In what was in most ways a polar opposite from the last game the Mavs played against the Kings, the Mavs held a significant lead for almost the entire game and got the win, 99-79. Dorian Finney-Smith led Dallas in scoring with 17 points, with Barnes, Matthews and Williams adding 15 a piece. Six Mavericks scored in double figures.
Yes, Sacramento is not the best team, but it was a balanced effort with some impressive play all around, which we haven’t said much about this team this season. Here are three takeaways:
Seth Curry gets his revenge
Curry was injured in the last game against the Kings, but this time around he was available and thrived. Curry has been forced into probably more meaningful minutes than the Mavs intended him to have, but as they say, sometimes the best ability is availability, and Curry has taken advantage.
Against his former team, he poured in 13 points on 5-10 shooting (3-6 from three), with four assists and two steals, and several impressive plays to boot. Sacramento may have left this game wondering if it wasn’t wise to keep the young point guard. I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen from Seth, and hope he continues to get these chances even when Barea returns.
A.J. Hammons gets meaningful minutes
Speaking of chances, Hammons is certainly getting his with Bogut’s injury, and as a second round draft pick, he had best be taking advantage. Hammons played 15 minutes tonight — 5 more than the 10 he logged in his previous high (also against Sacramento). He finished with just three rebounds, but seemed to have great energy anytime he was on the court.
Asking the rookie to take on DeMarcus Cousins is a tall order, but he seemed about as up to the task as any NBA player, alternating that assignment with Salah Mejri. (Side note: Mejri finally added Boogie to his list of “important NBA players getting rejected at the rim” — and yet, somehow, never ended up in a major dustup with him!) Cousins did have 33 points, but it wasn’t a factor the way the rest of the Kings played.
Both Seth and Hammons (and really Mejri) showing some good promise couldn’t really come at a better time for the Mavericks, who, if they are looking to make any trades, may have more ammunition in the form of younger, serviceable players than they have ever had, at least in recent years.
It’s so good to have Devin Harris back
On Devin Harris Bobblehead Day, Devin Harris appropriately had his best game since returning from injury: 14 points (5-10 shooting, 2-5 from three) and seven rebounds on top of that, in just 20 minutes.
It’s weird to think that he was a big missing piece early this season, but Harris has been such a reliable and steady presence for Dallas in recent years (when not injured). These early games have basically been his preseason, and I can’t help but wonder: what if the Mavs had had him available all season?