It was a very fun game for the most part, with two young teams going back and forth and neither taking control for a majority of the game. Dallas went on a 7-2 run to give them an eight point lead with less than five minutes remaining at 110-102, but failed to close the game out behind sloppy offense and great Kings shot-making.
The loss leaves the Mavericks still one win shy of the 30-win mark. Here’s what we noticed
A weird but awesome Luka game
Luka Doncic got another triple-double! He made 11 free throws! He scored 28 points! All very good things. He also missed nine three-pointers. It was strange.
It feels weird to complain about a 28-12-12 line so I’m not going to. Luka was fantastic inside the arc and maneuvered his way nicely in the paint and to the line. Despite missing all those threes Luka still finished 9-of-20 from the floor, so he was almost perfect from the paint and mid-range.
Those 12 assists were a sight for sore eyes, as the Mavericks finally made some shots to help Luka out. Non-Luka Mavs were 15-of-36 from deep, with four Mavs making at least two three pointers. Luka looks so much better when his teammates are making threes, what a wild concept.
Maxi’s on fire
For most of this season, I’ve been wondering if Maxi Kleber was actually a good shooter or not. He was hovering around 30 percent after a hot start, which mirrored his rookie season. I looked up his Euro numbers and he never had incredible percentages over there. Combine that with the fact that he’s already 27 and I wondered if Maxi just was never going to get there.
Well, so much for that! I think. Kleber has been scorching hot in March, making 38 percent of his threes before tonight’s game. Against the Kings, Kleber went 4-of-8 from deep, his second consecutive game with four three-pointers made. It’s wonderful to see, as Kleber being at least league average from three opens up so much more lineup possibilities from the Mavs.
Dwight Powell in March is a broken record
We probably have to examine the ugly truth about why Dwight Powell is so good every March (NBA teams mostly don’t care) but still, his line tonight deserves a shout-out.
Powell finished with 21 points on 6-of-7 shooting, 13 rebounds, four blocks and three assists. He also went 9-of-11 from the line. It might be his best game as a Maverick! Powell’s rim-running seemed to make more of an impact with the Mavericks shooters finally doing their part.
The four blocks were the most eye-opening, as Powell has never been a deterrent at the rim. Those four blocks are probably a bit misleading too, as the Kings had their way in the paint with Marvin Bagley and Willie Cauley-Stein combining for 30 points on 12-of-15 shooting.
Still, what a game from Powell. He’s good!