Harrison Barnes visits the bank at the buzzer
Down two points with a chance to tie the game and send it into overtime, the Mavericks bet on forward Harrison Barnes to drain the three. When your record’s 3-15 and you have nothing to lose, why not?
Lucky for Dallas, their risky move paid off as Barnes took the inbound pass and chucked up a prayer that was answered with a 30-foot miracle off the glass. The Mavericks needed the win for their morale, and they escaped by the skin of their teeth to take the game over the Memphis Grizzlies 95-94.
Barnes was the hero at the horn, but he also set the tone for the Mavericks with 22 points on the night. While no shot was more important than his game-winning buzzer-beater, the sixth-year scorer’s nine points in the final frame were essential to fending off a late Grizzlies comeback.
Highly touted highflyer Dennis Smith Jr. finished with 17 points, including three bombs from downtown, as he continued to flash the potential that made him such a coveted prospect coming out of college.
Meanwhile, Dallas fan favorite J.J. Barea facilitated the offense with precision. The Puerto Rican floor general tallied an impactful 10 points and 11 dimes off of the bench.
Although Barea is having a career year in his 12th season, he has become somewhat of a lost man in the Mavs plans going forward. While their backcourt is crowded, if traded, the undersized point guard has likely played his way into an exchange for a mid to late first round draft pick.
Memphis absolutely owned the first half of action, building a lead as large as 18 points. However, they failed match the energy of the young Mavs squad and squandered the lead. While they’re no world-beater, the Mavericks have the talent to steal a win here and there.
Without a doubt, Dallas is one of the worst teams in all of the NBA, but give a team some daylight at this level, and expect to be punished.