The Dallas Mavericks cruised to an easy win against the New Orleans Pelicans Monday night, winning 108-92. The Mavericks let the Pelicans hang around in the first half, going into the break with a 51-47 lead. But a third quarter surge put them ahead by nine and they controlled the game the rest of the way, despite a late surge in the fourth by the Pelicans to close the gap a bit.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks in scoring with 25 points, adding five rebounds and five assists. Jalen Brunson chipped in 17 points and six assists off the bench. Josh Hart and Jonas Valanciunas each scored 22 points to lead the way for the Pelicans.
Here are three numbers from a Mavericks win:
2: The number of games the Mavericks have won by double digits this year.
The Mavericks are 7-3, but at least five of those wins have been against teams that will probably finish in the lottery. It’s a little worrisome that they’ve only been able to beat the Houston Rockets by 10 and the Pelicans by 16. The two teams are a combined 2-18 this season. Winning in the NBA is hard, but a team like the Mavericks, with ambitions of a deep playoff run, should easily win against most bad teams. They shouldn’t apologize for winning games, but it would be nice to see them absolutely dominate a bad team. The Mavericks still have a negative point differential on the season. Hopefully they’ll round into shape soon.
131: The number of games Luka has with 20+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists.
Luka fills up the stat sheet, that’s for sure. The fact that he did this in only 209 career games is crazy. He now leads the Mavericks in career games with that line. No one else in franchise history has done it more than him, not even Dirk Nowitzki, who he just passed in the record books. Doncic is 22 years old.
7: The number of years since the Mavericks started a season 7-3.
After a couple of years starting 6-4, Dallas has their best start since 2014-15. That year they boasted an elite offense, then submarined it by trading for Rajon Rondo. They ended the year by losing in the first round, which has become tradition in Dallas during the last decade. It’s safe to say they won’t be trading for Rondo this year, and the offense isn’t quite as fun to watch. But wins are wins, and the Mavericks are beating up on lesser opponents like they should.
Here’s our lastest 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.