Note: This post originally appeared on MavsFanatic.com
DALLAS, TX—“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
On Star Wars Night at the American Airlines Center, the Dallas Mavericks did just what the Yoda ordered, defeating the Indiana Pacers 111-103, in a bounce back performance to conclude the last game of their four-game homestand.
After an embarrassing 38-point, home loss to the Sacramento Kings that prompted a 35-minute postgame film session by head coach Rick Carlisle on Wednesday night, the Mavericks played with a better “competitive spirit” vs the Pacers (11-12).
“You know, guys have pride,” Carlisle said. “When you get blasted by 31 at home, we came back with a great effort,”
Dallas was once playing once again without forward Dirk Nowitzki (right Achilles), center Andrew Bogut (right knee hyperextension), and point guard J.J. Barea (left calf strain) who all sat out with injuries, but they got a much needed return from Seth Curry (sprained right knee) who missed the previous four contests. Curry provided some much need energy and manpower off the Mavericks’ bench.
Headed into the second quarter, the Pacers led by just two points despite 13 first quarter points from Paul George. Coming into tonight’s contest, the Mavs gameplay was likely centered around stopping the offensively talented George (20.7 PPG), but it was Dallas native. C.J. Miles who played the role of x-factor giving the Dallas’ perimeter defense fits with four of the Pacers ten made three-point field goals in the first half.
Miles finished the game with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from downtown.
George led the Pacers with 22 points while grabbing 7 rebounds. Euless Trinity High School product Myles Turner added 18 points, but had just 7 rebounds after a career-high 16 rebounds in the teams meeting on October 26.
Looking to end their losing skid, Dallas held former Mavericks guard Monta Ellis to 0-of-5 from the floor. The Mavs took care of the ball better, committing just 9 turnovers, after committing 23 against Kings.
“They (Pacers) average forcing 16 (turnovers) and scoring 19 points,” Carlisle said. “We had nine turnovers for 10 points. That’s the biggest key of the game.”
The Mavs used a 12-2 run to close the Pacers’ lead to just 54-52 going into the recess behind 14 first half points from Wesley Matthews. He led the injury-plagued Mavericks in scoring with a season-high 26 points.
After struggling on the offensive end during Wednesday night’s blowout loss (5-16 FGs, 11 points) by his standards this season, Harrison Barnes was poised from the start of the night to snap the Mavs two-game losing streak. He got back on track tonight going 10-of-17 from the floor, finishing with 25 points while grabbing 8 rebounds.
“A lot of times it’s easy to get discouraged, easy to let your spirit get down when you lose this many games,” Barnes said. “The fight that he brings every day is just huge for us.”
The Mavs had five players finish in double figures in scoring, using a 22-4 run over two quarters that helped turn an eight-point deficit into 10-point lead with 7:31 left in the third quarter. The Mavs would lead the rest of the game.
“We had a lot of guys play great,“ Carlisle said. “Starting with (Wesley) Matthews got us going. (Deron) Williams had a great floor game and made key shots.“
The Mavs have split the season series with the Pacers this season, after falling 130-121 in overtime of the 2016-17 NBA Regular Season Opener at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
The Mavericks have now sold out 607 consecutive regular-season home games, which is an NBA-best sellout streak.
Rookie forward Dorian Finney-Smith recorded career highs of 12 points (5-8 FGs, 2-4 3FGs) and an eight rebounds in 33 minutes.
The Mavericks now head south to face the Houston Rockets on the second night of a back-to-back, who are coming off of a 102-99 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Tomorrow night’s game will be broadcast at 7:00 pm CT on Fox Sports Southwest.
Until then, MFFLs… “Remember…the Force will be with you, always.”
Related: Photos: Mavericks vs Pacers