The Dallas Mavericks haven’t been accumulating many victories but they do have one to boast about entering Wednesday’s road game against the Indiana Pacers. Dallas outplayed a hot Toronto team on Tuesday by delivering a 98-93 victory that ended the Raptors’ six-game winning streak.
Unsung Mavericks guard J.J. Barea delivered 20 points off the bench while backcourt mate Wesley Matthews frustrated Toronto star DeMar DeRozan (eight points on 3-of-16 shooting) in one of the club’s top efforts of the season. Dallas will now try to halt an eight-game road losing skid as it owns the worst road mark (2-14) in the NBA. Indiana was routed 107-83 by the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday in a contest it trailed by 21 points after the opening quarter. “We have to figure something out and we’ve got to do it fast,” Pacers guard Victor Oladipo told reporters afterward. “Teams are coming ready to play, so we’ve got to be ready to play too. We’ve just got to do a better job of being ready from the start.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Dallas), FSN Indiana
ABOUT THE MAVERICKS (10-25): Matthews tallied just five points on 2-of-9 shooting against the Raptors but was a key component in the win due to his defense on DeRozan. “Wes is extremely experienced,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle told reporters. “He has an iron will to make it as hard as possible on these great players. It took a lot out of him. He expended so much energy defensively.” Forward Harrison Barnes also played solidly with 16 points and 10 rebounds to match a career best with his sixth double-double of the season.
ABOUT THE PACERS (19-15): Indiana was outclassed from the outset on Tuesday and its 83-point effort was his lowest scoring output of the season. Oladipo scored a season-low 13 points and nobody else tallied more than 10 in a poor showing that miffed coach Nate McMillan. “We’re going to have to be better,” McMillan told reporters. “We might have to look at some changes, but we certainly have to be better, whichever group we have out there.”
1. The Pacers have won three straight and five of their past six home games against the Mavericks.
2. Indiana C Myles Turner had 10 points and no blocked shots against Detroit after averaging 21.5 points and 4.5 rejections over the previous two games.
3. Dallas rookie PG Dennis Smith Jr. is 7-of-29 shooting over the last three contests.
PREDICTION: Pacers 108, Mavericks 95