Dallas Mavericks

Mavericks, Yogi stun Cavaliers for back-to-back shockers over NBA royalty

Dallas Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell (11) jumps past Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) and forward Richard Jefferson (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Dallas. Dallas won 104-97.
Dallas Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell (11) jumps past Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) and forward Richard Jefferson (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Dallas. Dallas won 104-97. AP

This is why the Dallas Mavericks bristled at the silly notion of fans who wanted them to start tanking games to improve their position in next summer’s NBA Draft.

On Sunday, the Mavs shocked the NBA system when they went to San Antonio and upset the highly touted Spurs. The very next day, the system completely overloaded as the Mavs stunned the defending NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, prevailing 104-97 on Monday night at American Airlines Center.

“This was two really gritty performances,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “[Sunday] night we got down 15 in the first half and really had to claw back.

“[Monday] we were playing even or in front most of the night, and they made runs and we had answers. So it was a great two days, a great two nights, and I’m really happy for the guys with the things that we’ve gone through this year.”

It was the seventh win in the last 10 games for the rejuvenated Mavs, who improved to 18-30. Meanwhile, since Christmas, both the Mavs and the Cavs amazingly have each posted a 9-9 record.

He’s on pace to have one of the greatest 10 days of all time.

Mavericks forward Harrison Barnes, on Yogi Ferrell

With rookie Yogi Ferrell providing a spark for the second straight night, the Mavs went toe-to-toe with the defending champs and didn’t blink. Signed to a 10-day contract on Saturday, Ferrell finished with 19 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists in 38 minutes.

Ferrell drew a hooking charge call from Kyrie Irving, and the Mavs turned that into a 3-pointer by Seth Curry to boost their lead to 97-83 with 6:16 remaining. Shortly thereafter, Ferrell drilled a 3-pointer, forced a turnover, and then wowed the crowd when he drove in for a left-handed scoop shot that put the Mavs ahead 102-85.

“He’s on pace to have one of the greatest 10 days of all time,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “He’s just playing with so much heart, and offensively and defensively, he’s had some tough matchups, but he’s brought it every single night and the guy’s giving us a chance.”

I’m on cloud nine right now. We just got two very great back-to-back wins, so I am feeling pretty good.

Mavericks guard Yogi Ferrell

Ferrell received plenty of help from his teammates. Barnes contributed 24 points and a season-high 11 rebounds, Wesley Matthews scored 21 points, Curry had 16 and Dwight Powell came off the bench to collect 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.

The win helped the Mavs avenge their most embarrassing loss of the season — a 128-90 spanking in Cleveland on Nov. 25. This also was the first time the Mavs have won a game LeBron James has played in since they defeated Miami in the 2011 Finals, when James was with the Heat.

“We’ve grown a lot,” Barnes said. “I think lately we’ve been playing with some good fight.

“We haven’t always had the results we wanted, but tonight was a great group effort and we were able to get it done.”

The Mavs got it done despite 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists from James, and 18 points, five rebounds and five assists from Irving.

38 Points, the margin of victory for the Cavaliers over the Mavericks on Nov. 25 in Cleveland

With Curry scoring seven points, the Mavs trailed 29-26 after the first quarter. But Barnes tossed in eight second-quarter points and the Mavs went into the dressing room nursing a 55-50 lead.

Dallas kept up the pressure in the third quarter when Ferrell slithered through the lane and floated one in from close range as the Mavs led 81-70 entering the final quarter. The Mavs then staved off three 3-pointers from Channing Frye and kept the Cavs at bay.

“I’m on cloud nine right now,” Ferrell said. “We just got two very great back-to-back wins, so I am feeling pretty good.

“I am living the dream right now. I couldn’t be doing it with a better group of guys. I love this place.”

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice

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Star Telegram sports columnist Mac Engel and NBA/Dallas Mavs writer Dwain Price discuss the sorry state of the Mavs (video by Mac Engel/Star-Telegram).

Cleveland

29

21

20

27

97

Dallas

26

29

26

23

104

Cleveland

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

James

37:17

9-19

4-8

9

9

0

23

Jefferson

24:40

4-5

0-0

3

0

3

11

Thompson

25:30

0-0

0-0

8

0

3

0

Irving

32:50

7-21

3-3

5

5

3

18

Shumpert

30:13

1-6

5-6

3

0

1

8

McRae

29:33

5-9

0-0

2

0

3

11

Korver

25:37

1-2

1-2

3

1

3

4

Frye

19:15

4-8

2-2

7

0

1

13

Liggins

7:46

1-2

0-0

1

1

0

2

Felder

4:00

2-2

0-0

0

1

0

4

Jones

3:19

1-1

0-0

0

0

0

3

Totals

240

35-75

15-21

41

17

17

97

Percentages: FG .467, FT .714. 3-Point Goals: 12-32, .375 (Jefferson 3-3, Frye 3-6, Jones 1-1, Korver 1-2, McRae 1-3, Shumpert 1-3, James 1-6, Irving 1-8). Team Rebounds: 6. Team Turnovers: 17 (0 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Frye 2, Jefferson). Turnovers: 17 (Irving 6, James 5, Frye 2, Korver 2, McRae, Thompson). Steals: 6 (Irving 2, James 2, Felder, Liggins). Technical Fouls: Defensive three second, 4:21 first; team, 4:21 first.

Dallas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Barnes

36:46

9-16

6-7

11

3

2

24

Nowitzki

24:07

3-4

0-0

6

1

1

8

Curry

37:41

7-17

0-0

5

4

1

16

Ferrell

37:37

7-15

2-2

5

3

2

19

Matthews

41:21

6-16

7-7

4

2

3

21

Powell

28:41

6-11

2-2

8

0

3

14

Harris

18:48

1-5

0-0

1

5

5

2

Finney-Smith

8:46

0-1

0-0

1

1

0

0

Anderson

2:31

0-1

0-0

1

0

0

0

Brussino

1:54

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Mejri

1:48

0-0

0-0

0

0

0

0

Totals

240

39-86

17-18

42

19

17

104

Percentages: FG .453, FT .944. 3-Point Goals: 9-32, .281 (Ferrell 3-6, Nowitzki 2-2, Curry 2-6, Matthews 2-9, Anderson 0-1, Finney-Smith 0-1, Barnes 0-2, Powell 0-2, Harris 0-3). Team Rebounds: 4. Team Turnovers: 9 (0 PTS). Blocked Shots: 2 (Powell 2). Turnovers: 9 (Barnes 3, Ferrell 2, Nowitzki 2, Anderson, Harris). Steals: 11 (Ferrell 4, Finney-Smith 2, Powell 2, Barnes, Harris, Nowitzki).

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