The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Sacramento Kings 112-96 in Sacramento on Friday night. The two teams played a competitive game in the first half, but then the Mavericks took control in the third quarter and never looked back.
Kristaps Porzingis led all scorers with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Jalen Brunson also chipped in 24 points. All five starters for the Mavericks scored in double digits, a rare occurrence. Tyrese Haliburton led the Kings in scoring with 17, and also dished out 10 assists.
Here are three numbers from the win:
12: The point differential for the Mavericks in the third quarter
The third quarter has been a danger zone for the Mavericks for a couple years now, but not tonight. Dallas outscored Sacramento 32-20 in the third quarter. That was their second-best point differential so far this season, second only to the November 12th game when they outscored the San Antonio Spurs by 14.
8: The number of wins the Mavericks have this year when trailing by 10+
Dallas got down early in the game but continued to fight. This is the eighth time they’ve trailed by ten or more points and come back to win the game. They only had seven such instances in all of last season. The Mavericks have struggled this year, but they do seem to have a toughness that was lacking last season. It would’ve been easy to just lay down and take some losses the last two weeks with the extenuating circumstances they’ve been dealt. Instead, they’ve fought hard almost every game, and even won some of them. It’s a plus they’ve been able to tread water, especially with the Western conference in such a chaotic state.
16: The number of consecutive games Brunson has scored in double digits
Brunson scored in double digits every game he played in December. His play has been a revelation this season, and quite frankly, he’s saved the Mavericks from being an utter disaster. Imagine where this team would be if he played at last year’s level or worse. He’s gone from being a Sixth Man of the Year candidate to a capable starter for a playoff team. In his last four games, he’s averaged 22.3 points and 7.3 assists on 50% shooting. He’s got 29 assists to seven turnovers. The Mavericks went into this season needing a secondary playmaker next to Luka Doncic, but not anymore. Brunson is that guy.
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.