Spencer Dinwiddie was the Dallas Mavericks’ leading scorer in a comeback win over the Sacramento Kings, but it was Dorian Finney-Smith who stole the show by hitting the game-winner.
As the Dallas Mavericks stared down a tied game with the Sacramento Kings while having possession of the ball with just 12 seconds remaining, there wasn’t a doubt in Dorian Finney-Smith’s mind about what was going to happen next.
Dorian Finney-Smith’s game-winner vs. the Kings (first frame).
Dorian Finney-Smith’s game-winner vs. the Kings (second frame).
Dorian Finney-Smith’s game-winner vs. the Kings (third frame).
“I told them it was game,” said Finney-Smith as he celebrated yet another Mavs comeback victory (114-113) that pushed the team to a season-high 14 games over .500.
“I said it was game. Dangerous. Dangerous.”
‘Dangerous’ is definitely the word that should be seen next to Finney-Smith’s name on opposing team’s scouting reports lately, as he’s shooting a blistering 50.9 percent from 3-point range over his last 10 games.
With the clock winding down, Jalen Brunson accelerated when he crossed half-court and drove into the paint against Kings guard Davion Mitchell. Instead of taking a contested layup, Brunson alertly threw a laser pass in mid-air to an open Finney-Smith in the opposite corner for what ended up being the game’s deciding three points.
“Ferrari Doe,” said Brunson of Finney-Smith, who recently signed a four-year, $55 million extension to stay with the Mavs long-term. “Big-time shot. Coach [Jason Kidd] put me in position to make a play. [The Kings] helped a little bit and I saw Doe-Doe [Finney-Smith] last second. Just hit him in the shooting pocket and the rest is history.
“So, props to him – that was a big-time shot.”
Finney-Smith guarded Domantas Sabonis for most of the fourth and held him scoreless in the period.
Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie celebrate a big bucket.
Luka Doncic missed Saturday’s game with a toe sprain, but should be back for Monday’s big game vs. Utah.
The Mavs’ six-year veteran “glue guy” has come into his own after starting the season shooting the ball below his standards. Finney-Smith is averaging a career-high 10.5 points per game while shooting nearly 40 percent from deep for the third consecutive season.
“All of the above,” said Kidd on whether it was Finney-Smith’s offense or defense that was more important in the Mavs’ latest win. “I thought he did a great job on [Domantas] Sabonis, making it tough there, contesting it. … And then Dorian said as we’re walking out, ‘Can I be in that right corner?’ [I said] ‘If that’s where you want to.’
Finney-Smith has improved his game every single season since joining the Mavs as an undrafted free agent in 2016, and this season, he’s become confident and comfortable enough to start choosing his own spots.
“That’s just the confidence the coaching staff has in me and I feel good that I can do things like that now,” said Finney-Smith. “Early in my career, I probably wouldn’t have even said anything at all, so it feels good that it worked out too. I probably gained Coach’s confidence, too, a little bit more today.”
The Mavs (39-25) have now won 10 of their last 12 games as the postseason inches closer. Although Luka Doncic — who missed Saturday’s game with a toe injury — has been the biggest catalyst for this team, he’s getting more help right now than he has at any other point in his young career, and Finney-Smith has been a key part of that development.
“His shooting of late has been at a very, very high level,” said Kidd. “Defense — that’s what he’s known for — and also shooting 3s, but he’s also putting the ball on the floor and getting to the basket.”
If Finney-Smith can keep up his ‘dangerous’ two-way play throughout the rest of the regular season while staying healthy, the Mavs are going to be a scary matchup for any team they face in the playoffs.