Preview: Mavs enter Barclays Center to face D-Will, Nets
Preview: Mavericks (25-32) at Nets (34-24)
Mavs enter Barclays Center to face D-Will, Nets
BROOKLN, N.Y. — After flirting with The Colony native Deron Williams this past offseason in free agency and failing to come away with the former All-Star point guard, the Dallas Mavericks will square off with the Brooklyn Nets and their prized acquisition for the first time Friday night at the new Barclays Center.
Sliding on a three-game losing streak and making the second stop on their current road trip, the Mavericks (25-32) will try to get back on track with a win over Williams and the Nets (34-24), who currently sit in the fifth position of the Eastern Conference standings.
Since spurning his hometown team, Williams has seen his season totals decrease from years past, averaging 17.3 points — his lowest scoring output in six seasons — and 7.7 assists — his fewest since dishing out 4.5 dimes as a rookie in Utah during the 2005-06 campaign.
However, with Joe Johnson missing his third straight game due to a sore left heel injury, Williams is coming off a season high-tying 33 points in Tuesday’s 101-97 win at New Orleans, where he scored the Nets’ final 11 points over the last 1:24 of play while also dishing out eight assists on the night.
“He’s still a friend of mine,” 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki said of Williams. “Obviously, he didn’t come join us, and I wished him luck then. They have a good team, especially if Joe Johnson plays. They’re deep and they’re a good team, so we’ve got to be ready.”
Meanwhile, the Mavs will try to bounce back from Wednesday night’s 90-84 defeat in Memphis after watching as a 25-point lead in the first half evaporated right before their eyes. And after equaling a league low for points in any quarter this season while scoring just five points in the third period of the loss, the Mavs will somehow try to bounce back as they continue their three-game road trip, hoping to correct the miscues that left them outrebounded 46-34 while allowing 23 points off 21 turnovers.
“All I can say is we all own this,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said after the loss. “We own all the losses. We own the wins when we get them as a team. And this is a challenging stretch, it’s a challenging year, but we’re going to stick together and keep fighting, and that’s just the way we’re going to do business with this thing. … It’s another tough lesson in a season full of tough lessons.”
“Now, we’re sitting on a three-game losing streak and we’ve got to go in there and let it all hang out like we did in the first half,” Nowitzki added. “We’ve got to get stops, we’ve got to push it and we’ve got to run. I think it was obvious again (Wednesday) that we’re best when we get stops and when we run. I mean, our halfcourt offense ain’t really that good enough to compete against good defenses, so we’ve got to make sure we speed the game up. And the only way to do that is by getting stops.”
Note: The Mavs continue their three-game road trip by touching down in Brooklyn for Friday night’s matchup against the Nets. The two teams have yet to play each other this season. The game will air locally on Fox Sports Southwest at 7 p.m. CT.
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