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3 things from the Mavericks thrilling 134-132 win against the Warriors

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The Mavericks won 134-132 behind a stellar performance from Luka Doncic.

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

It was an absolutely wild ride, with non-existent defense, but the Dallas Mavericks rode Luka Doncic’s coattails all the way to a really fun win over Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors. Final score: 134-132

The Mavs threw the first punch in this game, jumping out to an 18-2 lead early in the first quarter, but it didn’t take long for the Warriors to respond. They bounced back with a 10-0 run of their own, and from that point on, it was a fairly close game throughout.

The most impressive thing the Mavs did as a team tonight was weather a storm of Steph Curry going scorched Earth on the entire American Airlines Center. Curry finished the game with a mind-boggling 57 points on 19-of-31 shooting from the field and 11-of-19 shooting from deep. He was, in a word, good, and he kept the Warriors in the game until the final buzzer.

Doncic seemingly iced the game with a deep, splashy 3-ball to put the Mavs up seven points with just over 44 seconds to go, but Curry came back and immediately knocked down a 26-footer of his own.

After a Josh Richardson turnover and a Curry and-one, all of a sudden, the game was hanging in the balance again. Thanks to a beautiful read from Luka, and a clutch corner three from Maxi Kleber, the Mavs held on to win the ball game.

Luka summed up this game (and also this Mavs season) pretty well in his postgame interview with Rachel Nichols, saying: “At the end, we almost, like, lost it again.”

Yes, Luka, that’s exactly right. At the end, you almost, like, lost it again. But you didn’t loose! Here are three things from the incredibly entertaining win.

Dwight Powell minutes = good minutes, finally

Dwight Powell deserves a massive “thank you” from every Mavs fan right now. All Dallas has wanted all season is for the team to show some heart, some grit, and some hustle. Powell gave the city all three of those things tonight. Check out this play:

Dwight was everywhere tonight. He was rolling hard to the rim. He was crashing the glass. And as you see in the clip above, he was diving head-first out of bounds to save the ball.

He only played 17 minutes, but he gets an A+ for those 17 minutes. He was simply fantastic.

The Mavs finally looked like they were enjoying themselves

I can’t overstate how beautiful this was to watch: The 2020-21 Mavs finally had some fun playing basketball.

What we’ve seen the last few weeks hasn’t been fun to watch, and I can’t imagine it’s been fun to experience on the court. Tonight was different, though. The ball was zipping around, guys were hustling, and I think I even saw a few smiles on the court.

It’s totally understandable that the Mavs have been frustrated with how their season started. Everyone that cheers for them has been equally as frustrated. That’s why it was so nice to see the guys having fun on the court. It was fun to watch, and I’m sure it was fun to be a part of.

Luka Doncic, the superstar

Luka got overshadowed a bit by Curry turning into an axe murderer on a mission, but he played nearly perfect basketball tonight. He finished the game with 42 points on an efficient 12-of-23 shooting from the field and 7-of-12 shooting from three-point territory to go along with 11 assists and seven boards. He had some sloppy turnovers, but he made up for it with everything else. He was the steady hand the team needed from start to finish.

Leading up to this game, I wrote about how this Mavs team will only go as far as Luka can carry them. Tonight, he picked them up and carried them all the way to a nice, prime-time victory.

Here’s the postgame podcast, Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you can’t see the embed below “More from Mavs Moneyball”, click here. And if you haven’t yet, subscribe by searching “Mavs Moneyball podcast” into your favorite podcast app.