The Dallas Mavericks blew out the Washington Wizards on Monday night, 98-75, sweeping the season series between the two teams in impressive fashion. The Mavs recorded their 16th win of the season behind some stellar defensive play, along with balanced scoring nights from Harrison Barnes (20 points), Dennis Smith Jr. (17), Wesley Matthews (14) and Yogi Ferrell (14). As nice as this win was though, the Mavs still remain eight games back of that final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Here’s three things we learned from tonight’s game.
Dennis Smith Jr. absolutely must be in the Dunk Contest
Just in case you still had any doubts, I present to you this absolutely beautiful 360-dunk. Enjoy.
And even though this play wasn’t a dunk, Smith’s hang time was just ridiculous. This kid literally floats through the air, and it’s incredibly fun to watch on a nightly basis.
Whoever is in charge of sending out those Dunk Contest invites needs to have Smith’s already stamped and ready to be delivered.
The Mavs really love playing the Wizards
Not much has gone right this season for the Mavs, but one thing that has, is getting two quality wins over a talented Wizards team that features guys like John Wall, Bradley Beal and Otto Porter Jr. In the first matchup, the Mavs won in Washington, 113-99 behind Smith’s 22 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds. Smith’s stats weren’t that eye-popping tonight (he scored 17 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds), but he still played a good game and continued to be aggressive every chance he got.
Wesley Matthews also really loves playing the Wizards. In the first meeting, Matthews scoring 14 points while shooting an efficient 4-of-7 from deep. This time around, Matthews put up 14 points again, while shooting 4-of-8 from the three point line.
Can we please play the Wizards every game?
Dallas’ defense absolutely smothered Washington
The Mavs held the Wizards to a very impressive 75 points tonight. That was the lowest point total of any Mavs opponent this season. It almost seems unreal for a team as talented as the Wizards to only score that many points, but the Mavs were locked in all night long, holding Washington to 30-percent shooting from the field. Smith, Matthews and Ferrell were especially active, as all three of them recorded six steals all together (two each). If Dallas could put together consistent efforts like this more often, they’d be preparing for a playoff run instead of watching NBA draft boards.
The Mavs next game will be played at home against the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.