Dallas Mavericks

Bounced from playoff race, Mavericks show spirit in edging young Bucks

Ferrell performed well in surprising win over the Bucks

Mavs point guard Yogi Ferrell had 13 points and five assists in 31 minutes during Sunday's victory over the Milwaukee Bucks
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Mavs point guard Yogi Ferrell had 13 points and five assists in 31 minutes during Sunday's victory over the Milwaukee Bucks

It sure was difficult to tell on Sunday that the Dallas Mavericks were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Saturday.

Playing at the Bradley Center with tremendous enthusiasm against a young, tough Milwaukee Bucks team, the Mavs pieced together four impressive quarters and managed to get out of town with a surprising 109-105 victory.

While the win did absolutely nothing to improve the Mavs’ position in next month’s Draft Lottery, it did snap a four-game losing streak and increased their record to 32-44. It also proved that the Mavs remained professional and packed their pride in their gym bags when they showed up on Sunday afternoon.

“It’s tough, but every game that you play builds habits,” forward Harrison Barnes said. “You don’t want to try to throw in the towel and say, ‘Let’s just start experimenting and start playing outside of ourselves.’

“Look, if we have six games left let’s try to finish out the season, still try to play the right way and, like I said, build for next season.”

Harrison Barnes scored 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter as the Mavs surprised some folks with their 109-105 victory in Milwaukee

Barnes and his teammates played Sunday like a playoff berth was riding on the outcome. The only team playing better than Milwaukee over the previous 10 games was Golden State, and the Mavs reached down and beat the Bucks in their own back yard.

With Barnes scoring 15 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, the Mavs played like the team everyone thought they would be the whole season.

You don’t want to try to throw in the towel and say, ‘Let’s just start experimenting and start playing outside of ourselves.’ Look, if we have six games left let’s try to finish out the season, still try to play the right way and, like I said, build for next season.

Mavs forward Harrison Barnes

“Look, just because we were officially out of the playoffs as of last night, we were pretty much out of it a while ago,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “But we’re going to keep playing.

“That’s the kind of guys we have.”

The Mavs won despite Dirk Nowitzki sitting out the final 10:12 after he sustained a sore right Achilles. However, Barnes took over, scoring nine consecutive points at one point and going a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter.

“The biggest reason was we got into the bonus early,” Barnes said. “And that gave us some room knowing that we could be aggressive, forcing (the referees) to call the whistle and try to get to the free-throw line.”

Barnes also nailed a 3-pointer that gave the Mavs a 104-96 lead with 3:16 ledt. And his long gut-check jumper from the left side put Dallas ahead 108-103 with only 20.1 seconds remaining.

After Giannis Antetokounmpo (31 points, 16 rebounds, nine assists, four steals, two blocks) scored to make it a one possession game, Yogi Ferrell split a pair of free throws with 15.1 seconds to account for the game’s final point.

That was a good win against a team that’s been playing really, really well lately. And that was a fun game to watch at the end.

Dirk Nowitzki

“(Dirk was) experiencing some mild pain in that right Achilles, so we didn’t want to mess around, so we got him out of there,” Carlisle said. “So basically (Barnes) played more minutes than I wanted him to.

“But down the stretch he was getting fouled, he had the big three on the right side, the big step-back shot really that was the game closer, and he played great defense the whole night.”

Nowitzki, who tallied 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, buried a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter, which ended with the Mavs nursing a 31-28 lead. The game was tied at 53-all at intermission, and Milwaukee led 78-75 after three quarters.

However, the Mavs, who shot 52.1 percent from the field and are a perfect 5-0 in daytime games this season, remained composed in beating a 40-37 Milwaukee team that’s seeded fifth in the Eastern Conference.

“I know Dirk’s minutes were cut back a little bit today, but I thought when he was in he played well, he made shots,” said Barnes, who played 39 minutes. “I know the last loss (Friday in Memphis) hurt him just as much as anybody else, so he took it upon himself to get us off to a good start.”

Nowitzki said he doesn’t know yet if he’ll be able to play in Tuesday’s game in Sacramento.

“We’ve got a long flight today and I’ll see how it is tomorrow, but the guys did a great job there pulling it out there in the fourth,” Nowitzki said. “They battled, competed hard, made big shots, big plays.

“That was a good win against a team that’s been playing really, really well lately. And that was a fun game to watch at the end.”

Former Mavs guard Jason Terry has been busy fitting in with his younger Milwaukee Bucks teammates

Dwain Price: 817-390-7760, @dwainprice

Dallas

31

22

22

34

109

Milwaukee

28

25

25

27

105

Dallas

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Barnes

38:54

9-13

10-10

2

0

2

31

Fnny-Smth

16:23

0-4

0-0

3

1

1

0

Nowitzki

25:50

7-11

0-0

5

1

1

17

Ferrell

30:32

4-8

3-4

4

5

2

13

Matthews

34:07

3-10

0-0

1

6

2

8

Barea

23:07

7-11

0-0

2

6

1

17

Harris

22:44

1-5

4-4

3

3

3

6

Noel

19:17

3-4

0-0

3

2

4

6

Brussino

17:12

2-4

2-2

3

1

2

7

Mejri

7:39

1-1

0-0

3

0

0

2

Powell

4:15

1-2

0-0

1

0

0

2

Totals

240

38-73

19-20

30

25

18

109

Percentages: FG .521, FT .950. 3-Point Goals: 14-36, .389 (Barea 3-4, Barnes 3-5, Nowitzki 3-6, Ferrell 2-4, Matthews 2-9, Brussino 1-2, Harris 0-2, Finney-Smith 0-4). Team Rebounds: 5. Team Turnovers: 13 (0 PTS). Blocked Shots: 1 (Nowitzki). Turnovers: 13 (Barea 5, Barnes 3, Ferrell, Finney-Smith, Harris, Matthews, Powell). Steals: 7 (Noel 3, Harris 2, Barnes, Ferrell).

Milwaukee

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Antetknmpo

39:32

10-18

11-12

15

9

2

31

Maker

19:53

5-7

0-0

1

0

2

11

Snell

33:21

4-8

0-0

1

1

1

12

Dellavdva

34:23

6-11

0-0

0

6

2

14

Middleton

37:06

5-15

2-2

5

4

5

13

Monroe

23:52

2-2

2-4

6

1

4

6

Terry

20:12

2-4

0-0

0

2

1

6

Payton

8:43

2-3

0-0

1

0

0

5

Beasley

7:16

1-3

0-0

1

0

3

2

Teletovic

6:33

1-3

0-0

0

1

0

3

Vaughn

4:54

1-2

0-0

0

1

0

2

Hawes

4:15

0-1

0-0

3

0

0

0

Totals

240

39-77

15-18

33

25

20

105

Percentages: FG .506, FT .833. 3-Point Goals: 12-34, .353 (Snell 4-7, Terry 2-4, Dellavedova 2-5, Maker 1-1, Payton 1-2, Teletovic 1-3, Middleton 1-8, Vaughn 0-1, Antetokounmpo 0-3). Team Rebounds: 9. Team Turnovers: 13 (0 PTS). Blocked Shots: 3 (Antetokounmpo 2, Beasley). Turnovers: 13 (Antetokounmpo 5, Payton 2, Snell 2, Beasley, Dellavedova, Hawes, Terry). Steals: 9 (Antetokounmpo 4, Dellavedova, Middleton, Monroe, Snell, Vaughn). Officials—Aaron Smith, Sean Wright, David Guthrie

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