The Dallas Mavericks (22-50) came into Thursday night’s home game against the Utah Jazz (41-31) having lost three consecutive games. The Jazz were just too much for the Mavs to handle tonight, and that losing trend continued, as Dallas dropped it’s fourth straight game with a 119-112 loss. The result of this contest clinched the Mavs’ 50th loss of the season, something that hasn’t happened in Dallas since the 1997-1998 season when the team finished with a 20-62 record.
Here’s three things we learned from the game tonight.
J.J. Barea continues to add to his career-best season
Whether we want him to or not (for potential NBA Draft positioning purposes), and whether it means anything at this point or not, Barea continues to put up career numbers for the Mavs this season. With Dennis Smith Jr. missing his third consecutive game due to an ankle injury, Barea took advantage of being a starter against the Jazz. In the first half alone, Barea put up 20 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field.
JOSE...JOSE, JOSE, JOSE...FOR THREE! That's 7 Mavs 3-pointers tonight! Meaning tomorrow (3/23) you get a free Jumbo Jack #Burger with large drink purchase at participating DFW @JackintheBox! #MFFL pic.twitter.com/e0TvmYb3QN— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) March 23, 2018
Barea cooled off a little bit in the second half of the game, finishing with 23 points (9-of-15 FG) and 8 assists. Regardless of how much meaning it holds this season, it’s pretty cool to see Barea, a Dallas fan-favorite, continue to defy the odds of his size limitations by carving out a pretty good career for himself.
That Donovan Mitchell guy is pretty good
For all the nice things I just said about Barea, I still wish Smith would’ve been able to play in this game so we could’ve seen an epic rookie point guard battle. Mitchell put up 26 points (11-of-22 FG), 5 rebounds and 4 assists against the Mavs tonight, which included a plethora of insane finishes around the rim.
As Mavs fans, we will always be biased when it comes to Smith vs. Mitchell. But as basketball fans, we are blessed for all the future battles we’re going to witness between those two players going forward.
Harrison Barnes was finally able to score the ball vs. the Jazz
In the two previous matchups this season between the Mavs and the Jazz, Barnes had only averaged 7.5 PPG, while shooting just north of 30-percent from the field. He had a much better showing in his third game against Utah, as he went on to put up 21 points (8-of-18 FG, 5-of-6 from deep), 4 rebounds and 2 assists.
For the season, Barnes is averaging 18.7 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 2 APG. He hasn’t been as efficient as he’d like to be, but Barnes has acknowledged earlier this season that playing the stretch-four spot really takes it out of his legs through the course of a game, which is surely leading to the slight dip in his percentages. Hopefully the Mavs will have a really successful offseason and acquire the amount of help needed to lesson Barnes’ load a little bit going into next season.
The Mavs will now turn their attention to Saturday night, when the Charlotte Hornets visit AAC for the only time this season.