The Dallas Mavericks were less than happy after one of their youngest players walked away from a tussle for the ball with Los Angeles Clippers guard Patrick Beverley minus a tooth and a personal foul. Perhaps they will be satisfied with the resulting victory and an unrelated $25,000 fine for Beverley.
In the third quarter of the Mavericks’ game against the Clippers on Sunday, a scramble for the ball left Smith on the floor and Beverley above him — very interested in taking away the ball. So interested that, seemingly accidentally, Beverley’s elbow made direct contact with Smith’s mouth.
Patrick Beverley knocks Dennis Smith Jr.’s tooth out
Patrick Beverley fights over the ball and Dennis Smith Jr leaves with a missing tooth.
— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) December 3, 2018
No foul was called for the contact, with the play instead resulting in a jump ball. Beverley seemed concerned once he saw Smith’s tooth, but that didn’t stop a negative reaction from the Mavericks.
First, Dallas coach Rick Carlisle had some words for the referees, and then the Mavericks’ bench had an icy reaction for Beverley as he seemingly attempted to apologize.
Beverley walked to the Mavs’ bench during the next break in play to say, “My bad.” He apparently didn’t get the reaction he was looking for, because he then chastised them for not thanking him for the gesture.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) December 3, 2018
Dennis Smith Jr. provides heroics upon return
The rest of the game played out pretty well if you take the Mavericks’ side of the squabble. Beverley would be ejected in the fourth quarter after he threw a ball at Mavericks superfan Don Knobler, who was reportedly yelling that Beverley is a dirty player, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Patrick Beverley ejected for throwing ball at Don Knobler pic.twitter.com/YWtw3PnMme
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) December 3, 2018
Beverley suggested Knobler said something far worse about his mother. On Tuesday, the league levied a $25,000 fine on Beverley for his role in the incident.
Doc Rivers on the fan/Beverley exchange: pic.twitter.com/QSeqTuGeei
— Andrew Greif (@AndrewGreif) December 3, 2018
Smith also returned in the fourth quarter, and made his presence known in a big way at the end of the game. With the Mavericks up by two and seconds remaining, Smith swatted a game-tying attempt from Tobias Harris down low, then drew the foul and iced both free throws to give the Mavericks a win.
DENNIS WITH THE SWAT! AND HE SINKS BOTH FREE THROWS! pic.twitter.com/389HJcggAm
— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 3, 2018
Dennis Smith Jr. calls Beverley scramble ‘a freak accident’
Smith would eventually finish with nine points, five assists and three rebounds in a 114-110 win over the Western Conference-leading Clippers, an extra-surprising result given that the Mavs were missing star rookie Luka Doncic with a hip injury.
Smith was diplomatic after the game, saying he was “sure” that Beverley didn’t elbow him intentionally and called it “a freak accident.” The 21-year-old did note he has a dentist appointment tomorrow, per Mavs.com’s Dwain Price.
Apparently, Smith had some bigger concerns.
Dennis Smith Jr. on his tooth back in place: "I'm fooling y'all right now, because I knew it was going to be cameras. Whenever its cameras, then its going on social media, and when its social media, it's ladies looking, and when its ladies looking I got to be looking nice."
— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) December 3, 2018
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