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Harrison Barnes leads Mavericks to 113-105 win over Wizards

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DALLAS (AP) Harrison Barnes scored 26 points and Deron Williams added 21 as the Dallas Mavericks rallied to beat the Washington Wizards 113-105 on Tuesday night.

Devin Harris had 17 points and Seth Curry 16 for the Mavericks. Williams, Harris and Curry each hit four 3-pointers as Dallas made 17-of-32 from long range.

John Wall led Washington with 27 points and Bradley Beal added 25 for the Wizards, who fell to 1-6 on the second half of back-to-back games. They lost to Houston on Monday night.

Dallas trailed in the third quarter before rallying.

The Mavericks took control early in the fourth quarter, scoring the first eight points and building a 110-100 lead on Barnes’ 3-pointer with 2:51 to play.

The Wizards shaved the lead to five, but Beal missed a 3-pointer and then Wall missed two 3s, any of which would cut the lead to two before Barnes made another 3 with 24.3 seconds left to put the game away.

The Mavericks went on a 21-7 run in the middle of the second quarter to take its biggest lead of the half at 54-43. But Wall took over the final 2:30 of the half, scoring 13 points in a 20-3 Wizards run that gave the Wizards a 67-61 lead at the break.

Wall scored the final 11 points of the half for Washington.

TIP-INS

Wizards: Wall was named Eastern Conference player of the month for December after averaging 24.5 points, 10.7 assists and an NBA-best 2.7 steals per game as the Wizards went 10-5. . Washington has lost 12 of 13 to the Mavericks dating to 2009, their only win coming last season.

Mavericks: Andrew Bogut, who missed 11 games this year with a knee injury, limped to the bench with 3:52 remaining in the fourth quarter and did not return. . Forward Dorian Finney-Smith was a finalist for Western Conference rookie of the month for December but lost to New Orleans’ Buddy Hield. Finney-Smith started 16 of the team’s 17 games in December, averaging 6.6 points.

BURGER ANYONE?

In an effort to promote the All-Star candidacy of Barnes, the Mavericks debuted the Harrison Barnes All-Star Burger at concession stands for all January home games. Barnes is averaging a team-leading 20 points for Dallas.

“I’m more concerned with his day to day progress, that he keeps learning and growing,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “That’s really his personality so I think he’s going to continue to trend upward. He hasn’t plateaued in his work ethic or his thirst to get better.”

UP NEXT

Wizards: Hosts Minnesota on Friday. Washington has won eight in a row at the Verizon Center.

Mavericks: Home against Phoenix on Thursday, the second game of a three-game homestand for a Dallas team that has played six of previous seven on the road.

Marcus Smart wants to be back for Game 6 vs. Bucks

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Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has been out for some time after injuring his thumb earlier in the year. The absence of one of Boston’s most important guards has been felt even more so after Kyrie Irving went down following knee surgery.

In short, the Celtics would like to have Smart back on the floor.

We’re now close enough that Smart has begun to give solid timeframes to reporters. Speaking to media on Sunday, Smart said that his plan is to be back for Game 6 against the Milwaukee Bucks. Boston took on Milwaukee on Sunday in Game 4.

Via ESPN:

Right now, [a Game 6 return is] the plan and we’re still on the same track,” Smart said before Game 4 on Sunday. “I’ve been doing everything but contact, so I will be able to go and start that.”

Smart said he believes the thumb is ready for contact.

“The surgery did its job,” said Smart, who injured himself March 11 while diving for a loose ball in a game against the Indiana Pacers. “Thumb is holding up well. I feel ready, I feel strong enough to get back out there. I’m just waiting on the OK.”

The series between the Celtics and Bucks has been tumultuous, a back-and-forth affair as an injury-riddled Boston squad takes on a healthy but offensively-sluggish Milwaukee team. Smart could add a shot of life for Boston in a much-needed way.

The Bucks won Game 4 and the series is now tied, 2-2. Game 6 would be on Thursday, April 26 if need be.

Manu Ginobili leads Spurs over Warriors

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Although the San Antonio Spurs were outmatched against the Golden State Warriors, Manu Ginobili was an integral part of the Spurs staving off elimination against the reigning champs on Sunday. San Antonio beat the Warriors, 103-90, to put the series at 3-1.

The 40-year-old wingman scored 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter in San Antonio as Ettore Messina logged a playoff win at the helm of the team. Gregg Popovich, who sadly lost his wife this past week, did not coach.

Ginobili was 5-of-10 off the bench, adding five assists and three rebounds in the win. LaMarcus Aldridge led all Spurs scorers with 22, notching a double-double with 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, the only Warriors player to score more than 12 points was Kevin Durant, who rose above all scorers with 34 points to go with 13 rebounds. Klay Thompson shot an embarrassing 25 percent from the field, scoring just 12 points.

Ginobili put the dagger on the Warriors with 90 seconds to go, hitting a spinning flip shot over Draymond Green to give San Antonio a 10-point lead.

The series heads back to Oakland for Game 5 with the Spurs trailing, 3-1.

Kevin Durant on Giannis Antetokounmpo: ‘I would tell him to play for himself’

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Kevin Durant was once the big star in a little city. The former Oklahoma City Thunder star now plays for the Golden State Warriors, and has a championship ring to his name after making a switch in 2016.

So Durant has at least some experience similar to that of Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo. The Greek Freak is currently leading the charge for the Bucks against the Boston Celtics in the first round, and he’s seen as the future in Milwaukee. Antetokounmpo signed a 4-year, $100 million contract in the summer of 2016, so presumably he’ll be in Wisconsin for some time.

Meanwhile, Durant had some advice for Antetokounmpo, should he ask for it. In a feature on ESPN, Durant was quoted as saying he felt Antetokounmpo should be sure to have fun, and to play for himself.

Via ESPN:

What I would say to him, I would tell him to play for himself,” Durant said. “Because he’s the one out there putting in the work, he’s the one out there getting up in the morning staying committed to the game. Obviously [the comments about staying put] sounds good to the fans in Milwaukee and to the ownership, because he cares so much about wanting to please them and play well for them, and I get it. But his career is about him; it’s about whatever he wants to do and however he feels is right for him. And what type of basketball does he want to play? He’s not going to stay in Milwaukee if he’s not having fun playing the game.

That’s some pretty good advice, although factors surrounding Antetokounmpo will likely weigh the same as they did on Durant in OKC. The Bucks presumably need a new coach once their season ends. They’re currently helmed by interim coach Joe Prunty, who took over when Jason Kidd was fired earlier this year.

The Bucks also need to fill out their roster and find a way to stay healthy. The Thunder famously had roster issues (read: the James Harden trade) and eventually the lack of playoff success drove Durant to switch teams.

Milwaukee doesn’t seem close to that kind of juncture, although eventually things will flip for the young Bucks and fans and management will expect some kind of production in the postseason.

Giannis Antetokounmpo beats Celtics with late-game tip-in; series tied 2-2

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It was an exciting finish in Milwaukee on Sunday, where the Bucks took home a win on their home court to level the series against the Boston Celtics, 2-2.

The game came down to the wire, with 2016-17 NBA Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon giving the Bucks the lead after a corner 3-pointer with just 33.5 seconds left. The Celtics responded with a sideline out of bounds play that resulted in Al Horford tying the game with free throws.

On their final possession, the Bucks again went to Brogdon, who missed on a layup driving to the left side of the floor. Luckily, Giannis Antetokounmpo was there to follow with the tip-in with just five seconds left.

Via ESPN:

Boston was unable to convert on a final play, and Milwaukee grabbed the win, 104-102.

Game 5 will be in Boston on Tuesday.