INDIANAPOLIS — After taking down the hottest team in the NBA with a gritty performance at home Tuesday night, the Dallas Mavericks believe they now travel with plenty of momentum while beginning a daunting three-game road trip.
Hosting a Toronto Raptors team that had won six straight and 12 of its previous 13 games overall, the Mavericks (10-25) relied on the defensive end of the floor while capturing a 98-93 victory Tuesday. Led by backup point guard J.J. Barea’s 20 points off the bench on 9-of-18 shooting, the Mavs outshot the Raptors for the game, 42.6 percent to 33.7 percent. The Mavericks added a 56-53 rebounding edge, scoring 13 points off Toronto’s 12 turnovers to overcome their own 14 giveaways. Perhaps more importantly, the Dallas defense held perennial All-Star DeMar DeRozan to just eight points on 3-of-16 shooting in the win. Barea now says the Mavs hope to have the same defensive success Wednesday night while concluding a back-to-back and beginning their road trip against the Indiana Pacers.
“Our offense was moving. The pace was running high, and we were getting stops. We were able to score, we were moving the ball and attacking the paint, and it all started with us getting stops,” Barea said after the win. “The defense was great, especially [Wesley Matthews] on DeRozan all night. I think everybody was rebounding, so I knew if we got one or two buckets that was game. I’m glad I was able to knock that down, and we’ll got from there.”
Like the Mavericks, the Pacers (19-15) will be on the second night of a back-to-back Wednesday. However, after falling to a 107-83 road loss Tuesday night in Detroit, the Pacers will be eager to return to their home floor.
The Pacers trailed 40-19 after the first quarter of that game, scoring a season-low number of points in the loss. That said, the Mavs expect the Pacers to come out reenergized in front of their hometown fans. And according to Matthews, the Mavericks will quickly have to move on from Tuesday’s victory in order to find success away from home.
“Well, we’ve got to move on to the next one. We’ve had good wins before and we had letdowns immediately after, so we can’t get too high after this one,” Matthews explained. “We feel good about it, and hopefully it propels us and carries us into an explosive Indiana team on the road. These next couple of games on the road won’t be easy, but hopefully we can build off of this.”
Note: The Mavericks will now head to Indiana to complete their back-to-back Wednesday night against the Pacers. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270.
The Mavs return to their home floor next Wednesday night at American Airlines Center against the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Golden State leads the season series 2-0. The game will tip off at 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest and 103.3 FM ESPN. The game will also air in Spanish on KFLC AM 1270. Tickets are still available and can be purchased by visiting Mavs.com, or by calling (214) 747-MAVS.
Dorian Finney-Smith (left knee quadriceps tendinitis) — out
Seth Curry (stress reaction, left tibia) — out
Josh McRoberts (lower extremity injury) — out
Nerlens Noel (left thumb surgery) — out
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