight straight points to tie the game and went for the kill with the game on the line.

    Player of the Week

    Luka Doncic

    When a player finishes a big game like he did on Saturday night against the Rockets, it’s hard to give the award to anyone else.

    The week started for Doncic in Dallas when he led the way for the Mavericks with 21 points over the Portland Trail Blazers. With a signature step back shot of his own on Tuesday, Doncic helped close the door for the Mavs to win their eighth straight at home.

    After a dud performance by the team in New Orleans, Doncic and the Mavs got back on track on Saturday with a massive win over the Rockets at home. Doncic took over late by hitting three three-pointers in the final three minutes to help lift the Mavericks over the Rockets.

    Quote of the Week

    “He led the break, it wasn’t fair. The step back three flew through the air. It fell and Dallas traded up for Luka. Halleluka. Halleluka. Halleluka. Halleluka” – Isaac Lee & Jason Gallagher

    After the internet sensation hit of the mashup of Luka Doncic & Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah dropped a while back on The Ringer, the Mavericks brought in both Isaac Lee and Jason Gallagher of The Ringer to perform their Halle-Luka song live. During a second quarter timeout, the two performed the song live for an arena full of Mavs fans. You can watch the full video below.

    Moment of the Week

    The Luka Doncic Run

    Heading into the fourth quarter, Luka Doncic wasn’t having the best of games. On top of that, Dallas was without Dennis Smith Jr. and Maxi Kleber as they went down by eight points with under three minutes to go in the game.

    Then Luka Doncic took over.

    It started with a Doncic three in the corner that was then followed up with the play above in an isolation step back three on Clint Capela. This cut the lead to two points. The next offensive possession for the Mavericks was a Doncic drive to the basket that tied up the game at 102.

    Tied up. Dallas ball. Doncic gets the switch on Capela once again and performs his patented step back three to cap off his 11-0 run that gave the Mavs a three point lead. It was a moment that Mavs fans won’t forget for a long time and probably the best moment of the season so far in Dallas.

    Social Check In

    Must Read

    Wesley Matthews Has Evolved Into One of the Most Charitable Athletes in All of Sports by Tamara Jolee

    “When Dallas Mavericks veteran sharpshooter Wesley Matthews signed his contract with the organization four years ago, he sat down and made a list of goals. At the very top he penciled in his most important ambition: improve the Dallas-Fort Worth community…”

    Read the full story here.

    Record

    This Week: 2-1

    Overall: 13-11

    Fast Forward

    12/10 Orlando @ Dallas

    If the playoffs ended today, both the Magic and Mavericks would be playoff teams. Behind the stellar play of Nikola Vucevic, the Magic come to town looking to keep things rolling.

    12/12 Atlanta @ Dallas

    The first time Dallas played Atlanta, the Mavericks squandered a 26 point lead to lose the game. Something tells me the Mavs will remember that game heading into this matchup.

    12/13 Dallas @ Phoenix

    Much like the Atlanta game, this is another road loss earlier in the season that the Mavs look to get even for.

    12/16 Sacramento @ Dallas

    Behind the surging De’Aaron Fox, the Kings are hovering near the Mavericks in the Western Conference standings.

    The post Mavs Mondays: Luka Doncic caps off another winning week appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Woodward says Leclerc's role likely expanding

    As the Rangers discuss the best way to build a pitching staff, they remain undecided on what will be the best role for Jose Leclerc going forward. It is not automatic that he will return as closer in 2019. Nothing is automatic these days when it comes to the Rangers' pitching staff.


    Rangers' Koo talks rise of analytics at Meetings

    Major League Baseball's Department of Diversity and Inclusion launched its "Unfiltered" series at the Winter Meetings on Monday with a discussion of analytics -- a fitting place to start because it's an area of explosive growth, with teams loading up on smart people from all backgrounds to attack old problems in new ways.


    Rangers claim infielder Asuaje from Padres

    The Rangers, who came into the Winter Meetings looking for a utility infielder, have claimed Carlos Asuaje off waivers from the Padres.


    Charity auction includes Rangers jerseys, tickets

    Authentic jerseys worn by Rangers players during regular-season games last season are available during the charity auction organized by Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs. This is the seventh year that the benefit has been in place, and the Rangers' donations also include memorable Suite and VIP experiences at Globe Life Park.


    Nowitzki concerned about the speed of the game whenever he does return to play

    DALLAS – Whenever he hits the court for his first few NBA games of the 2018-’19 season, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has a warning.

    “Rhythm will be tough,” Nowitzki said after Sunday’s practice at the Lympo practice facilities. “The last game I played was (Apr. 10 against Phoenix). Nobody can take seven months off, eight months off and comes out balling.

    “That’s going to be a progress for me playing against NBA players – the speed of the game these days. Everybody’s pushing the ball, a lot of athletes. It’s going to take me probably a couple of games to get used to it, so we’ll see how it goes.”

    Nowitzki, 40, is still recovering after undergoing left ankle surgery on Apr. 5. He’s had his good days and is bad days, but the Mavs will not put him on the court until he’s fully healthy.

    “He’s not quite there yet,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “When he’s ready to play he’ll play. And also it’s important to manage the expectations of this and protect him.

    “He’s been out for eight or nine months and when he comes back to play it’s going to be a limit on the minutes. There’s a very good chance the first — I don’t know how many games — he may only play in the first half. I don’t know that for a fact, but that’s possible. Let’s just be reasonable about all this.”

    As Nowitzki told Mavs.com on Friday at the Mavs’ Dinner With Santa event at the Statler hotel, there is no timetable set for his return. Meanwhile, Carlisle has talked to Nowitzki about what his role will be once he returns.

    “He and I have had some conversations about his return and the timing of it and some of the challenges that go along with it,” Carlisle said. “He’s very aware and does not want to disrupt anything, but we do need to get him healthy and back on the floor and available.”

    The Mavs will take a 13-11 record in Monday’s home game against Orlando. Dallas has won 11 of its last 15 games after a 2-7 start and that, for Nowitzki, takes some f the sting off his inability to plat at this time.

    “If you’re winning it’s fun to be around, whether you play or whether you’re not playing, so it’s been fun the watch,” Nowitzki said. “I‘m really proud of the guys.

    “Of course I want to be out there, but it’s a lot easier to sit there and watch wins and come in and work hard if guys are playing well and we’re winning.”

    The post Nowitzki concerned about the speed of the game whenever he does return to play appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Daniels not taking anything off table at Meetings

    Rangers GM Jon Daniels said the club will take an aggressive approach into the Winter Meetings and that no one on the roster is untouchable.


    Ex-Rangers DH Baines elected to Hall of Fame

    Former Rangers slugger Harold Baines, who spent two years with Texas, was elected to the Hall of Fame on Sunday night.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 107-104 win over the Rockets

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 107-104 win over the Houston Rockets on Saturday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. THIS JUST IN: For those on you hanging out on planet Mars for the past four months, this just in. Luka Doncic is pretty darn good! Just when it appeared as though the Mavs were on the verge of losing Saturday’s game, Doncic popped up and scored 11 consecutive points and led this team to victory. And it was the way Doncic scored those points that was so impressive. Three of them came via a corner 3-pointer, six more came on a pair of his patented step-back 3-pointers. And the other two came on a conventional floater in the lane. This, mind you, all came after the Rockets were up by eight points with just over three minutes remaining in the game.

    2. CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARDS: By now, DeAndre Jordan’ teammates know to get out of the way whenever he’s chasing rebounds. As Jordan said, that’s why the Mavs signed him to a free agent contract. They want him grabbing as many rebounds as possible. And on Saturday, Jordan did just that. The 11-year veteran wound up with a game-high 20 rebounds. That’s four more rebounds than his teammates – they combined to snatch 24 boards – collected. It’s the third time Jordan has hauled in at least 20 rebounds in a game this season, and the second time he’s completed this feat in the last four games. This past Sunday, Jordan grabbed a season-high 23 rebounds against the LA Clippers.

    3. BRUNSON STEPPED UP: Jalen Brunson keeps proving over and over again that a lot of smart folks in the NBA made a mistake when they passed over him in the draft. The rookie point guard from Villanova tallied a season-high 14 points and also picked up three steals against the Rockets while starting in place of the injured Dennis Smith Jr. It was Brunson’s second career start after he amazingly slipped to the second round – he was the No. 33 overall selection – of last June’s NBA Draft, although he was named the consensus National College Player of the Year while leading the Wildcats to the national title for the second time in three seasons.

    4. HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: What is it about American Airlines Center that brings out the best in the Mavs? All appeared lost on Saturday, then out of nowhere the Mavs caught fire and turned a late eight-point deficit into a three-point victory. Ok, Luka Doncic’s personal 11-0 run was the centerpiece of the improbable comeback. In all, the Mavs are 11-2 at home this season after going 3-10 following their first 13 home games last season. In addition, the Mavs also have won their last nine home games. That’s the longest home winning streak since the Mavs also won nine consecutive home games from Jan. 19-Mar. 4, 2011, the year they captured their lone NBA championship.

    5. DEPTH DID IT AGAIN: Saturday was another classic case of the Mavs’ depth stepping up and being pivotal in a win. Dennis Smith Jr. missed his second straight game with an aggravated right wrist. No problem. Jalen Brunson started in Smith’s absence and was 7-of-9 from the field with three assists and effectively directed the offense as if he’s been doing it for years. He also came up with a big steal – and basket – when he picked James Harden’s pocket and scored. Dorian Finney-Smith, a frequent starter whenever one of the Mavs’ forwards or guards are injured, contributed 14 points off the bench. Finney-Smith was 5-of-8 from the field, and cool-handed J. J. Barea finished with nine points and four assists.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 107-104 win over the Rockets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Doncic sparked the Mavs to an improbable come-from-behind 107-104 win over the Rockets

    DALLAS – Years from now, when the history on Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic will finally be written, there will be those who will undoubtedly tell stories about the damage the rookie from Slovenia did to the Houston Rockets on Saturday afternoon at American Airlines Center.

    To be perfectly clear, the Rockets were closing in on closing out the Mavs. The visitors held an eight-point lead with 3:09 remaining in the game and had the momentum in their favor after holding the Mavs scoreless during a nearly six-minute stretch of the frantic fourth quarter.

    But down the stretch Houston had a really big problem trying to contain Doncic, who absolutely took over this game and led the Mavs to a pulsating 107-104 triumph in front of a sellout crowd of 20,254. With this improbable victory, the Mavs padded their record to 13-11 and won their ninth straight home game for the first time in nearly eight years.

    In the meantime, Doncic put on one of those show-stopping, oh no-he-didn’t shows for the ages. It was memorable in that the Rockets appeared to be cruising to the finish line until Doncic had other ideas as he went on a personal 11-0 tear to turn the Rockets upside down and send them back to Southeast Texas with an 11-14 record.

    First, Doncic drained a 3-pointer to get the Mavs within 102-97 of the Rockets. Then he drilled his patented step-back triple, added a deuce, and, for good measure, popped in another step-back 3-pointer to put Dallas ahead 105-102 with 57.8 seconds left.

    This 180-degree turn was so shocking since, before catching on fire, Doncic was a pedestrian-like 3-of-13 from the field with only 10 points.

    “I wasn’t playing great,” said Doncic, who finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and three steals. “My game wasn’t good at all, but I had confidence at the end of the game.

    ”I just hit a couple of good shots, and that’s it.”

    No, it was more than that.

    “That was insane!,” center DeAndre Jordan said of Doncic’s eye-popping performance. “He hit a lot of shots and I’m like, ‘Nah, nah, no way!’ But we’ve seen him do it before.

    “It just happened so fast and so many plays back-to-back like that, it was amazing. When he’s playing like that were tough.”

    As Doncic was firing away during crunch time, the crowd was hanging on his every shot – and loving every minute of it. In a way, what Doncic was able to accomplish considering the firm grip the Rockets seemingly had on this game at the time was astonishing.

    “It was something special, coach Rick Carlisle sad. “It is pretty clear that he has a special flare for the moment and he is not afraid.

    “You don’t see that every day and it was a unique three or four minutes that he put together at the end.”

    While Doncic was busy showing that he has a flair for the dramatic, rookie Jalen Brunson started at point guard in place of the injured Dennis Smith Jr, who missed his second consecutive game with a sprained right wrist which he aggravated in Tuesday’s game against Portland. Brunson, in his second career start, responded with a career-high 14 points, three assists and three steals and was 7-of-9 from the field.

    “I just found ways to make plays, not just for myself but for others,” Brunson said. “I’m just finding ways to change the game from being active on defense, getting in the passing lanes and finding ways to make everyone better.”

    While all that was going on, Wesley Matthews poured in 21 points and was 4-of-7 from 3-point range in a stellar performance. And Jordan dominated the boards as he finished with 12 points, 20 rebounds and two steals.

    “I thought that DeAndre Jordan was the key to the game,” Carlisle said. “You can talk about what Luka did down the stretch, but DJ gave us a consistent and strong-willed paint presence the entire night. It was an amazing effort tonight.

    “The effort was there with him in every play tonight. You don’t get there in a game like this without your big guy having that kind of presence and strong will.”

    Jordan had eight points and six rebounds in the first quarter, which the Mavs managed to get out of with a slim 32-30 lead. By halftime, when the Mavs trailed 57-56, Jordan already had registered his 15th double-double of the season (12 points, 10 boards) .

    James Harden fought off early foul difficulties to lead the Rockets with a game-high 35 and eight assists. Chris Paul added 23 points and eight assists, and Clint Capela finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds for Houston.

    But the Mavs got that major burst of energy from Doncic down the stretch and wound up winning their ninth consecutive home game for the first time since January of 2011.

    “He’s got an unusual background,” Carlisle said of Doncic. “He has played in a lot of professional games (in Europe), he’s learned over time that the game isn’t over until the buzzer goes off, and this is just one example of an advantage that certain international players have.

    “A lot of the guys that come into the NBA don’t play the kind of minutes that he has been playing here. It’s easier for him to digest the game over here the same way. As long as that clock is ticking, we have time to make a move and win the game. That’s his approach.”

    That approach bode well for the Mavs on Saturday night.

    “Luka, he willed us at the end of this game,” Jordan said. “He took a lot of big shots, a lot of shots that guys wouldn’t take, and we needed him to be aggressive like that.”

    The post Doncic sparked the Mavs to an improbable come-from-behind 107-104 win over the Rockets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Rockets

    Final: Mavs 107, Rockets 104

  • Wow. I mean what can you even say? Luka Doncic is unbelievable. That was a special few minutes of basketball thanks to a 19-year-old rookie from Slovenia.

  • Dallas took down Houston tonight thanks to many more players than only Doncic, however. Wesley Matthews had his highest-scoring game since Nov. 6, Jalen Brunson scored a career-high 14 points, and DeAndre Jordan racked up 12 points and 20 rebounds. (He grabbed nine offensive boards, tied for the most by any Maverick since April 2015.) He also linked up with Brunson on a backdoor cut for the Mavs’ final bucket of the night.

    The key to the game was this: Every single Mavericks starter was at least +8 tonight. For too long, the starting lineup has fallen behind in either the first or third quarter, and the bench has had to play out of a hole. Tonight, however, Dallas outscored Houston in both frames, by a combined tally of 60-57 — which, for what it’s worth, proved to be the difference in the game. Doncic played a spectacular few minutes, there’s no doubt about it, but the rest of the starters carried heavy loads for the entire game, too.

  • After a 12-38 record in clutch games last season, Dallas is now 7-5 in such games this season, when the score is within five at any point in the final five minutes of regulation. The Mavs sport a 98.8 defensive rating in the clutch this season, which is the sixth-best mark in the league. (For the season, Dallas ranks 13th in defensive efficiency.) Doncic is 14 of 22 from the field in the clutch this season, sporting an absurd 70.5 effective field goal percentage. The best players help win the toughest games.

  • The Mavericks are now 11-2 at home this season and have won nine straight in this building. Two more home games are coming in the next four days, giving Dallas a golden opportunity to extend the streak into the double-digits and possibly gain even more ground in the Western Conference after that regrettable 2-7 start to the season. The West remains wacky — Dallas is only 3.5 games out of first place, which is wonderful, but just 2.5 games separate the Mavs from 14th-place Houston. One single slip-up could cost you as many as three or four spots in the standings. It’s wild. This is a big week ahead for Dallas.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (13-11) are home for the next two games as well and play Orlando on Monday. Tipoff is at 7:30 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Rockets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


  • Every team's Winter Meetings wish list

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    Napoli retires big bat after 12-year career

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    Dennis Smith Jr. doubtful for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets

    DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets.

    Smith has been dealing with a sprained right wrist which he aggravated during this past Tuesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The aggravation of that injury forced Smith to miss this past Wednesday’s game at New Orleans.

    Smith said he aggravated his injury on the last play of the game against Portland.

    “If you look at the last play when I passed out to Luka (Doncic), I fell down and braced myself,” Smith told Mavs.com. “You could see me holding it from there.”

    Coach Rick Carlisle is standing by Smith’s “doubtful” status for Saturday. However, Carlisle added: “If he came in and felt great (Saturday) he could probably talk me into playing, but at this point he’s going to be listed as doubtful.”

    Smith, who originally sat out the Nov. 24 game against Boston with the strained right wrist, said he doesn’t believe his injury is anything that’s going to linger long-term.

    “I’m taking the time to get all the way back healthy,” he said. “We’re going to take the proper measurements to make sure I’m right and I’m ready to play whenever I am right.”

    The post Dennis Smith Jr. doubtful for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Dennis Smith Jr. doubtful for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets

    DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is listed as doubtful for Saturday’s game against the Houston Rockets.

    Smith has been dealing with a sprained right wrist which he aggravated during this past Tuesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. The aggravation of that injury forced Smith to miss this past Wednesday’s game at New Orleans.

    Smith said he aggravated his injury on the last play of the game against Portland.

    “If you look at the last play when I passed out to Luka (Doncic), I fell down and braced myself,” Smith told Mavs.com. “You could see me holding it from there.”

    Coach Rick Carlisle is standing by Smith’s “doubtful” status for Saturday. However, Carlisle added: “If he came in and felt great (Saturday) he could probably talk me into playing, but at this point he’s going to be listed as doubtful.”

    Smith, who originally sat out the Nov. 24 game against Boston with the strained right wrist, said he doesn’t believe his injury is anything that’s going to linger long-term.

    “I’m taking the time to get all the way back healthy,” he said. “We’re going to take the proper measurements to make sure I’m right and I’m ready to play whenever I am right.”

    The post Dennis Smith Jr. doubtful for tonight’s game against the Houston Rockets appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Nowitzki: Conditioning not quite where he wants it to be for him to play in a game

    DALLAS – Despite multiple reports saying he would be playing in Saturday’s home game against the Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki said he has no idea when he’ll be able to play his first game of the season.

    “The conditioning is not quite there where I want it, so we’ll be working on it in the next couple of days,” Nowitzki said in an exclusive interview with Mavs.com. “We didn’t really set a date (for his first game of the season), but it’s definitely not (Saturday).”

    Nowitzki hasn’t fully recovered after having surgery on his left ankle on Apr. 5. The surgery not only cost the 21-year veteran the final four games of last season, but it prevented him from playing in the four preseason games and the first 23 games of this season.

    Lately, Nowitzki has been relegated to going through some of the team’s non-contact practice sessions. And after practice he’s been engaging in a few games of three-on-three halfcourt basketball with the likes of Luka Doncic, Salah Mejri, Jalen Brunson and Ryan Broekhoff.

    “We didn’t go much (on Friday in practice), because it’s an early game (Saturday) and the guys are coming off a back-to-back,” Nowitzki said. “But I did everything we did (Friday) and some more, and we’ll see how it is next week.”

    Nowitzki, 40, has no idea why folks keep speculating on when he’ll make his 2018-’19 debut without any firm basis for that speculation.

    “But it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “I think the team is playing great and we have great rhythm.”

    Even coach Rick Carlisle said of Nowitzki’s eventual return: “Don’t worry. Nobody is going to get scooped on this thing.

    “When we announce that he’s going to play we’ll either announce it to everybody or we’ll announce it to nobody.”

    Meanwhile, as he sat and watched the Mavs carve out a 12-11 record thus far, Nowitzki has been thoroughly impressed with what he’s seen. To a point.

    “Losing in New Orleans (132-106 on Wednesday) was a tough one, but the guys have played so well together,” Nowitzki said. “We have a great defensive rhythm, so anywhere I can help once I do come back, I’m obviously happy to help.

    “We’ve beaten some good teams, we’ve played some great team basketball, our defense has been great with DeAndre (Jordan) anchoring everything. And on the offensive end it’s been fun watching. We have the two different groups with the starters, and then the bench playing well with J. J. (Barea) running the show. It’s been incredible to watch.”

    Nowitzki didn’t steer clear of the elephant in the room. He knows the Mavs have had their way in posting an impressive 10-2 record at home, however he’s concerned about their 2-9 record on the road.

    “Obviously if we want to sneak in the playoffs we have to play a little better on the road,” Nowitzki said. “We’re 2-9 (on the road) and we’ve got to find ways to stick together and grind some tough wins out down the stretch.”

    The Mavs host Houston at 5 p.m. Saturday at American Airlines Center, and also have home games on Monday against Orlando and Wednesday against Atlanta. After that a critical part of the season emerges when the Mavs will play 10 of their next 13 games on the road and in four different time zones, ending with a Jan. 5 contest in Philadelphia.

    “I think we have plenty of road games coming up after this home stretch,” Nowitzki said. “I think 10 of our next 13 after that are on the road, so we’ve got a couple of great tests.

    “We want to win at home first, and then get on this road trip.”

    By that time maybe – just maybe – Nowitzki will be ready to make his debut this season.

    The post Nowitzki: Conditioning not quite where he wants it to be for him to play in a game appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Every team's current franchise icon

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    Here are Winter Meetings FAQs to know

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    Four Rangers honored by local media members

    Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was selected as the Rangers Player of the Year, and reliever Jose Leclerc was named the Pitcher of the Year by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America on Friday. Utility player Isiah Kiner-Falefa was chosen as the Rookie of the Year and Delino DeShields won the Harold McKinney Good Guy Award.


    Mavs have put on a very impressive show while playing at American Airlines Center

    DALLAS – Trying to figure out why the Dallas Mavericks have been so successful at home this season and not so successful on the road is like trying to figure out how to successfully master a Rubik’s cube.

    Indeed, the Mavs’ success – depending on the change in venues – has been very puzzling to even the most ardent NBA fan. The Mavs have magically produced an impressive 10-2 record at American Airlines Center, but has posted a not-so-impressive 2-9 record on the road.

    Some of the home wins have come against the likes of Oklahoma City, the Los Angeles Clippers, Boston, Portland and the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors. And some of the road losses have come against the likes of Phoenix, Atlanta, San Antonio, New Orleans and Utah – teams that would be on vacation if the playoffs started today.

    So, why have the Mavs looked nearly picture-perfect at home, but not so photogenic on the road?

    “It’s tough to put one specific reason on it,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “But I think one of the biggest things that’s been our advantage at home is the fact that we started off in the right direction.

    “Usually when we kind of keep it at that, our bench comes in and does the right job, and that can be the key to get us the lead.”

    The Mavs (12-11) will get a chance to make a lot of hay in the Western Conference standings when they open a three-game home stand Saturday at 5 p.m. against the Houston Rockets (11-13) at AAC. The home stand continues Monday against Orlando and concludes Wednesday against Atlanta before the Mavs hit the road to play the second leg of a back-to-back in Phoenix on Thursday.

    The Mavs have been so effective on their home court that they’ve won their last eight home games. It’s the longest streak of home wins since they won nine straight during the 2010-’11 championship season.

    As the wins at home stack up, the fans have gotten louder and louder and appear to have gotten more and more into the action on the court.

    “The fans have been great, the fans have been fantastic,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But it’s our job to get the fans into the game, and that’s something we talk about a lot.

    “The team on the floor really is the ones responsibility for creating the energy in the building.”

    And that energy coming from the players to the fans apparently has bounced its way back to the players and played a key role in the Mavs playing a more efficient game on their home court.

    “The fans, they pay good money to come and they want to watch an energetic, enthusiastic bunch of guys going hard,” Carlisle said. “That’s what we’ve got to continue to do.”

    Carlisle was asked if he believes the fancy cushy seats the Mavs sit on during home games have played a role in the team’s success at AAC.

    “I never thought about it,” he said. “It doesn’t affect me much. I sit down for about 30 seconds a game.”

    The post Mavs have put on a very impressive show while playing at American Airlines Center appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Bergman 13U Majors – Tryouts for Final Roster Spots

    Brett Bergman baseball13U Bergman is looking to fill 1-2 final roster spots for the 2019 season with a focus on middle infield & catcher.
    This team has a history of success on the field (.850 winning percentage past 3 years), multiple World Series wins and NYBC National Championship. Coach Bergman is seeking majors players that love to compete at the highest level, committed, have a strong work ethic and desire to learning the intricate details of the game.

    To schedule a private tryout, please call or text Brett Bergman at 817.846.5420

    Brett Bergman baseball

    The post Bergman 13U Majors – Tryouts for Final Roster Spots appeared first on Dallas Tigers Baseball.


    Dirk Nowitzki getting better, but still not ready to make his 2018-’19 debut

    DALLAS – All that chatter over the last few days about Dirk Nowitzki making his 2018-‘19 debut on Saturday against the Houston Rockets was just that – chatter.

    “He’s not going to play,” coach Rick Carlisle said after Friday’s practice at the Lympo practice facilities. “Don’t worry. Nobody is going to get scooped on this thing.

    “When we announce that he’s going to play we’ll either announce it to everybody or we’ll announce it to nobody.”

    Meanwhile, Carlisle said point guard Dennis Smith Jr. is doubtful to play against the Rockets. Smith missed Wednesday’s game in New Orleans after he aggravated his sprained right wrist late in Tuesday’s contest against the Portland Trail Blazers.

    Nowitzki hasn’t played since undergoing surgery on his left ankle on Apr. 5. The 21-year veteran did go through practice on Friday, but Carlisle is adamant in saying that he’s not ready to play in a game just yet.

    “He’s doing well,” Carlisle said. “You see him down there. He’s playing 3-on-3 and getting better all the time.”

    Whenever Nowitzki is fully fit and prepared to play, the Mavs will be more than ready to fit him into the equation.

    “He’s been in the equation the last 20 years, so I don’t really think it’s going to be too hard for him to jump back in,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “We’re all cheering for him and rooting for him to get back.

    “It’s been a long road for his rehab. We’ve definitely seen it every day. He’s been putting in a lot of work. It’s been frustrating some of the setbacks, but it looks like he’s getting close.”

    The post Dirk Nowitzki getting better, but still not ready to make his 2018-’19 debut appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    What to expect from Rangers at Winter Meetings

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    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 132-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 132-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday night at the Smoothie King Center:

    1. SMITH’S ABSENCE WAS FELT: It’s difficult not having your starting point guard and think things will be the same. The Mavs were without Dennis Smith Jr. for this game due to an aggravated sprained right wrist, and his mercurial speed and attacking mindset was sorely missed. Since he is one of the fastest players in the NBA from baseline to baseline – if not the fastest – it’s absolutely no way for any other player on this team to simulate what Smith does on the floor. Thus, his uncanny way of bringing an up-tempo flavor to the game was definitely missed.

    2. POWELL STRIKES AGAIN: Dwight Powell continues to prove that he can be a dominant backup center or forward in this league. In 24 minutes – which is half the game – Powell produced 12 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots against the Pelicans. Calculated over the course of a 48-minute game, that’s 24 points, 20 rebounds and four blocks. Either statistical conclusion shows that when he’s on the court, Powell is always very active and busy being very productive.

    3. ONE OF THOSE DAYS: It’s the NBA. Blowouts happen. Check your favorite team. Anywhere from 3-7 of these happen to nearly every team per year. Back-to-back games – which I despise – play a role in it. As do injuries to key players and an odd travel schedule. However, there are also days when one team just gets super hot and the other team gets super cold. That happened Wednesday as the Pelicans shot 55.4 percent from the field and 58.6 percent from 3-point land, while the Mavs shot 42.9 percent from the field and 30.4 percent from 3-point range.

    4. THEY GET AWAY QUICKLY: If you’re not extremely careful, an NBA game can get away from you quickly. One minute you’re leading by a point two possessions from the end of the first quarter. And the next minute you’re giving up 37 points in the second quarter and trailing 69-53 at the half. Such was the case with the Mavs against the Pelicans. New Orleans went on to score 28 points in the third quarter – the only quarter in which it did not score at least 32 points – and add another 35 points in the fourth quarter.

    5. ENERGY WAS LACKING: From the start, even though the Mavs tallied 31 points in the first quarter, you could tell something was amiss. If was as if the Mavs lacked the necessary energy that’s always there when they’re playing at American Airlines Center. Perhaps they need to find a way to generate their own energy when they’re away from home. The Mavs are 10-2 at home, but only 2-9 on the road. It’s almost as if the ball has a different bounce to it, and the rims are higher than 10 feet when they’re on the road.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 132-106 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Mock draft: Who will the Rangers take at No. 8?

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    Mavs had a bad night at the office in losing to the New Orleans Pelicans, 132-106

    NEW ORLEANS – It was not a very good night at the office on Wednesday for the Dallas Mavericks. It was, in fact, an excruciatingly painful night.

    The wheels fell completely off the Mavs’ bus, and the engine was also missing, as Dallas dropped a 132-106 decision to the New Orleans Pelicans before 14,810 folks at Smoothie King Center.

    Needless to say, this was the worst loss of the season for the Mavs (12-11) and also were the most points they’ve allowed in a game this year. In addition, it tarnished the paint on the Mavs’ defense as the Pelicans shot 55.4 percent from the field and 58.6 percent (17 of 29) from 3-point territory.

    “We couldn’t get it going from start to finish,” said Harrison Barnes, who finished with a team-high 16 points. “It’s tough to win games when you have a team that’s shooting over 50 percent from the field and almost 60 percent from three.”

    It’s also tough to win games when a team gives up 30-plus points in three of the four quarters, which is what happened to the Mavs. The Pelicans scored 32 points in the first quarter, 37 in the second quarter and 35 more in the fourth quarter in blowing by the Mavs, who appeared a step slower after playing Tuesday night at home against Portland.

    Granted, the Mavs were without point guard Dennis Smith Jr., the architect of their fast-paced offense. Smith aggravated his sprained right wrist very late in the game against Portland, and wasn’t healthy enough to play against the Pelicans.

    “Especially like a late scratch like that, it’s tough,” J. J. Barea said. “You’ve got to change everything.

    “It’s a different game when he’s not out there, especially at the beginning. The pace that he was playing lately, he was playing hard lately, and then you’ve got Luka (Doncic) off the ball.”

    Doncic started at point guard and ran the offense and finished with eight points, four rebounds and six assists. Meanwhile, the Mavs got punched in the gut by the one-two combination of Plano native Julius Randle (27 points, 18 rebounds) and Anthony Davis (27 points, nine assists, five blocks).

    Between the two, they were the main reasons New Orleans outscored the Mavs in the paint, 60-48. Also, the Pelicans outscored the Mavs in fast break points, 29-14.

    “Transition was the big thing for us all night, and keeping them out of the paint,” Barnes said. “They were living in there.”

    Actually, the Mavs only trailed 32-31 after the first quarter during a time when they committed seven of their 18 turnovers. But the Pelicans seemingly scored on every possession in the second quarter as they toted an insurmountable 69-53 lead into the locker room.

    “It was just a bad day, a bad game,” Doncic said. “We didn’t do our jobs, so just move on to the next one.”

    In looking completely out of sync, the loss continued a worrisome trend for the Mavs, who have a terrific 10-2 record at home, but are only 2-9 on the road.

    “At the very beginning of the game we were in pretty good position, and then turnovers plagued us and ruined any chance to get out of (the first quarter) with a lead,” Carlisle said. “We were within one point, and then in the second quarter giving up 37 points was a killer.”

    Besides Barnes, Wesley Matthews (15 points), Barea (14 points), Dorian Finney-Smith (12 points), Dwight Powell (12 points, 10 boards, two blocks) and Jalen Brunson (11 points, seven assists, two steals) were the major contributors for the Mavs.

    Still, that wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with the Pelicans.

    “We’ve got to do a better job of playing with a lot more energy and playing better defense,” Barea said. “I think tonight we just didn’t have it, energy-wise.

    “But give them a lot of credit.”

    About the only thing noteworthy occurred with 8:56 remaining in the game. That was right after Powell stormed in for a dunk, was hit in the face by Davis, but no foul was called.

    That infuriated Carlisle, who subsequently received a technical foul for protesting too vehemently to the referees. Other than that, this game dragged on and on and had no energy in it from the Mavs’ perspective.

    For now, the Mavs just want to have a short-term memory as they’ll play the Houston Rockets on Saturday at 5 p.m.

    “Throw it out the window,” Barea said. “You’ve got to let it go and move on and get ready for Saturday.

    “We’ve got a great opportunity to win that one at home, and remember when we play these guys again, remember what we’ve got to do.”

    NOTES: Before Wednesday’s game, coach Rick Carlisle was asked about the Mavs being only one game in the loss column from sitting in the Western Conference’s No. 4 seat. “It just says the defense is working and we got to continue with the same kind of enthusiasm for it, commitment to it,” Carlisle said. “You can’t get too caught up looking at the standings. In the Western Conference every game is going to have significant meaning all year long. That’s just the way it is. That’s one of the great things about being out here. A lot of people complain about it, but there’s no bigger challenge in the NBA right now than playing in the West and being in that cluster of teams always trying to scratch and claw your way up a spot or two.”. .A reporter asked Carlisle before the game about the success the Mavs have had over the last three weeks. “I’m not big into analyzing what’s going on three weeks ago,” Carlisle said. “I know what works in this league is tough defense and efficient offense. We’ve picked up our defense during this period, which has been essential to winning any games. And now we got to continue it.”. .Carlisle noticed how the players on his team are always pulling for each other’s success, adding that that’s a recipe for success. “Teams that make sacrifices individually come together as a group,” Carlisle said. “That’s really what it’s all about. On Sunday (against the LA Clippers) we had (Dennis Smith Jr.’s) teeth on the floor, (J. J.) Barea’s lip all busted up. Smith’s tooth got knocked on the floor, he stayed in the game for the jump ball, and then he came back and made the game-winning play. These are things that bring teams together. I don’t love the fact of losing teeth and things like that, but the spirit has been great. And we’ve got to do everything possible to continue it.”. . .Dennis Smith Jr. told Mavs.com it’s too early to tell if he’ll be ready to play in Saturday’s game against Houston. . .Luka Doncic said when he played in the EuroLeague, his teams very rarely had games on back-to-back nights. The Mavs are now 0-3 on the second night of a back-to-back.

    The post Mavs had a bad night at the office in losing to the New Orleans Pelicans, 132-106 appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Dennis Smith Jr. to sit out tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans

    NEW ORLEANS — The Dallas Mavericks will be without point guard Dennis Smith Jr. when they battle the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Smoothie King Center.

    That means rookie Luka Doncic will likely start at point guard and will handle the ball more than he normally handles it.

    Smith has a sprained right wrist. It’s the same wrist that forced him to sit out the 113-104 win over the Boston Celtics on Nov. 24.

    “He’ll be out tonight and I think he will be listed as day-to-day,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He fell on (the wrist) late in the game (against Portland) last night, which was unlucky.”

    Dorian Finney-Smith started in place of Smith against Boston and will also start against the Pelicans.

    The game against the Celtics was a game where Doncic struck first, scoring nine points on 3-of-3 shots from 3-point range in rapid-like fashion, and also distributing five assists — all in the first quarter.

    The post Dennis Smith Jr. to sit out tonight’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 111-102 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers

    Here are my 5 takeaways from the Dallas Mavericks’ 111-12 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night at American Airlines Center:

    1. LUKA CONTINUES TO IMPRESS: Is there anything this teenager can’t do? One day after winning the Western Conference Rookie of the Month award for his heady play during the months of October and November, Doncic went out and showed exactly why he won this prestigious award. One game after sitting out Sunday’s contest over the LA Clippers with a strained right hip, Doncic poured in a team-high 21 points and also grabbed nine rebounds against the Blazers. And once again he showed that he does indeed have ice water in his veins. After Portland sliced and diced a 19-point deficit all the way down to six points with 1:20 remaining in the game, 21 seconds later Doncic rose up and tossed in a heart-stopping step-back 3-pointer that gave the Mavs a nine-point lead and put the Blazers out of their misery.

    2. APPRECIATE WHAT JORDAN DOES: From the Mavs’ perspective, isn’t it nice not having to lose any sleep worrying about what they’re going to get out of the center position? That’s been a constant bugaboo for the Mavs since Tyson Chandler left – for the second time — via free agency in the summer of 2015. That’s the same summer the Mavs went chasing after LA Clippers free agent center DeAndre Jordan. The Mavs caught up with Jordan in time for him to give them a verbal commitment that he was going to sign a free agent contract with Dallas. But Jordan changed his mind and instead returned and continued playing for the Clippers. Fast forward three summers, and now Jordan is finally donning a Mavs uniform. And what he accomplished over the past two games just solidifies why the Mavs desperately wanted him. Jordan grabbed a season-high 23 rebounds Sunday against the Clippers and followed that up with 17 rebounds against the Blazers.

    3. BENCH RISING TO THE OCCASION AGAIN: Time after time after time, the Mavs’ bench proved why they’re one of the best – if not THE best – bunch of reserves in the entire NBA. They continue to make key plays, continue to give the starters ample time to rest, and continue to have a major impact on wins and losses. Against the Blazers, Portland stormed back from a 17-point deficit and closed to within 79-71 of the Mavs late in the third quarter. From there, backup center Dwight Powell drained back-to-back 3-pointers, and backup forward Maxi Kleber triumphantly swung around on the rim following a nifty dunk via an offensive rebound. After that, backup forward Dorian Finney-Smith drilled a 3-pointer, and savvy veteran backup guard J. J. Barea scored on a layup to complete a lights-out 13-2 run and give the Mavs a 92-73 lead.

    4. HOME COURT ADVANTAGE: Other than feeding off the crowd, being in a familiar environment, being able to sleep in their own bed and eat at their favorite restaurant, along with spending the day in their own home leading up to the game, I’m really not sure why the Mavs have been so successful at home and not so successful on the road. Tuesday’s win was the Mavs’ eighth straight victory at home. That’s the longest such streak since they won nine consecutive home games from Jan. 19-Mar. 4, 2011 during a season when they captured their lone NBA championship. Three of the home wins have come against the LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors – three teams currently seeded second, third and fourth, respectively, in the Western Conference. Two other wins were against Portland – the West’s No. 8 seed — and Boston, who is seeded sixth in the East.

    5. SMITH SHOWS HIS TOUGHNESS: By now, you know that LA Clippers guard Patrick Beverley accidently used an elbow to fracture one of Dennis Smith Jr.’s front teeth during Sunday’s game. Smith left that contest, but later returned and recorded a game-saving key block on Tobias Harris. Then on Monday, Dennis paid the dentist a visit and the results ended with him undergoing a root canal. Not to fret. The next day Smith was back in the starting lineup and attacking the basket as if he had something on his mind. In addition to successfully executing a fast break layup in the first quarter, Smith went sky-high while mastering a fast break dunk in the third quarter. And he duplicated that again in the fourth quarter when he collected a long pass from Luka Doncic and completed another one of his patented dunk. Smith finished the game with 12 points and a season-high nine assists.

    The post The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 111-102 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Wesley Matthews works the drive-through at Raising Cane’s to jumpstart the 2018 Mavs Winter Warm-Up Drive

    Wesley Matthews Winter Warm-Up Drive

    Wesley Matthews works the drive-through at Raising Cane’s to jumpstart the 2018 Mavs Winter Warm-Up Drive

    DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks veteran guard Wesley Matthews has never worked in the service industry, but after a couple years manning the drive-through and register at Raising Cane’s – he’s established a whole new perspective with the food industry.

    “It’s definitely changed how I order at fast-food restaurants and drive-throughs,” he told Mavs.com Tuesday night. “I try to already have my order ready and make it as simple as possible because it’s fast-action. You can’t mess up people’s food.”

    Matthews worked the register at three Raising Cane’s locations in Dallas Tuesday night (Dec. 3rd) to celebrate the start of the 2018 Mavs Winter Warm-Up Drive. It’s an event that takes place each season, in conjunction with the NBA Cares Season of Giving, and supported by Raising Cane’s and Fox Sports Southwest.

    The event encourages fans to donate new and gently-used coats, blankets and other winter items for families in need during the entire month of December at all Dallas/Fort Worth Raising Cane’s locations. Pickup boxes are located at each restaurant for people to simply drop the items in the box to be collected at a later date.

    I’m just thankful for everyone in the community who comes together and supports this cause each year,” Matthews said.

    Wesley added that the most-touching part is delivering the items to the children and families in need at the end of the Mavs Winter Warm-Up Drive.

    “The response has always been amazing,” he said. “I get to see the looks on peoples’ faces when we deliver the items. It’s life-changing for them and we don’t want anyone to go cold. There are many people across the area who desperately need items to stay warm and it impacts them in major ways.”

    Donors who bring an item to any Raising Cane’s location will receive a free 22 oz. drink. All Winter Warm-Up donations will be donated to families in need at North Texas homeless shelters, providing food, shelter, clothing, education and recovery programs for individuals to find a path out of homelessness.

    Donated items can include: new or gently used coats, blankets, hats, scarves, warm weather clothing and socks (socks must be new).

    “We are trying to make this world and community a better place,” Matthews said, who is back at the American Airlines Center tonight as the Mavericks host the Portland Trailblazers. “I just want to thank all the fans who believe in this cause and continue to support it every single year. It really does make a difference.”
    ABOUT NBA CARES: NBA Cares is the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues. NBA Cares programs and participants have provided more than 4.1 million hours of hands-on service and created more than 1,115 places where kids and families can live, learn or play in communities around the world. Learn more at on Twitter: @NBACares

    ABOUT MAVS CARE: The Dallas Mavericks strive to be champions on the court and in the community. We are dedicated to building a stronger community through educational programs, health and wellness initiatives, environmental efforts, support for military veterans, and grants to nonprofit organizations. Through our community programs and the Mavs Foundation, we are changing lives in North Texas and have impacted thousands of children, families and communities. Learn more at Mavs.com/Community or on Twitter: @NBACares

    The post Wesley Matthews works the drive-through at Raising Cane’s to jumpstart the 2018 Mavs Winter Warm-Up Drive appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


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    Doncic returns, scores 21 points and leads Mavs to 111-102 win over the Trail Blazers

    DALLAS – Several thousand palms inside American Airlines Center got sweaty Tuesday night when Portland’s Damian Lillard scored to slice the Dallas Mavericks’ 19-point lead down to a mere six points with 1:21 remaining in the game.

    But rookie Luka Doncic came to the immediate rescue, restored order and drilled the game-deciding basket with 59 seconds left that helped seal the Mavs’ 111-102 victory over the Trail Blazers. The win was the eighth in a row at home for the Mavs – their longest since 2011 – and padded their overall record to 12-10.

    That’s good enough to land the Mavs as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference as they wound up flexing their muscles again and emerged victorious for the 10th time in their last 13 games.

    With the Mavs scrambling to make something wonderful happen, Doncic stepped up, took charge and drained a cold-bloodied step-back 3-pointer that put Dallas ahead 108-99. He exasperated Blazers couldn’t recover from that dagger.

    “We were in a tough situation,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “The clock was going down and they had defended us pretty well.

    “He just made a tremendous individual play driving the defender back, pulling back and hitting the three. It’s a shot we have seen him hit and a shot that he works on. But it was very timely.”

    Asked about the shot, Doncic said: “It was going in. That’s what I saw.”

    Doncic, however, wasn’t finished in his first game after sitting out Sunday’s contest against the Los Angeles Clippers with a strained right hip. In putting his final stamp on this game, Doncic heaved a long pass down the court which Dennis Smith Jr. retrieved and slammed down to put the exclamation point on this 2-0 home stand.

    It was a game the Mavs mostly dominated as they used a 17-3 run on the back end of the first quarter to carry a 34-20 lead into the second quarter. That lead swelled to 60-45 at the half and was at 87-73 entering the fourth period.

    “Our defense was great the whole game,” said guard J. J. Barea. “It wasn’t a nice game for either team, but hey, we were up the whole game.”

    Barea played after he had to get four stitches in his lip Sunday night due to a collision with the Clippers’ Avery Bradley.

    “My body feels good,” said Barea, who collected nine points and two steals. “I couldn’t talk, but not bad.

    “It’s a great team win. At times it was a little ugly out there for both teams, but hey, we did a great job tonight.”

    Doncic finished the night with 21 points — his 11th 20-point game of the season — and nine rebounds, Wesley Matthews tallied 17 points, and Smith added 12 points. Also for the Mavs, Harrison Barnes scored 11 points, and DeAndre Jordan collected 12 points and 17 rebounds and his 1,300th career blocked shot.

    At times, when the Mavs’ starters were lagging behind, the bench came through and breathe new life into the offense. For instance, when Lillard’s two free throws cut the Blazers’ deficit to 79-71 late in the third quarter, Dwight Powell drilled a pair of 3-point shots, and Maxi Kleber pointed at the Mavs’ bench while he was swinging on the rim after he slammed home a dunk.

    By the time Dorian Finney-Smith connected on a 3-pointer and Barea drove for a layup , the Mavs had built their lead to as high as 19 points (92-73) with 10:57 left in the game.

    “Yeah, it was a big run,” Carlisle said. “Dwight is working hard on his 3-point shooting.

    “The first two were great. They were just stroked pure. It gave us a big lift and got the crowd into it.”

    Finney-Smith said they’ve been encouraging Powell to shoot more 3-point shots.

    “We always tell him to just look at the goal sometimes,” Finney-Smith said.” The bigs don’t even be nowhere near you, and today he just let them go.”

    As to the pick-me upper the second team made for the Mavs, Finney-Smith said: “We just tried to go out there and change the game. JJ and Devin (Harris) did a good job of pushing the tempo.

    “Me and Maxi and (Powell) were on the glass. Right now we’re clicking, so we’ll just keep it rolling.”

    The Mavs held the Blazers to 45.2 percent shooting and forced them into missing 17 of the 24 shots they attempted from the 3-point range. Most importantly, the Mavs sent the sellout crowd of 19,341 home with something to tell their co-workers the next day when they’re standing around the water cooler.

    “I think we’re finding a good rhythm here at home,” said Barea, alluding to the Mavs’ 10-2 record at home. “The fans, everybody feels comfortable.

    “We know we should beat everybody that comes into this building and I think we’ve found something and we’re rolling with it.”

    Whatever that “something” is that the Mavs have found, they hope it traveled to New Orleans with them in time for Wednesday’s 7 p.m. game against the Pelicans.

    “We’ve got a great opportunity to go over there and get another win,” Barea said. “I think we’re a young team, so we should be good in this back-to-back.”

    The post Doncic returns, scores 21 points and leads Mavs to 111-102 win over the Trail Blazers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


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    The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Trail Blazers

    Final: Mavs 111, Trail Blazers 102

  • Dallas has now won eight straight at American Airlines Center for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Overall, the Mavericks are now 10-2 at home, which is good to see given that following tomorrow’s back-to-back, four of the team’s next five games are at home, with three coming against teams which didn’t make the playoffs last season. I don’t think the Mavs will go 39-2 in this building this season, but this is a good chance for Dallas to continue racking up home wins before the schedule becomes exceedingly road-heavy from mid-December through early January. The club finds itself in the midst of a stretch of schedule in which 16 of 18 games come against Western Conference opponents, and Dallas is off to a 3-1 start. That’s a very impressive mark against challenging opponents, and in a West where every team is separated by a nose, you’ve got to take these wins where you can get them. Dallas is now seventh in the West, 3.5 games out of first place, and two games ahead of 14th place. Things are changing every day though, so don’t pay too much attention to the standings for now… You’ll go crazy if you do.

  • I’m convinced that one day Luka Doncic will finish with 40 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists in a game and in the middle of the fourth quarter we’ll be watching the game collectively thinking, “Doesn’t seem like Luka’s having a good game tonight, does it?” He so quietly compiles stats that sometimes it’s easy to forget he’s the team’s scoring leader and is second in both rebounds and assists per game. Doncic had seven points on just 2-of-7 shooting in the first half, but erupted for 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting in the second half, adding five rebounds and two assists. His final bucket was a back-breaking step-back 3, which is already becoming his signature shot.

    Doncic is shooting 38.9 percent on off-the-dribble 3s this season, per NBA Stats, which is ludicrously high for such a young player. Typically even your best shooters will be below 40 on pull-up 3s; James Harden is probably the most fearsome off-the-bounce wing in the league and he’s hit 37.4 percent of his pull-ups. Doncic has already somehow found his way in that stratosphere, at least in that specific facet of his game. As for everything else, despite how far along he seems, he’s still got a lot to improve on. What, exactly? “Everything,” he said before the game. It bears repeating that this is probably the worst he’ll be at basketball for at least the next 10 years. No matter what happens with the rest of this roster, that’s something we can all agree on.

  • Damian Lillard went ballistic in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter, but it should not go unrecognized that Dennis Smith Jr. played terrific defense on Lillard throughout the game. The Blazers superstar began just 3 of 12 from the field before nickel-and-diming his way up to a game-high 33 — if such a thing exists — thanks in large part due to free throws he picked up against players not named Smith. Opponents now have just a 49.8 effective field goal percentage against Smith this season, per Second Spectrum, which is an extraordinarily good number for a point guard, comparing favorably to Jrue Holiday (47.3 percent) and Patrick Beverley (50.7), two of the best defensive guards in the NBA.

    Smith is using his athleticism much more liberally on defense, playing fast and aggressive whether he’s defending the ball-handler or helping off another player. He got a few deflections on the first possession of the game, and never really slowed down after that. He finished with 12 points, nine assists, a steal, and a block, which are relatively modest numbers for him, but the stats don’t really do justice to the performance we witnessed in this game. He’s become a fairly strong positive defensively seemingly out of nowhere in the last few weeks, which has become one of the most promising developments any young player has made around here in quite some time.

  • Maxi Kleber showed tonight why he’d been missed. The second-year big man sat out only the previous two games, but it didn’t take him long to remind us what he’s capable of. He had another big block in transition, but his loudest (and funniest) play of the night was a put-back dunk.

    Following the quarter buzzer, DeAndre Jordan greeted Kleber at the sideline with this primal roar.

    And who could blame him? Kleber is just that good. He brings that energy out of all of us. It’s science.

    What’s Next

    The Mavs (12-10) will head to Bourbon Street for a back-to-back with the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

    The post The Fast Break: Mavs vs. Trail Blazers appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


  • Doncic wins Rookie of the Month award while making seamless transition to the NBA

    DALLAS — His early indoctrination into the NBA hasn’t been much of a surprise to Dallas Mavericks rookie Luka Donicc.

    “Nothing has surprised me,” Doncic said. “When I was in Madrid I always watched (the NBA), so nothing surprised me.”

    Ironically, not many were surprised when Doncic was named Monday as the Western Conference Rookie of the Month for his performance during the months of October and November. In 20 games during those two months, Doncic led the Mavs with 18.5 points per game and was second on the team in rebounds (65) and assists (4.3), and also scored 20 or more points in 10 games.

    In all, it was as if Doncic made a seamless transition from playing in the EuroLeague the past three seasons to playing in the NBA.

    When asked if he thought he would get off to such a great start in the NBA, Doncic said: “Honesty, not exactly. I didn’t know I would play like that this soon.

    “But I still have a lot to prove. There’s a lot of improvements left.”

    Doncic becomes the sixth Mavs player to win the Rookie of the Month award. They include Mark Aguirre (November 1981), Jay Vincent (December 1981, February 1982, March 1982), Jason Kidd (March 1995), Devin Harris (November 2004) and Yogi Ferrell (February 2017).

    “He obviously had a terrific month,” coach Rick Carlisle said of Doncic. “I certainly feel like he’s deserving of it.

    “Not too much else to say. Have another month like that.”

    Since he played pro basketball for Real Madrid the last three years and was the Most Valuable Player in the EuroLeague last season, Doncic was asked if he felt like a rookie. He paused and said:

    “It’s different. You’re a rookie and it’s a new league. In the beginning, of course, I felt a little bit like a rookie. But in the other games it’s just basketball and I just want to play basketball and be good at it.”

    Doncic said he was playing Fortnite when he got the call that he had won the Rookie of the Month award.

    “Every award is welcomed,” Doncic said. “That’s one of the reasons to keep improving — the motivation.

    “So every award for me is special. It’s just another example for me that I keep working and I keep fighting for what I want.”

    The post Doncic wins Rookie of the Month award while making seamless transition to the NBA appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.


    Daniels: Rangers doing homework on Kikuchi

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    Barnes has added tough defensive play to his repertoire for the Mavs this season

    DALLAS – Harrison Barnes is known as a sure-fire offensive player who knows how to get buckets. But lately, the Dallas Mavericks forward has been receiving high praise for his remarkable work on the defensive end of the court.

    “He’s picked his defense up to a level that is exceptional,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “Right now he’s one of our top two defenders.”

    Translation: Barnes is the Mavs’ second-best defender behind center DeAndre Jordan. That speaks volumes about the player who led the Mavs in scoring over the past two seasons, but decided over the summer that he wanted to elevate his game by making playing defense a definite priority.

    Still, in Barnes’ typical selfless fashion, he talks about defense being a team effort and credits his teammates for making him look better than he is on defense.

    “I’m just trying to do whatever it takes to win, really,” Barnes said. “Coming into games you just do the job defensively so we’ll have a chance to win.

    “When you’re guarding guys like LeBron (James), Tobias Harris – whoever it may be – when guys got it going, you know that look. So regardless of my night offensively, if I can hold them below their average. .that’s what’s going to help us win games.”

    Any time a player with an offensive pedigree like Barnes can add a defensive mindset to his game, that’s a major plus for a team. In this case it’s been a win-win situation for the Mavs.

    “I have such great respect for the work he puts into his game,” Carlisle said. “He’s put an amazing amount of work into the conditioning and the preparation that’s required to guard guys like Tobias Harris (of the Los Angeles Clippers).

    “(Last Friday) night he was guarding LeBron James (of the Los Angeles Lakers), in Houston he was guarding good players in that game. He’s getting a tough matchup almost every night, and he’s got a pretty big scoring load on his back. But the tone he has set defensive in the last month has elevated our total team play.”

    Just because Barnes has increased his play on the defensive end of the floor doesn’t necessarily mean his offensive game is slacking. On the contrary.

    In fact, Barnes is also in the midst of the best offensive groove of the season. Over the last nine games, the seven-year veteran has scored 20 or more points six times.

    That includes tallying a season-high 30 points last Sunday against the Clippers, one game after scoring a season-high 29 points against the Lakers. During that two-game span Barnes is 20-of-45 from the field and 7-of-15 from 3-point range.

    “It’s the percentages,” Barnes said, referring to his offensive explosion. “You miss a lot of shots early on, and then you start making them. It all evens out.

    “It’s nothing particularly special. The shots that I was missing early on, I’m finally making them.”

    Being fully healthy also has helped Barnes’ overall game.

    Barnes strained his right hamstring in the first week of training camp, missed all four preseason games, sat out the first four regular season games and didn’t return until the Mavs played at Toronto on Oct. 26.

    But now, he’s his old self again.

    “Knock on wood, I’m feeling good,” Barnes said. “My legs are underneath me, my body is feeling good, so I want to continue to build off that and hopefully I can continue to help this team.”

    On the offensive AND defensive ends of the court.

    The post Barnes has added tough defensive play to his repertoire for the Mavs this season appeared first on The Official Site of the Dallas Mavericks.