Dennis Smith Jr. won’t back down to Beal, Mavs beat Wizards 98-75
With eight minutes left in the third quarter, Dennis Smith Jr. and Wizards guard Bradley Beal got tangled up. Beal did not like it and started talking, prompting DSJ to go right up to him to see if he wanted to say it to his face. They had to be separated. A few minutes later, Smith Jr. made a 25-foot three pointer and proceeded to say a little something to Beal on the way down.
Bradley Beal was NOT happy with Dennis Smith, Jr. locking arms with him in the open court. pic.twitter.com/7vU1Ri0FNX
— NBC Sports Wizards (@NBCSWizards) January 23, 2018
Dennis Smith Jr. is a dog. He may be a rookie, but he is a dog. The exchange with Beal wasn’t his first of that kind this season, and it won’t be his last. He respects his opponents but isn’t going to back down to anyone. He isn’t afraid to get in their faces and let them know who they are dealing with. The confidence he walks around with is slowly but surely spilling onto the basketball court with each passing game. Not cocky, but without a doubt confident and ready. Tonight his attitude set the tone for the entire team and that’s why they won.
Dallas used their defensive intensity to take the lead with 10:48 left in the second quarter and held the lead the rest of the game. They went into half time up by 16, 53-37. When the Wizards got within 10 points in the third, the Mavs made consecutive three pointers to push the lead back up to 61-46. The Wizards never recovered after the Mavs answered the Washington’s third quarter push. The Mavericks dominate play continued into the fourth, where they held a 20 point lead for most of the quarter. It all happened because of their attitude and intensity. Dennis Smith Jr. didn’t back down to Bradley Beal. Salah Mejri was ejected later in the third quarter. J.J. Barea gave John Wall a piece of his mind after Barea ran him over shortly after Mejri’s ejection. Everyone was fired up and ready to go tonight, and it showed in the score.
Dallas held Washington to the least amount of points by their opponent all year with 75. Washington shot a paltry 30% from the field and 22% from three and 60% from the free thrown line. Their superstars John Wall and Bradley Beal scored 11 and 18 points respectively. Wall really struggled with his shot, he made 4 of 15 shots from the field and missed all 4 of his shots from beyond the arc. Beal wasn’t much better, shooting 4 for 14 from the field and 3 of 8 from three.
In addition to setting the tone for the game, Dennis Smith Jr. also set up his teammates. Dennis dished out 6 assists to go along with 17 points on 7-16 shooting and 3 rebounds. He had a spectacular 360 break away dunk that should make the NBA ask themselves why they haven’t sent him an invite to the Dunk Contest yet.
Dennis Smith Jr. with a very casual 360 dunk on a fast break. pic.twitter.com/6sGEy3JVVq
— Bobby Karalla (@bobbykaralla) January 23, 2018
Harrison Barnes had a nice bounce back game after his 8 point 10 rebound outing in a loss to Portland. Barnes led the Mavs in scoring and got himself a double double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. He shot 56% from the field, making 9 of 16 shots. Wesley Matthews finished third in the team in scoring with 14 points. 12 of those 14 points came off of three pointers. Matthews shot 50% from the three point line. Yogi Ferrell finished with 14 off the bench. Kyle Collinsworth earned himself 19 minutes and he surely impressed Coach Carlisle with his 4 point, 4 rebounds, 3 assist, 2 steal, and +17 stat line.
The 16-31 Mavs next game is against the 33-12 Rockets. Dallas hosts interstate rival Houston Wednesday night on ESPN at 7:00 central time.