Maybe it was just for one night, but it sure was fun.
The Mavericks were able to finally perform in the clutch on Tuesday night; scoring a few late baskets to put away the red-hot, Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors 98-93.
Dallas went to the veteran J.J. Barea for buckets down the stretch and he did not disappoint. The Mavs were miserable on offense in the fourth quarter, scoring just 13 points in the entire frame, but they got baskets from the “Streakin’ Puerto Rican” late to finish off the lingering Raptors. The dagger came with just over 10 seconds left on a driving, reverse layup by Barea, who finished with a team-high 20 points off the bench.
— SWM (@sportswm) December 27, 2017
It was also a big night for the Mavericks’ Wurzburg, Germany natives. Rookie Maxi Kleber finished with 15 points, 8 rebounds and an astonishing 5 blocks on the night. He’s now averaging over 8 points per game over the last ten games. The original Wurzburg-native, Dirk Nowitzki, continued to show his efficient scoring side with an 18 point, 7 rebound performance on 8-13 shooting. The 39-year-old is now averaging 15.7 points per game over the last seven games, well above his 11.8 points per game for the season.
The Raptors were led by 23 points from their 3 year/$100 million point guard Kyle Lowry. He was virtually deserted by his backcourt partner as All-Star guard DeMar Derozan scored only 8 points with a 3-16 shooting line.
Comparing the members of the 2017 rookie class: Dennis Smith Jr. had an up and down night with an 8 point, 5 rebound, 4 assist performance but only shot 3-14 from the floor. On the plus side, he only had one turnover in 27 minutes. O.G. Anuoby had a small impact on the game with no points on only two shots in just 20 minutes.
The victory was the tenth of the year for Dallas. At 10-25, they have some impressive wins on their resume with victories over the likes of the Raptors, Pistons, Bucks, Nuggets, Thunder, Wizards and Spurs (all playoff teams). On the flip side, they’ve dropped stinkers to the likes of the Hawks (twice, the team with the worst record in the NBA…), Kings, Nets, Suns and Clippers. Who knows what to expect out of this team these days…
The Mavs have a quick turnaround and face the improved Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis on Wednesday night at 6.
Stay tuned to Dallas Sports Fanatic for more Mavs updates and news.
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