Editor’s note: Our apologies for not posting this recap last night — we had a staff miscommunication. Hope you were all able to discuss in the game thread or elsewhere!
After securing a key draft position loss against the Kings, the Mavericks amped up on the second half of a back to back and played all their regulars against the Clippers. It didn’t matter - they never led at any point in the game.
Sometimes you can drop the fancy stats and just go to the simple arithmetic. The Mavs have one guy who is sort of a star and the Clippers have three, including a couple superstars, and a couple other guys who are really good, too. It didn’t help that Clippers came out storming by making their first six shots and then turning the three-point line into a free throw line in the first half.
The Mavs’ leading scorer was their budding star: Harrison Barnes put up 15 points. He was backed up by Yogi Ferrell and J.J. Barea with 14 each. Dirk Nowitzki came back after taking a game off and looked about as you might expect, given the opponent and his right Achilles injury.
Nerlens Noel, who has a bright future and has a lot to offer in many ways, was caught in a tough matchup. He had a stinging -22 plus-minus as he struggled his way to six points and four rebounds in 22 minutes. Noel’s stringy frame is just not going to be able to take on DeAndre Jordan’s 270 pounds of rebounding muscle head-on.
On the other hand, the stars on Clippers played like the stars they are. Blake Griffin led the way with 32 points on 14 shots and also dished out six assists. The rest of their guys showed up, too. Jordan took advantage of the Mavs inside and put up 20 rebounds. Chris Paul put up 22/11 and did typical Point God things while J.J. Reddick scored 25, including going 5/8 from beyond the arch.
That is the NBA in this era of multiple superstars on contending teams: not much you can do about it on certain nights. For the Mavs, it was good to see the young guys keep battling despite the thumping in the first quarter.
This and that their draft mission remain uninterrupted.