Dallas Mavericks showcase rookie Dennis Smith Jr. in 110-93 pounding of Detroit Pistons
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer
DALLAS — Dennis Smith Jr. fooled Reggie Jackson by faking one way, spinning the other and hitting a jumper while drawing a foul as Detroit’s veteran guard scrambled back to the Dallas rookie.
The ninth overall pick in the draft returned after missing six games with a strained left hip, and Rick Carlisle certainly noticed the difference in a 110-93 victory over the Pistons on Wednesday night, even though the coach called Smith’s return “bad, great, shaky and good.”
“When he came back in the second quarter, his stretch was the decisive stretch of the game,” Carlisle said. “It got our crowd into it, energized the team.”
Harrison Barnes scored 25 points, Smith had 15 points and five assists and the Mavericks won for just the second time in eight games.
Anthony Tolliver led Detroit with a season-high 18 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Stanley Johnson also had a season high with 16 points, and Andre Drummond had 11 points and 13 rebounds while battling foul trouble.
“No resistance whatsoever,” Detroit coach Stan Van Gundy said. “We couldn’t contain any of their guards. They were right by us all night long.”
Smith struggled against Jackson early, and the Mavericks started their rally with him on the bench. But they went ahead for good with him on the floor during his 11-point second quarter.