This might have been the most bonkers game the Mavericks have played this year. Dallas started the game well by getting James Harden to commit three fouls in the first eight minutes of the game.
The game was chippy and tight but neither team was able to stretch their lead to more than 8 throughout the entire game. Wesley Matthews and DeAndre Jordan were the keys to the Mavs early on and without them this game would have gotten ugly in the first half.
A more important key in the first half was the Ringer’s Isaac Lee and former Mavs Moneyballer Jason Gallagher performing Halleluka live during a timeout in the second quarter.
Back to DeAndre’s impact: Rick Carlisle even said “I thought DeAndre Jordan was the key to the game,” in his post game press conference.
Jordan’s energy helped the Mavs fend of Rockets run after Rockets run until late in the fourth quarter the game felt over. Luka Doncic fouled Nene while shooting with 3:09 to play. Nene hit both free throws to give Houston an eight point lead.
Luka Doncic knew what he had to do. The next Mavericks possession Wesley Matthews found Luka open in the corner where he drilled a three. Then Doncic took a tough step back triple over an outstretched Clint Capela. He follows with an off balance floater then another step back triple in the next two possessions.
In just under two minutes Luka went on an 11-0 run all by himself to give Dallas a three point lead they would not relinquish. The Mavericks went on to win 107-104.
1 Halleluka is my new favorite song
And every Mavs fan shouted Halleluka Thanks to @isaacklee and @jga41agher for the moving LIVE performance! pic.twitter.com/zhNOsQvTfB— Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) December 9, 2018
Apologies to any Kings fans who might be reading this, but this song never gets old. When they played this song in the second quarter Luka was having an extremely off night shooting and just looked flat out bad.
Had he not pulled his late game heroics this could’ve been a bad look for the Mavericks. But that didn’t happen so just enjoy the late game heroics.
2 Luka Doncic is not of this universe
We’ve seen Luka Doncic perform some incredible feats on a basketball court. He’s hit half court buzzer beaters. The dude has nailed step backs over everyone. This man has thrown passes that take four or five views to figure out what even happened.
Tonight he put on his greatest performance yet. This game reminded me of the championship game for Real Madrid right before Luka got drafted. He had been terrible for the vast majority of the game and then, when it mattered most, Doncic hit an impossible shot to seal the championship for Los Blancos.
Luka Doncic just does this, it’s not an aberration. Tonight was just the first of many NBA performances like this for Wonder Boy.
3 Jalen Brunson is really dang good
With Dennis Smith Jr. out tonight due to a wrist injury, Jalen Brunson stepped in and made his second career start. Rick Carlisle had high praise for the rookie.
“He earned this start tonight with his accumulation of play over the first six or seven weeks and his play in the blow out game against New Orleans,” Carlisle said. “It just goes to show you how important every single minute is out there.”
Earlier this week I wrote about the contributions of the Mavericks rookie and his teammates had great things to say about him both then and now. Brunson went 7-9 from the field for 14 points along with three steals and his first career dunk!
This game was a team effort with important contributions from all nine Mavericks who played tonight, but history will remember this win as the infamous Halleluka game.