This is solid value on Finney-Smith, who signed with Dallas as an undrafted free agent in 2016. At 6-foot-8, Finney-Smith is a versatile defender who can guard positions 2-4. If his 3-pointer develops, he could turn into a bargain. As is, the Mavericks need a hustling defensive-mind player like him on the wing.
Agreeing to terms with Finney-Smith actually increases Dallas’ effective cap space. The Mavericks are holding Finney-Smith at $1,931,189 against the cap to keep him a restricted free agent. Before signing him, they can pull his qualifying offer and drop his cap hold to $1,620,564. Dallas can then use its other cap room – still about $23 million – then use Finney-Smith’s Bird Rights to exceed the cap to re-sign him.
The big question now: How will the Mavericks spend that remaining $23 million?
James Harden runs 30-point streak to 30 as Rockets beat Mavericks
HOUSTON (AP) —James Harden scored 31 points for his 30th straight 30-point game despite dealing with a shoulder injury, leading the Houston Rockets to a 120-104 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night.
Harden, who had eight rebounds and seven assists, seemed to be a bit slowed early by the strained left shoulder that he injured on Saturday against Oklahoma City, making just one of his first seven shots. But he warmed up after that and finished 9 of 23, capped by his sixth 3-pointer with less than a minute left to put him over 30 and keep the streak going. Fans chanted “MVP! MVP!” after he sunk the step back over Dorian Finney-Smith.
He’s now just one game from tying Wilt Chamberlain for the second-longest streak of 30-point games in NBA history. Chamberlain also holds the top 30-point game streak with 65 in a row.
Houston had a 14-point lead entering the fourth quarter and was up 106-90 when Harden entered the game for the first time in the period with about 6 1/2 minutes left. The Mavericks went on a 7-0 run after that, with a 3-pointer from Jalen Brunson, to get within 106-97 with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
Harden heated up after that, making two 3-pointers in a 9-3 run to extend the lead to 115-100 with about 2 minutes left and put the game out of reach.
Luka Doncic had 21 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists for the Mavericks, who lost for the first time this season to Houston after winning the first two meetings.
Chris Paul added 17 points with 11 assists, and Gerald Green scored 19 points with five 3-pointers to help Houston to its fourth win in five games.
The Rockets were up by 14 at halftime and Harden scored seven points in the first few minutes of the third quarter to help push the lead to 76-58. Harden later dished to Green for a 3-pointer to make it 85-66.
The Mavericks scored the next eight points, capped by a 3 from Finney-Smith just before the shot clocked expired, to get within 85-74 with 2 minutes left in the third.
Green had a layup after that to end the scoring streak by Dallas and the Rockets had a 92-78 lead at the end of three.
Luka Doncic leads Mavericks over short-handed Warriors 112-109
DALLAS (AP) —Luka Doncic gave the Dallas Mavericks a glimpse of an exciting future – and extended a bad week for the Golden State Warriors.
The rookie scored 24 points, including a short jumper that put Dallas in front for good, and the Mavericks beat the Warriors 112-109 on Saturday night.
The 19-year-old from Slovenia arrived in the NBA having led Real Madrid to the 2018 Euro League title. On Saturday, he hit a 10-footer in the lane with 1:10 left to put Dallas up 109-108, then sealed the game with two free throws with seven seconds remaining.
“I’ve been doing this when I was in Madrid, too,” Doncic said. “I love the last-minute shot. (But) of course it’s different. It’s the NBA. It’s the best league in the world.”
Golden State played without injured starters Stephen Curry and Draymond Green and lost for the fourth time in six games. The Warriors dropped back-to-back games for the first time this season, and Saturday they led by eight points in the second half before the Mavs rallied.
Kevin Durant scored 32 points, but only three in the fourth quarter on 1-for-7 shooting. Klay Thompson added 22 for the two-time defending NBA champions. Durant missed two shots and Thompson one in the final minute, all of which could have either tied the game or put Golden State ahead.
“You don’t set NBA records being frustrated,” Thompson said. “I’m not going to go over here and dwell on missing a couple of shots, missing a game-tying shot this early in the season.”
Harrison Barnes had 23 points for the Mavericks, who have won four in a row. It was just the second time Dallas has beaten Golden State in their past 19 meetings, the other coming on Dec. 30, 2015 – one of only nine games the Warriors lost that regular season.
An 8-0 Mavs run early in the fourth quarter, capped by Dwight Powell‘s three-point play, gave Dallas its first lead since early in the third quarter, 93-92, with 9:18 to play. After Golden State surged ahead again, the Mavericks hung tough and Dorian Finney-Smith‘s fast-break layup put Dallas back up 107-106 with 1:45 remaining.
“Our guys worked incredibly hard to wear on them throughout the game and we made their shots a little more difficult,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. “When you work as hard as we did, you get luck to go your way.”
In addition to missing Curry (left groin strain) and Green (right toe sprain) in the midst of this rough stretch, the Warriors are still trying to repair the bad feelings caused by Green’s dust-up Monday night with Durant and subsequent suspension.
“Just trying to move forward,” Durant said. “Are we going to talk about this the whole year? We just want to play ball. I know that’s all I want to do.”
Three Things to Know: Raptors stave off creeping doubt
Every day in the NBA there is a lot to unpack, so every weekday morning throughout the season we will give you the three things you need to know from the last 24 hours in the NBA.
1) The Raptors got a much-needed win over the Celtics. Toronto had lost five of eight, including two straight – to the Celtics and Cavaliers, its chief competition in the Eastern Conference. The Raptors had been the East’s best team throughout the season. A “reset” offense and a deep bench seemingly had them poised for playoff success. But this late skid instilled plenty of doubt in a team that has disappointed annually in the postseason.
A 96-78 win over Boston ought to calm panic in Toronto.
This wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Raptors played with more purpose. They defended more aggressively, kept the ball moving and relied on balanced contributions. Kyle Lowry made a positive impact the day after his dud against Cleveland, which followed him going to San Antonio to watch Villanova win the national championship. The reserves came up big.
These weren’t necessarily the Celtics that Toronto would face in the postseason. Kyrie Irving, Marcus Smart and Shane Larkin were out. Boston used 11 players through three quarters.
But that only increased the impetus for the Raptors to win.
They didn’t prove anything last night. This team can’t do that until the playoffs, anyway. But at least Toronto stopped the bleeding (of a boo-boo that probably looked worse than it actually was).
2) The Mavericks out-tanked the Magic. Dallas’ 105-100 loss to Orlando might wind up last night’s most significant game on the NBA’s long-term landscape. The defeat dropped the Mavericks (24-55) ahead of the Magic (24-54) in the tight tank race.
But Gordon (20 points in 26 minutes) did too much in his limited playing time and got the Magic the unneeded win.
3) The Spurs fell to the Lakers, but at least remain in playoff position. Last night’s games otherwise featured chalk between a team in the playoff race and a team not – 76ers over Pistons, Heat over Hawks, Pelicans over Grizzlies. But San Antonio fell to Los Angeles, 122-112, in overtime.
The Lakers, without their own draft picks this year, are still feisty. They’ve got nothing to tank for. Kyle Kuzma scored 30 points, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (21 points on nine shots) and Channing Frye (19 points on nine shots) were remarkably efficient.
The Spurs still haven’t clinched a playoff berth, so a loss to an eliminated team is a real letdown.
The Western Conference playoff-race standings now:
4. Utah Jazz (45-33)
5. Oklahoma City Thunder (45-34)
5. San Antonio Spurs (45-34)
7. Minnesota Timberwolves (44-34)
7. New Orleans Pelicans (44-34)
9. Denver Nuggets (43-35)
10. Los Angeles Clippers (42-36)
Tonight will feature a couple big games – Clippers at Jazz and Timberwolves at Nuggets.
Serge Ibaka, DeMar DeRozan lead Raptors past Mavericks, 94-86
DALLAS (AP) —DeMar DeRozan and Serge Ibaka scored 18 points apiece, and the Toronto Raptors clinched a playoff berth after their fifth straight victory, 94-86 over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night.
The Raptors, who came back from 15-point deficits to win each of their last two games, made it a little easier on themselves Saturday. Toronto scored the game’s first seven points and never trailed in dealing the Mavericks’ playoff hopes a damaging blow.
Harrison Barnes scored 23 points for Dallas, which missed 18 of its first 22 3-pointers and finished just 7 of 28 from behind the arc.
Patrick Patterson added 14 points for Toronto, including a perfect 4 for 4 on 3-pointers.
The Mavericks fell four games behind Denver for the final playoff spot in the West.
Toronto led by as many as 16 points in the first half and by 15 early in the fourth quarter before a 10-0 Dallas run made things more interesting.
Dorian Finney-Smith‘s free throws with 7:57 to go brought the Mavs within 79-74, the closest they had been since 7-2 early in the game. But Ibaka made consecutive jumpers to restore a nine-point lead, and Dallas got no closer than six after that.
The Raptors had their biggest lead at 42-26 in the first half. Barnes scored Dallas’ last 11 points of the half to help cut into the lead, but Toronto led 54-44 at the break.
J.J. Barea‘s long 3 at the third-quarter buzzer again brought Dallas within 10 at 74-64.
Raptors: Coach Dwane Casey said he was hopeful that guard Kyle Lowry would return from wrist surgery before the end of the regular season. “I know he’s doing a lot of conditioning, a lot of work to keep his body in shape,” Casey said. “Just let him rehab, let him do his thing and trust our medical people.” Lowry has missed the last 16 games. . Toronto was also without starting forward DeMarre Carroll due to a sore lower back. P.J. Tucker started in his place.
Mavericks: Seth Curry with 11 points and Yogi Ferrell with 10 were the only other Mavs in double figures. . Nerlens Noel started his second game in a row at center for the Mavericks, who have gone to a big lineup. They’ve moved Dirk Nowitzki to power forward, Barnes to small forward and Curry to point guard.
STREAK IN JEOPARDY
The Mavericks took their 41st loss of the season. Their next loss will end the NBA’s second-longest streak of .500 or better seasons – currently at 16 seasons. Their last sub-.500 season was 1999-00, when they finished 40-42 and Mark Cuban became owner of the team in January 2000.
San Antonio has the longest streak of .500 or better seasons with 20, including this season.
ABOUT THURSDAY NIGHT
Cuban couldn’t resist giving his opinion on Barea’s ejection from the Mavericks’ victory over the Clippers on Thursday night. Barea was called for a flagrant 2 foul for pushing Blake Griffin, a player with a 10-inch height advantage over Barea.
“I just feel bad for Blake,” Cuban said. “It’s hard to come back from a knockout like that. We sent flowers to his family, condolences. I can only guess that he’s going to be drinking through a straw for a long, long time.”