The Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers will matchup for the final time this season tonight. The Lakers currently lead the season series 2-1 and the first two games were thrillers. Dallas lost the first one at home, 107-101, in overtime. The second game was also played at American Airlines Center, as the Mavs won a high scoring affair, 130-123 (yes, that was in regulation). The most recent game was not as compelling, as the Lakers cruised to a 124-102 win behind a Julius Randle triple-double. Neither of these teams have much to play for at this point, being that both have been eliminated from playoff contention. Regardless, we’ll hope for, at least, a fun game in Los Angeles.
Here’s three things to watch for tonight.
More Dennis Smith Jr. to Johnathan Motley, please
Being that the Mavs only had eleven active players against the Sacramento Kings last night, we finally got to see Jonathan Motley get some real playing time in this final stretch of the season. He still didn’t play a lot of minutes, but the minutes he did play were meaningful, not just garbage time play. As a result, we were able to witness a really beautiful pass from Dennis Smith Jr. to Motley for the slam.
I don’t know what the future holds for Motley with the Mavs, but I hope he sticks around for a while as a high-quality backup big.
Julius Randle is probably going to ball out again
Against the Mavs this season, Randle, an upcoming restricted free agent, has put up some terrific numbers. He’s averaging 22.3 points per game (on 65-percent shooting), 12.0 rebound per game and 6.3 assists per game. In his last matchup with Dallas he posted a triple-double as the Lakers went on to blow out the Mavs. Chances are pretty good that Randle will continue to pour it on the Mavs tonight as well. No matter how good Randle’s stats end up looking tonight though, we will never forget what Maxi Kleber did to him earlier this season.
I really liked Randle man. It’s a shame his career ended tonight. pic.twitter.com/3wGPeacIKY— Dalton Trigg (@dalton_trigg) February 11, 2018
Aaron Harrison performance watch
Yes, it’s that time of the season, especially when your team is lottery bound. Nobody is expecting Andrew Harrison to go out there and put up massive numbers on his 10-day contract, but any kind of meaningful production for him right now is important when it comes to whether or not he’ll be around much longer. In his first ever career start against the Kings last night, Harrison finished with 10 points (3-of-8 shooting), four rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes of play. That’s not eye-popping by any means, but Harrison was a more than capable scorer in the G-League so when given the opportunity he has the chance to maybe light it up. We’ll have to see if his performances will be enough to earn him a roster spot for the rest of this season. This game against the Lakers should be another good opportunity for him.
How to watch
The Mavs and Lakers will tipoff around 9:30 p.m. central. The game can be watched on FSSW and NBA League Pass.