The Dallas Mavericks avoided back-to-back losses with a fantastic fourth quarter against the Milwaukee Bucks that put them comfortably over the edge. Luka Doncic led all Mavericks with a near triple-double performance of 27-9-9, while Kristaps Porzingis tallied 26 points and 17 rebounds himself.
Here are a few key statistics from the game:
19: The Mavericks outscored the Bucks by 19 points in the fourth quarter.
After Milwaukee had just finished the third quarter on a 12-0 run to retake the lead, the Mavericks regained their footing and played spectacular on both ends of the floor. Porzingis found his stroke from deep and made some smart reads to open corner shooters, while also being a huge paint presence on defense.
Doncic was basically the singular cause of the Bucks run with three consecutive turnovers including an offensive foul that eventually led to a technical, but he corrected the ship in the final period as well. He hit Porzingis for two three-pointers and worked the foul-prone Thanasis Antetokounmpo for easy layups and free throws.
4: Kristaps Porzingis had 4 more field goal attempts tonight in the fourth quarter than he did against the Rockets.
A big talking point after the ugly loss Wednesday night to Houston was the fact that KP had no shot attempts in the final period, even though he had a decent shooting performance through the first three quarters. Tonight he was perfect, hitting three deep three-pointers all of which were in the flow of the offense, as well as a put-back after a miss. Whether this discrepancy in his fourth-quarter usage is a result of the opponent’s defensive scheme or an issue with the Mavericks’ choices on offense, it was certainly good to see him deliver.
17: Dallas scored 17 second-chance points off 15 offensive rebounds.
The Mavericks aren’t the greatest offensive rebounding team in the league, thanks to their five-out offensive play style and some occasional lapses in effort, but tonight it felt clear that every Maverick was making a genuine attempt to get his team more opportunities. The best example of this might be a late fourth-quarter rebound by Porzingis, in which he fought off the feisty Bobby Portis and Brook Lopez to secure a long rebound. He got the ball in the corner of the court and made a possession-saving pass to Dorian Finney-Smith, who nailed a three to put the Mavericks up 13 with two minutes to go.
12: Josh Richardson has missed his last 12 three-point attempts.
Since his perfect 5 for 5 performance from deep against the Utah Jazz, Richardson’s shot has looked broken on a high volume of attempts, including an attempt tonight that hit the side of the backboard. It’s very confusing how during some really great possessions of ball movement, it’s the worst shooter who’s taking semi-contested shots that should be taken by literally anyone else.
Richardson did have some nice finishes around the rim including an and-one, but any jumper from beyond 5 feet tends to look ugly. A big part of his game is to get by his defender and pull up for a mid-range attempt, but those tend to brick as well. Hopefully he can find some consistency with his shot, or at least restrain himself from shooting with the confidence of Tim Hardaway Jr.