The Mavericks dropped a tough one tonight in Dallas against a feisty New York Knicks squad. Final score: Knicks 117, Mavs 109.
Dallas now find themselves on the wrong side of Knicks history after tonight’s loss. Thanks to a lackluster defensive effort by the Mavs, the Knicks are now on their first five-game winning streak since 2014. Yikes.
The game was close until the beginning of the fourth quarter when RJ Barrett helped the Knicks pull ahead. They never looked back. Here are 3 numbers from the disappointing loss.
19: The number of assists Luka Doncic had
Luka didn’t shoot the ball all that well tonight (22 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field and 2-of-9 from 3-point land), but if you thought he was to blame for the Mavs coming up short, then you weren’t watching.
Doncic was setting up his teammates all night long, dishing out a season-high 19 assists (this also ties his career-high). He did that all while protecting the ball to near-perfection, only turning it over three times.
He was doing it all: finding cutters, putting the ball in shooting pockets, tossing the ball down the court to guys leaking — everything. If there was a pass to make, Luka made it. He simply put on a passing clinic.
68: The number of points Barrett and Randle combined for
Julius Randle stole the show tonight. He had a season-high 44 points on an efficient 16-of-29 shooting from the field and 6-of-11 shooting from 3-point range to go along with 10 boards and seven assists. Randle wasted no time getting going tonight, connecting on his first three 3-pointers, helping the Knicks start out strong.
Randle wasn’t alone, though. Sophomore wing RJ Barrett played an incredible Robin to Randle’s Batman. Barrett scored 24 points of his own on 50% shooting from the field and 50% from beyond the arc while adding eight rebounds and two assists.
The Knicks are already one of the league’s elite defensive teams, so if those two guys are going to have offensive nights like they had, New York is a tough team to beat.
-20: Jalen Brunson’s plus/minus in 17 minutes of action
Plus/minus has its ups and its downs. It’ll never paint the entire picture, but it often tells an interesting piece of the story.
Tonight, Jalen Brunson was bad (like, really bad), and the plus/minus backs that up. He had the worst plus/minus in the game at -20 despite playing only 17 minutes. In fact, he was the only one to have a negative plus/minus in the double-digits. That’s how poorly he affected the game.
This isn’t meant to slight Brunson too much. He’s had an outstanding season and has proven himself to be a valuable member of this Mavs team. But tonight, he just didn’t have it.
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.