Dallas Mavericks Snag Win to Finish Off 2017 in Style
By Evan Siegel
The Mavs finished off 2017 in the best way possible, picking up a nail-biting win over Western Conference rival, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Mavs picked up their fourth straight win of the season Sunday night, taking down the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-113 in a wire-to-wire thriller. The Mavs scored their 13th win of the season (and fourth consecutive), and further narrowed the gap between themselves and the Pelicans for the last playoff spot in the West.
Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes led the way for the Mavs offensively. In a classic West-style shootout, the Mavs had to have one of their best offensive outputs of the season to outscore the high-powered offense of the Thunder.
Dennis Smith Jr. had one of his best games as a pro, notching 19 points and 6 assists to follow up his first career triple-double from the last game. He scored the last 11 points for the team as the Mavs needed every one of them along the way.
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Harrison Barnes was the top man for the Mavs on the evening, as he scored 24 points while snaring 4 rebounds and dishing out a pair of assists in 34 minutes. Wesley Matthews led the Mavs in minutes as he so often does, with 36 more.
Dennis Smith Jr. finally got his chance in crunch time. The Mavs had been in several tight games earlier this season and had been using their veteran point guards to finish out crunch time. Rick Carlisle did not hesitate to put the ball in Smith’s hands, who was extremely clutch for the Mavericks down the stretch.
Dirk Nowitzki quietly added another 13 points to his 30,000+ all-time total, while Devin Harris notched 9 of his own. All in all, the Mavs shot 52% from the field and canned 15 three-pointers to narrowly outscore the dynamic Thunder offense.
The Mavs are now riding the longest active winning streak in the NBA. Dennis Smith Jr. and Harrison Barnes are playing their best basketball of the season and will only continue to improve throughout the rest of the season.
Next: The 2017 Dallas Mavericks: A Year in Review
Dallas will get their first chance to continue the hot streak in 2018 back at home against the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors. That game will tip-off at 7:30 central time.