The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-102. Dallas got off to a hot start again with Kristaps Porzingis picking up seven early points. They also did a good job on the glass, outrebounding the Thunder 15-9 in the first quarter. Despite a few mistakes at the end, Dallas was able to pull it out earning another victory to put them at 9-1 over their last 10 games.
Here are three stats to note.
102: Total points for Oklahoma City
Dallas had another impressive defensive performance, holding the Thunder to 102 points. The Thunder got hot at the end of the game, pushing them over the 100-point mark. In their last four matchups, the Mavericks have held OKC to under 100 points. As a team, Dallas picked up 10 steals and seven blocks while forcing 13 turnovers and holding the Thunder to 43.4 and 31.4 shooting splits. Seeing Dallas continue to play strong defense after getting Porzingis back is a fantastic sign. Granted, the last two games have been against the Magic and the Thunder, it’s still a good sign nonetheless.
It should be noted that Dallas has started Maxi Kleber at the four with Porzingis at the five since he’s come back. I have to imagine they stick with that moving forward. What do I know though? Kleber did leave the game in the second half with a knee injury.
13, 8, 4, and 1: Kristaps Porzingis stat line tonight
In his second night back, Porzingis had another solid performance, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and one steal while going 6-of-11 from the field. His presence was felt on both ends of the floor which allowed for Dallas to hold control of the game the entire night. It’s great to see him playing with aggression on both sides of the ball especially after being out for nearly two weeks. Porzingis continuing to stay aggressive will be crucial for this team, even if the shots don’t fall every night. It will continue to open things up for other guys the way it did tonight.
32-29: Dallas vs. OKC bench points
The Mavs bench outscored the Thunder 32-29, with Dwight Powell being the largest contributor putting up 10 points. Dallas won the bench battle despite Tim Hardaway Jr. having a tough shooting night and being without Reggie Bullock. Bringing Hardaway off the bench gives the Mavs a scoring option when Doncic or Brunson exit the game. Starting Doncic, Brunson, and Hardaway together isn’t the best idea from a defensive standpoint, so in that regard, I’m happy bringing him off the bench. I like our rotation right now, and it might get even better post-trade deadline. Goran Dragic is still a very real option and bringing him in would give us even more depth.
I like the adjustments coach Jason Kidd has made as the season has gone on. We’ll see how or if this roster changes with the trade deadline right around the corner. After tonight, the Mavs are 25-19 and fifth in the West. Not bad for a team with a new coach, new front office, and considering number of games they’ve had everyone available.
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