Game Preview: Dennis Smith Jr. Returns as Mavericks Host Pistons
The Detroit Pistons(17-13) travel to the American Airlines Arena tonight to face the Dallas Mavericks(8-23). The game begins at 8:30p.m.
Detroit, who has been off since Monday, have won their last three games. They won their last game on Sunday against the Orlando Magic, 114-110. While Detroit poured in a franchise record-tying 17 3-pointers, they nearly blew a 24-point fourth quarter lead, escaping with just a four-point win. Reggie Bullock, who once again started at small forward in place of Stanley Johnson, poured in a career-high 20 points, while shooting 4-6 from the 3-point line. Reggie Jackson, Tobias Harris, and Anthony Tolliver all added 17 points apiece. Detroit dished out 27 assists while committing just 13 turnovers. They shot 47.2 percent from the field and an outstanding 50 percent from the long line. Luke Kennard started in the place of the injured Avery Bradley, but played just 15 minutes in the win. Stanley Johnson, who played 31 minutes off the bench was once again fantastic, finishing with seven points, six rebounds, and five assists.
The Mavericks lost the Pheonix Suns on Monday, 97-91. While Harrison Barnes scored 26 points, the rest of the frontcourt, Dirk Nowitzki and Maxi Kleber combined for just 11 points on 5-16 shooting. Yogi Ferrell and Wesley Matthews each scored 13 points apiece. This was Dallas’ third straight loss.
Dallas will get some much-needed help tonight, as Dennis Smith Jr. returns for the Mavericks after missing six straight games. He is averaging 14.4 points, four rebounds, and four assists per game on the season.
Stan Van Gundy announced yesterday that Avery Bradley(groin) will be reevaluated in a week. He is out tonight as well as Jon Leuer(ankle).
For Dallas, Seth Curry(tibia), Dorian Finney-Smith(knee), Josh McRoberts(lower extremity injury), and Nerlens Noel(thumb) are all out.
Probable Starting Lineups
PG: Reggie Jackson
SG: Luke Kennard
SF: Reggie Bullock
PF: Tobias Harris
C: Andre Drummond
PG: Dennis Smith Jr.
SG: Wesley Matthews
SF: Harrison Barnes
PF: Dirk Nowitzki
C: Maxi Kleber
Featured Image: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports