Point guard Deron Williams logged 19 points, 15 assists and three steals during Dallas’ back-to-back on the road, helping the Mavericks split the trip with a win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday and a loss to the league-leading Golden State Warriors on Friday.
Deron Orchestrates Offense In 101-89 Win
During Thursday’s 101-89 win over the Lakers, D-Will scored eight points and tallied a game-high 11 assists, as five Mavericks reached double-digit scoring.
Dallas trailed at the half, 57-50, before storming back in the second, outscoring L.A. 31-13 in a decisive third quarter.
“Coach got on us a little bit at halftime,” Deron said. “We gave up 57 points, and you can’t really win like that, giving up that many baskets. I think we locked in that third quarter, allowing 13 points, and we did the same thing in the fourth. All of our wins have come when we play tough defensively.”
With the win, the Mavs improve to 2-0 against the Lakers this season, having beaten them 109-97 in November.
The Mavs opened the contest with energy, jumping out to a 7-0 lead. Thanks to a pass from Deron, Dorian Finney-Smith highlighted the run with a deep three. Dallas saw its energy fizzle, as L.A. responded with 15-0 burst to take an eight-point advantage on D’Angelo Russell’s floater, 15-7.
D-Will ended Dallas’ drought with a basket in the paint before finding Dwight Powell for a layup with 5:05 to go, 15-11. L.A. called a timeout, and Deron went to the bench. While the Mavs scored the final five points of the first quarter to get within one, the Lakers opened the second with 10 straight to take a 37-26 advantage.
No. 8 helped Dallas get as close as five the rest of the half, finding Powell for back-to-back buckets — an alley-oop layup and a cutting dunk, 45-40.
“I just tried to do the best job I could going hard and trying to creating opportunities for our guards with good screens on the weak side and with hard rolls,” said Powell, who finished with 14 points and six boards off the bench. “And then when the ball comes to me, I try to finish.”
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Deron notched another three assists over the final 2:02 of the half, finding Wesley Matthews for a three-pointer, Powell for another cutting layup and Finney-Smith for a triple to get Dallas within 57-50 at the break.
“We weren’t physical enough. We let them be the aggressor. When you do that, it’s tough to win ballgames,” D-Will said. “We came out in the second half a little angrier, with a little more of an attitude, and we were able to take control of the game.”
The Mavs outscored the home team, 31-13, in the third period to take an 11-point, 81-70, lead into the final frame. Shortly after Dallas flipped the lead for good midway through the third, Deron fueled the team, collecting a steal and finding Matthews in transition for a 24-footer, 70-65.
“We got physical in the second half and started playing harder and together,” said Matthews, who totaled a team-high 20 points along with six rebounds. “We got a lot of stops, and we were able to not take the ball out of the net and just got to play basketball. We were making shots, we were getting in a rhythm, we were getting good looks, and we were able to open the game up a little bit.”
The Mavs continued to control the game in the fourth quarter, extending their lead to as many as 16 on the way to handing the Lakers their 14th loss in 16 games.
Mavs Exhausted By Warriors In Oakland
On the second leg of a back-to-back, Deron and the Mavs struggled to gain ground on the Warriors, but remained competitive late to outscore them in the final frame, 30-17.
“Tonight was a tough loss, but I was proud of our young guys for going out and competing in the fourth quarter,” said Harrison Barnes, who finished with a team-high 25 points, along with three rebounds and two steals. “We’ve just got to build from there.”
Playing in front of a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, the Mavs exploded onto the scene, opening with a 7-2 run. Deron singlehandedly constructed the surge, running in for a floater, pulling up for a triple and driving in for a right-handed hook over the first 1:30.
D-Will continued to supply on offense, finding Barnes for a deep three, Dirk Nowitzki for a fadeaway and Barnes for a long two to tie it at 17-all about midway through the first.
The game tied twice more in the quarter, as neither side led going into the second stanza, 29-all.
Just like D-Will had done in the first quarter, he opened the second with intensity, hitting a jumper and a free throw to open scoring, 32-29.
The Warriors took the lead for good at the 9:48 mark on Shaun Livingston’s pullup jumper, as they carried an 11-point, 59-48, lead into the second half.
Despite trailing by as many as 25 in the third quarter, the Mavs continued to battle down the stretch, pulling within single digits once more on the game’s final bucket.
“There were a lot of positive signs,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We’ve got a travel day and we’ve got New Year’s Day off, so all of our guys have got a chance to catch their breath. And then Monday is an important practice and we’re home for three (games). You know, it’s been a whirlwind year, but we’re inching along with health and we’re seeing some positive things, even though we’re struggling to win some of these difficult games.”
Deron and the Mavs return to Dallas, where they will welcome the Washington Wizards to the American Airlines Center on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT, airing locally on Fox Sports Southwest.
This will mark the first meeting between the Mavs and Wizards, as they split last season’s series 1-1, each team picking up a win on the road.