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Dallas Mavericks: Barnes gives another example of why he’s a keeper for Mavericks

NEW YORK – Here’s our second-chance points about the Mavericks’ 110-97 win over the Knicks Tuesday night, which was New York’s 16th loss in their last 17 games and brought the Mavericks to 4-4 in their last eight. Hmmmmm, wonder which team is more concerned about its lottery position.

Strong night: Harrison Barnes had 30 points, one off his season high and four from his career best. And he did it the way the Mavericks like – he hit all nine of his free throws, had four assists and four rebounds and shot better than 50 percent in in his 33 minutes. The Mavericks were a plus-17 when Barnes was on the floor. This was pure and simple a good example of why the Mavericks need to keep him and make him a part of their future. “Harrison was great from start to finish,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “We were going to him and he did a little bit of everything. I loved the way he attacked and got to the free-throw line. A great overall offensive game and he was solid on the defensive end, too.” As Barnes said: “I love playing here. It’s just a great place.”

Intriguing start for Warney: You never know when you’re going to find players who might be keepers. It’s way too early to know for sure about Jameel Warney, the beefy 6-8 big man who joined the Mavericks on Sunday on a 10-day contract. But the guy is from the New York area and went to school at Stony Brook, which as he said can be driven from New York City in “about an hour and 15 minutes without traffic. With traffic, maybe four years.” He said he’s doing this for New Jersey and Stony Brook. So he came out and played just 12 minutes but had eight points and three rebounds. He played tough, as he has said he wants to do all the time. Carlisle said he’s been impressed with the way Warney holds his ground, rebounds and doesn’t back down from anybody. The Mavericks can always use more toughness.

Up next: This is a rarity and something most players would say is one of the best days of the season – a full day off in New York City with no practice and no travel. And the blizzard that hit briefly on Tuesday morning moved out. The weather is supposed to be in the 40s Wednesday. Could be an epic day for players who are understandably beaten down by this season. And it’s coming after a win, no less. Never hurts to have a health day before a practice on Thursday, travel to Toronto and preparation for a back-to-back against the Raptors on Friday and back in New York to play the Nets on Saturday. Not the most convenient road trip. But for a day on Wednesday, the Mavericks should be able to enjoy it.

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