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
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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