The Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 123-109 for the third time in this young season. The Mavericks struggled a little very early in the first quarter but established a nice working margin by leading 31-22 at the end of one. They never looked back in route to a much needed dominant victory.
Here are the numbers to revel in from the win.
5:43: Time remaining in the third quarter when the Mavericks locked up this victory
This is when I felt comfortable enough that this game would be a dominant win for the Mavericks and began writing this article. This may seem odd to list as a stat but it is one of the best ways to illustrate how dominant the Mavericks were and how early they put the game away.
Dorian Finney-Smith was able to steal a Bryn Forbes pass and go the other way for an uncontested dunk which prompted a Spurs timeout and gave the Mavericks a 19 point lead. That size lead is certainly not insurmountable with 17:43 remaining in an NBA game, but the Mavericks were clearly in control and never faced any danger the rest of the game.
30: Points the Mavericks exceeded in each of the first three quarters
Prior to tonight the Mavericks had scored 30 or more points in nine of the 44 quarters they played. One of these was the quarter they were destroyed 46-32 by the Miami Heat. During the first three quarters of this game, the Mavericks scored 31, 37 and 34 points while outscoring the Spurs in each quarter. They failed to score 30 in the fourth quarter which was largely garbage time, but this was the first time this season the Mavericks offense truly got untracked.
15: Assists for Luka Doncic
In the 4 game stretch from Miami through New Orleans, Luka averaged only 5.5 assists through a combination of looking for his own mid range jumper and his teammates missing open shots.
Against Chicago, Luka had his third double digit assist game but it came in an ugly loss. Tonight he had 15 assists in route to his first triple double of the season. This was clearly Luka’s best game of the season as he also shot efficiently and contributed as many steals as turnovers(two a piece). He also had his eighteenth 30 point triple double which broke a tie with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson for sixth all time in that category.
32: Points for Kristaps Porzingis
This season has been a struggle for Porzingis, but he was fantastic offensively and defensively tonight. He was extremely aggressive and tied for the team lead in scoring. He did a good job utilizing his length on the way to three blocks on the other end as well. Overall this was a fantastic game from Porzingis.
17: Steals plus blocks for the Mavericks
One of the major differences between coach Jason Kidd and previous coach Rick Carlisle is how much more Kidd champions the importance of defensive playmaking. Carlisle preferred solid positional defense and forcing other teams to take relatively difficult shots with a defender between them and the rim.
Kidd wants his defenders to make plays. Neither approach has led to a particularly good defense with this group of players but this was a good example of the Mavericks making plays defensively.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.