The Brooklyn Nets hope to have a more complete lineup when they take on the Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday in the finale of a three-game road trip. The Nets split the first two games of the trip, falling 117-103 at Houston on Monday without three starters - DeMarre Carroll (illness), Rondae-Hollis Jefferson (ankle) and Allen Crabbe (back).
Brooklyn continued to chuck up a boatload of 3-pointers, making 10-of-39 attempts with eight different players taking multiple shots from beyond the arc. The Mavericks won three of four prior to falling 115-108 at San Antonio on Monday, spoiling a seven-point halftime advantage. Rookie Dennis Smith Jr. and Wesley Matthews led six players in double figures with 19 points apiece as Dallas asserted itself in a tough matchup before fading late. “It’s a win or lose league,” forward Dirk Nowitzki told reporters. “We were right there in the fourth against a really good team. We’ve had plenty of those outings. Now we have 16 losses.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, YES (Brooklyn), FSN Southwest (Dallas)
ABOUT THE NETS (7-13): Isaiah Whitehead was rushed from the G-League Long Island Nets to fill in some gaps on the shorthanded roster and he took advantage of the opportunity with a career high-tying 24 points on 10-of-16 from the floor against Houston. “Against a talented team like that ... Listen, Isaiah has a talent,” coach Kenny Atkinson told reporters. “He’s still a young guy (22). He’s got to cut his turnovers down. I keep telling him. I think if he can control that a little bit, but I liked his presence, I liked how he competed.” Whitehead’s one other 24-point performance came at Dallas last season.
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (5-16): Matthews entered Tuesday ranked 10th in the NBA in made 3-pointers (54), and he is 9-for-14 from long distance over the last two games. Smith is averaging 17 points over a three-game span after the rookie was held to single digits in his previous three contests. Wednesday is the opener of a three-game homestand for Dallas, which then plays 10 of its next 14 on the road leading to the end of 2017.
1. Entering Tuesday, Brooklyn was second in the NBA in 3-point attempts per game (33.7), while Dallas ranked third (33.2).
2. Nets PG Spencer Dinwiddie is averaging 8.1 assists - two above his season average - in his last six games.
3. Dallas won four straight meetings and 25 of the last 33.
PREDICTION: Mavericks 106, Nets 100