Mavericks rise up to stop Bucks
DALLAS — Wesley Matthews, feast or famine from the 3-point arc this season, burned the Milwaukee Bucks for six of them and a season-high 22 points to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 111-79 victory on Saturday night.
J.J. Barea set his own season high for points with 20 as well a season-best four 3-pointers as the Mavs snapped a five-game home losing streak in winning for just the third time this season. Dallas made 19 of its 38 3-pointers to tie the franchise record for most made 3s in a game, and outscored the Bucks (6 of 25), who saw their four-game win streak end, by 39 points from beyond the arc.
“This was one of our worst games,” Bucks coach Jason Kidd said. “But it happens and we’ve got to learn from it.”
On top of all that, Dallas (3-14) put an end to its third-quarter demons, extending a 12-point halftime lead to 82-61.
With Milwaukee (8-7) on a 7-0 run early in the quarter to close the deficit, Barea and Matthews hit consecutive 3s before Matthews drained his sixth of the game on seven attempts, a step-back from the corner as the shot clock expired. He finished 6 of 8.
The Bucks were outscored 26-17 in the third quarter and the route was on from there.
Dallas will have the opportunity at home Monday night to snap the Boston Celtics’ 15-game win streak.
“Hopefully that just carries the momentum into the off day where everybody’s feeling good,” Matthews, who also had eight assists, said. “We’ve got another tough battle Monday against Boston, who is the hottest team in the league right now, but it’s another opportunity for us.”
Bucks rising star Giannis Antetokounmpo put together a line that will look good in the box score with 24 points, 17 rebounds and three steals, but he was just 7 of 20 from the floor after starting 1 of 7.
Khris Middleton added 23 points, but no other Bucks player had more than Tony Snell’s eight points as Milwaukee shot 37.8 percent.
“It was solid, I think the energy was there,” Barea said of the Mavs’ defensive effort. “We were containing guys and keeping them outside the paint, and that worked tonight.”
The Bucks never could cut too deeply into the Mavs’ lead and didn’t help themselves by missing 11 of 22 free throws in the first half, 12 more than Dallas attempted.
Eight of those came from center John Henson, who made just two during Dallas’ Hack-a-Henson tactic in the second quarter that helped extend the lead to 16.
“I thought our offense dictated our defense, so we didn’t make shots and we didn’t guard,” Kidd said. “Coming into the game we had talked about how they are second in the league in attempts, they just hadn’t made them. Tonight they made up for all their misses. They made a lot of 3s and we didn’t do a very good job on either end.”
Harrison Barnes contributed 18 points and seven rebounds to Dallas’ victory and guard Yogi Ferrell came off the bench for 16 points that included three 3-pointers.
NOTES: Bucks G Matthew Dellavedova missed his first game of the season because of a hamstring injury sustained Wednesday against Detroit. ... Milwaukee F Mirza Teletovic missed his fifth consecutive game because of left knee stiffness. ... Mavs G Wesley Matthews, playing career game No. 609, became the sixth player in NBA history to make 1,300 3-pointers in 650 or fewer games. ... F Dirk Nowitzki became the 14th player in NBA history with at least 1,800 career 3-pointers. ... Coach Rick Carlisle moved into 18th place on the NBA’s all-time wins list with 697.