Dallas Mavericks: J.J. Barea scores 24 points as Puerto Rico falls

Dallas Mavericks J.J. Barea (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks J.J. Barea (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea scored a game-high 24 points, but it was not enough as Puerto Rico lost to Argentina in a 2019 World Cup qualifier.

Dallas Mavericks reserve ball handler J.J. Barea faced an important game on Sept. 17.  Barea is playing for his country and attempting to qualify them for the 2019 FIBA World Cup.  Only three teams are guaranteed qualifications and Puerto Rico is currently in third place.

The other issue is the four remaining qualifiers take place during the Mavs season meaning Barea, the team’s best player, will likely not be available.  Puerto Rico had five wins in seven contests heading into Monday’s game but faced a one-loss Argentina squad.  A victory would almost secure qualification for Puerto Rico, but a loss would put a lot of pressure on them in the final four games.

Let us take a look at what happened in the contest and how J.J. Barea performed.

Puerto Rico struggles

Puerto Rico played a strong first quarter, but a massive 36 point second period allowed Argentina to take a commanding lead.  They ultimately went on to defeat Puerto Rico 106-84 on Sept. 17.

Must Read. 3 challenges facing Coach Carlisle this season

Barea had a strong game, though.  He only played 26 minutes because of the nature of the contest.  Barea still produced a game-high 24 points with five assists, one rebound, and a steal.  He committed five turnovers but shot the ball well.  JJ was seven of 14 from the field, three of eight from 3-point range, and sank seven of his eight free throw attempts.

What’s next?

Puerto Rico is now five and three tied along with Uruguay for third place.  The remaining four qualifiers will be massive including head-to-head matchups between the two teams on Nov. 29 and Feb. 25.  Barea will likely miss the remaining qualification games but would be available if Puerto Rico advances to the World Cup.

Final thoughts

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea netted 24 points, but it was not enough as Puerto Rico lost against Argentina on Monday.  They split a pair of games in this portion of 2019 World Cup qualifying.

Barea should be returning to Dallas in the coming days.  The Mavs kick off training camp with media day on Sept. 21 and then the season is finally back.  Stay tuned.

Next. Grading the Mavs entire 2018 offseason

The Smoking Cuban is the stop for diehard Dallas Mavericks fans to find the opinions and analysis that they desire, so please check back with us often to never miss a moment.  Thank you for reading.