The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Golden State Warriors in heart-stopping fashion, escaping with a 116-113 victory. After jumping out to a 17-point lead in the first quarter, Golden State battled back against the Mavericks’ second unit and the game became a slugfest from the second period on. Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry traded blows repeatedly throughout, making for an incredibly entertaining contest.
It was a desperately needed win for the Mavs, who snapped a four game losing streak. Let’s get to the numbers that tell the story of this one.
41-12-12-4: Luka Doncic’s statline tonight
National TV game. At home. Against the defending champs. These are the perfect conditions for a Luka Doncic masterclass, and boy did the Mavericks get one tonight. This might have been a top five performance of Luka’s career. He simply did everything possible to help the team win on both ends of the floor. His four steals particularly stand out; Doncic was jumping into passing lanes, staying in front of Golden State’s dynamic guards, and even protecting the paint. Several times he found himself isolated against Steph Curry and proved to be up to the task.
On the offensive end he was transcendent, shooting 14-of-27 from the field and 4-of-9 on threes. He was a plus-22 in a three-point win. The only bugaboo for Doncic tonight was the free throw line, where missed six of his 15 attempts. He’s been bad in that area lately. Luckily, he did so much else tonight that it didn’t matter.
5: Three pointers made by Tim Hardaway Jr.
To say Tim Hardaway Jr. has been struggling this season would be the understatement of the year. He came into tonight’s game shooting 29.4% from three and had only hit five out of his last 25 attempts in the Mavericks’ last five games. Many were unhappy with his insertion into the starting lineup against Milwaukee, and he did little to stake his claim to that spot with a poor showing in that game. But coach Jason Kidd stuck with him tonight in that starting unit, and Hardaway rewarded him with a fantastic offensive performance, going 5-of-11 from three and chipping in 22 crucial points.
With the Mavericks’ starting lineup starved for offensive production, the hope is that Hardaway can provide scoring and three point shooting playing alongside Doncic like he did when he became a starter during the 2019-2020 season.
14: Minutes played by Reggie Bullock
He scored zero points on 0-of-3 shooting. They were all (open) three point attempts. Simply put, Bullock has been a disaster and it seemed as though Kidd was fed up with the complete lack of production from him. The 14 minutes were a season low, and you have to give credit to Kidd for finally making the adjustment and taking him off the floor. Josh Green played 27 minutes in his stead and was terrific, contributing 13 points, knocking down 3 threes, and providing energy and tenacious defense.
Bullock will eventually come around when the calendar flips to December or January, like he does every year, but the Mavericks cannot afford to keep grinding away while they wait for him to get there.
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