After a string of losses, and being eliminated from playoff contention, the Mavs managed to waltz into Milwaukee and fairly comfortably handle the Bucks, 109-105. Ironically, this is the point in the season where they could really lose these games and no one can argue it’d be good for them to do so, but this still a team with Dirk and Carlisle at the end of the day, and they don’t do that.
Harrison Barnes led the Mavs with 31 points, followed by Dirk with 17. Dirk left the game early as a precautionary measure with a sore right Achilles that didn’t seem to be bothering him too much — and they will probably be conservative with his minutes the rest of the season besides.
Cooling Off the Bucks
Before the game, the Milwaukee Bucks had won 8 of their last 10, catapulting themselves into 5th in the Eastern Conference before the start of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
The Mavericks, with nothing to play for but pride after being eliminated from the playoffs last night, left it all on the floor and escaped with a victory.
In particular, the Dallas bench was impressive and key to the win, led by Nicolas Brussino, Nerlens Noel, and J.J. Barea. Give credit to Carlisle for riding the hot lineup late in the 2nd half.
Fight Size With Size
The Milwaukee Bucks roster is filled with about 15 different 7-foot tall wings, guys like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Thon Maker, to go with their 7-foot tall interior guys.
The only player on the Mavs with enough size and athleticism to compete would be Dwight Powell, so Rick Carlisle went the opposite route and rode his small guys. Yogi Ferrell, Devin Harris, and J.J. Barea were what made the team go tonight, with Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki ready to knock down shots when the defense collapsed around the driving guards.
A New Mavericks Team Record
With five games left in the season, the Mavericks broke their own team record for the most made three-point shots in a season against the Bucks today. The previous record, 806, was set last season.
They’ve yet to break last year’s record for 3-point attempts in a season, because they’re shooting better from distance this year, but if they stay on their current pace they’ll get it before the year is done.