Harrison Barnes’ Late Heroics Not Enough in Loss to Sixers

DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 28: Dario Saric
DALLAS, TX - OCTOBER 28: Dario Saric /

In a battle between two Conference bottom dwellers, the Mavericks’ valiant effort came up just short against the Simmons-led Sixers.

Back. Iron.

Yogi Ferrell had the opportunity to send the game to overtime but was too strong on the first of two free throws. Nerlens Noel’s tip in attempt on the second miss didn’t even graze the rim and the Mavericks fell 112-110 on Saturday night.

Harrison Barnes did his part in keeping the Mavericks close, especially in the fourth quarter. The Mavericks leading scorer drained seven threes on the night, including two clutch treys to twice bring the Mavs within one possession of the lead. Unfortunately, it was too little too late.

Aside from Harrison’s 25, Wes Matthews had another good outing with 19 points on just nine shots. However, the Mavericks hot shooting (51.4% from the field, 47.5% from distance) was matched by the Sixers (49.4%/45.7%) in a high-octane game.

Rookie sensation Ben Simmons spearheaded the Sixers with 23 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Joel Embiid also posted 23 points on 8-19 shooting. The versatile big man canned three three-pointers and took advantage of a major mismatch down the stretch. With 15.6 seconds remaining, Embiid overpowered a hapless Barnes in the post to lay in a crucial bucket.

Despite the nightmarish matchup, Dallas fought tooth and nail for most of the night. In fact, the Mavericks might’ve pulled out the victory had they not shot themselves in the foot with 17 turnovers. Dennis Smith Jr. was the primary culprit with 6 alone, but Mavs fans will take the good with the bad as the rookie point guard continues to adapt to the NBA game.

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Smith Jr. ended the night with 12 points, eight assists and a highlight reel and-one in the third. Blowing past TJ McConnell, Dennis drew contact with Amir Johnson, hung in the air and double clutched the finish to set up a three-point play.

Looking Ahead

With Ben Simmons racing out front as the Rookie of the Year favorite, Dennis Smith Jr. has a lot of ground to make up. However, it will be a blast to watch our point guard phenom improve as the season goes on.

Nerlens Noel once again saw limited court time (4 points/4 rebounds in 20 minutes) as he played against his former club. It will unfortunately be a situation worth monitoring for the foreseeable future.

Next: Embiid, Simmons Soak in First Dirk Nowitzki Experience

The Mavericks next opportunity to hang one in the win column will be on Wednesday at Utah. Tip-off is at 8pm CDT.