The Dallas Mavericks’ Sunday matinee game against the Los Angeles Clippers was historic. It was the first time in the modern shot clock era of the NBA that a team posted a 50-point lead at halftime. Dallas was on the good side of history and went on to win by 51 points, 124-73. The win also was the second largest margin of victory in franchise history.
After the game, the Mavericks reflected on their accomplishment. However while they spoke about their record-setting game, it was clear that they were keeping an eye on the future both during and after the game. Here’s what they said:
Maybe never [have I played for a team that’s up 50 at halftime]. Maybe when I was really, really young. I don’t remember. I think we showed who we are. People judged us the first two games of the season. It’s a long season. But we’ve got to keep going like that. We’ve got to play defense and that’s our strategy from now on.
Tim Hardaway Jr.
The funny thing is, no one had realized it until we got into halftime, to be honest with you. It was just everybody making sure that we didn’t focus on the score at all. Definitely made sure that we keyed in on all the things our coaching staff talked about before the game and just really, really tried our best to implement the game plan that we practiced the day before into today.
We made sure that everybody knew that it’s a long game. In the NBA, crazy swings have happened. We knew they were going to make a run, a little run and they did that. They went on a little 10-point run at the beginning of the third. I think we withstood that and got back to what we were doing.
It’s one of those things you can’t enjoy until the game is over. One of those let-ups or one of those relax-your-shoulders and we could have been on the other side of history for sure with a let down or a comeback. As long as we stay focused—every guy out there, we weren’t letting each other look up at the score. We need to hold each other accountable like that and I think we’ll be fine.
It’s a long season. Fifty-point leads at halftime are once in two decades in this league. They just don’t happen very often. We’ve got to look at things big picture-wise. First of all, we had 24 minutes left to play in the game. The second thing is the challenge of maintaining that level of competitiveness. And the third thing is, in the first half, our guys had established a standard for collective toughness and will that we need to find a way to maintain and they need to find a way to hold each other accountable and maintain it. The coaching staff is part of it too. We’re a family and we’ve got to keep each other accountable.