DALLAS, TX—Harrison Barnes led the Dallas Mavericks with 21 points and 7 rebounds en route to the team’s fourth straight win, defeating the Brooklyn Nets 105-96.
With center Brook Lopez out with a sprained ankle, it what was supposed to be a cakewalk to victory against the NBA-worst Nets (11-53), but instead the Mavericks (28-36) fell behind by as much 9 points in the first half.
The Mavs used an 8-0 run early in the second quarter to put themselves back into game highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers from Dorian Finney-Smith and Dirk Nowitzki. Dallas took their first lead of the night on a 17-foot step-back jumper from Yogi Ferrell to put the themselves up one point with 2:46 left in the second quarter.
Ferrell finished with 17 points in the battle of Yogimania vs. Linsanitiy. Nets guard Jeremy Lin finished with18 points.
“Mr. 30K” himself, Dirk Nowitzki, followed up his 25-point performance on Tuesday night when he reached 30,000 career points, with a dud to begin the game. He started the game just 0-for-5 from the field, but eventually found his groove late in the second half finishing the game with 13 points, including a string of four straight made baskets.
The Nets took a 49-46 lead headed into halftime.
“We struggled because they were playing well and they were playing harder than us,” head coach Rick Carlisle said. “At halftime we talked about it and I thought we had a better second half.”
Energized by the return of guard J.J. Barea off the bench, the Mavs used an 8-0 run early in the third quarter to tie the game at 56.
“The rhythm especially in the second half, “Barea said. “I was able to give my team a little plus and we got a win, so it’s good to be back and get a win and help my teammates out.”
Barea finished with 9 points and 3 assists playing in his first contest since January 10 while recovering from a nagging left calf injury that’s limited him to just 18 games this season.
Trailing by one point, Wesley Matthews found Seth Curry on a drive to the basket for a three-pointer while drawing a drawing a foul to complete an impressive four-point play.
Curry continued to show his improved three-point shooting form, going 3-of-4 from behind the three-point arc, finishing with 18 points to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. The Mavs are 17-9 in games with Curry starts.
Salah Mejri filled in adequately, playing with an increased role with Nerlens Noel out with a sore left knee. Rick Carlisle said Noel’s injury is not considered to be serious and he will be re-evaluated on Saturday.
A Barnes’ three-pointer gave the Mavs their first double-digit lead as part of a 13-1 run with 4:45 left in the game to open up a 15-point advantage on their way to victory.
“You know, we feel like we’re playing well,” Barnes said. “In the first half, we had to pick up our intensity a little bit and match what they were doing. But once we got into our groove, we were playing well.
This Mavericks’ fourth victory equals their longest winning streak of the season. The two teams will play their second and final game against each other in just nine days in Brooklyn. Mavs have now won 17 of their last 26 games. The Mavs remain just 1.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Denver Nuggets/Portland Trail Blazers.
For the Mavs, it was the Dallas debut of NBA D-League scoring sensation Manny Harris. Coming off a 31 point performance with the Texas Legends on Thursday night, Harris recorded 2 minutes of action, finishing with 0 points on 0-for-2 from the field, in the second day of his 10-day contract with the Mavs. Dallas also signed forward Jarrod Uthoff to a 10-day contract.
Harris averaged 26.4 points and 7.6 rebounds 36 games while Uthoff averaged 10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 23.9 minutes per contest for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
The Mavs will host the Phoenix Suns (21-44) at the AAC tomorrow night on the second night of a back to back.