The Dallas Mavericks won against the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday night, 104-96. Luka Doncic picked up 26 points, seven assists, and eight rebounds, while Kristaps Porzingis logged 19 points, four rebounds, one steal, and one block.
On the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavs started out aggressive on the offensive end. Porzingis was able to convert on a quick and one, drawing a foul on Jaren Jackson Jr. on a dribble pull-up. Dorian Finney-Smith then scored on a tough alley-oop off an in-bound play to get himself going. Dwight Powell was incredibly active, picking up two early offensive rebounds and a tip that led to an easy second-chance dunk for Porzingis. Doncic later got going with two back-to-back threes. Moses Brown checked in about midway through the first, making his presence felt on each end of the floor and managed to pick up three points, two rebound, and two blocks in six minutes. The quarter ended on a good note with Reggie Bullock knocking down a three and Jalen Brunson drawing a foul on a drive at the buzzer. Doncic finished the first quarter with eight points, two assists, and two rebounds,
Porzingis checked back in and immediately denied Dillon Brooks on a drive to start the second quarter after being pulled early as a result of picking up two early fouls. Tim Hardaway Jr. got going, knocking down a mid-range pull up. Josh Green checked in early, bringing some tough defense and connecting on a back-door slam cut from Luka. Memphis picked up the pace after that, getting a handful of buckets inside to build a double digit lead at 49-37. Brunson knocked the lead down to seven on his second steal of the night, finishing with a one-handed slam with Jaren Jackson Jr. right on his tail. Reggie Bullock knocked down his second three of the night, followed by an easy midrange jay from Brunson. Doncic picked up a technical after a missed floater heading into the half. The Grizzlies led 52-48.
Porzingis knocked down a three from the top of the key to get things going at the start of the third. Doncic later splashed in a three shortly after, followed by a mid-range pull-up to keep the Mavs going. Porzingis got another three to go down with the shooter’s bounce. Bullock got his third three of the night to go after the extra pass from Finney-Smith to put Dallas up 63-60. The hot stretch brought the Mavericks up to 35 percent from three on the night. Moses Brown checked back in and got an easy dunk off an assist from Doncic. Brunson found Finney-Smith on a transition alley-oop to inject some energy into the Mavericks as the second half wore on. Brown continued to make things tough for the Grizzlies with his wingspan alone on the shot contests. Dallas led 76-75 heading to the fourth.
Dallas started the quarter slowly, only scoring three points in three minutes. They followed the slow start up with a 7-0 run to put them up 86-79, resulting in a timeout by Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins. Doncic knocked in a deep three over Dillon Brooks, but Gonzaga alum Killian Tillie returned the favor, knocking down a deep catch-and-shoot three immediately after. Porzingis checked back in with five minutes to go. Bullock hit a big three off a drive-and-kick from Brunson to put Dallas up 95-86. Memphis called a timeout as Dillon Brooks picks up a technical, making his case for a missed offensive foul on Brunson. Porzingis hit the technical free throw to give Dallas a double-digit lead. Jaren Jackson Jr. picked up his fifth foul on a moving screen which turns into a Bullock layup on the other end off a no-look pass from Doncic. Porzingis then got a breakaway dunk after a successful challenge by Mavericks coach Jason Kidd. The sixth technical of the game is awarded to Jenkins, which seems to be a nail in the coffin for the Grizzlies. While I’m glad Dallas was able to pick up the win, it was an ugly one to watch with the performance by the officials. One final technical was given to Dillon Brooks, causing him to be ejected. There were 7 technicals assessed on the night. Ridiculous. Mavs win 104-96.
Bullock headed in the right direction
Bullock went 5-of-7 from the field, finishing with 15 points and five assists. He was active on both ends of the floor, continuing to move which resulted in several open catch-and-shoot threes after relocating to his spots and an easy layup after a cut to the basket. He was playing with confidence and showed what he can bring to the table as a starting wing. I hope to see him continue to build upon this shooting performance. Getting this team back on track in terms of three-point shooting is a must.
The Mavericks must close out games better
Despite picking up the win, the end to the game was not fun to watch. The frustration from the Grizzlies that resulted in several technicals certainly helped Dallas, but the Mavs can’t afford to have possession after possession result in deep threes off the dribble as they simply try to run down the clock. That won’t work against teams like the Nets, Warriors, or any other team that is known for catching fire. It almost cost them a few weeks back against the Clippers. I hope to see the Mavs look to improve how they close out games moving forward.
Jason Kidd needs to keep giving these young guys opportunities
Moses Brown and Josh Green made the most of their opportunities tonight. They both came in and made their presences felt with lots of activity on both ends. Brown picked up two blocks in the first while Green was earned himself an easy-two handed slam off a back-door cut. Each of their efforts were awarded with Kidd bringing them back in in the second half. Brown finished with nine points, seven rebounds, two blocks, and one steal in 12 minutes. Green finished with four points and one rebound in 10 minutes. Giving these young guys minutes will give them confidence and allow them to continue adjusting to the pace of the NBA. They both showed flashes, each bring something unique to this group. If they can each continue to play as hard as they did tonight, I will happily take the growing pain-moments that come with the minutes they get.
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