The Dallas Mavericks pulled away a close victory against the Toronto Raptors in Dallas Friday night, winning 111-110. It was a back-and-forth game, with the Mavericks building a 19-point second half lead before the Raptors charged back to make the Mavericks sweat it out.
Luka Doncic was sensational yet again, leading all scorers with 35 points. O.G. Anunoby paced Toronto with 27 points.
The Mavericks have won four out of their last five and three in a row to put them at 5-3 after a somewhat shaky start to the season. Let’s look at the three most important numbers from the win.
55.8 percent: Mavericks shooting percentage on two pointers
The Raptors came into this game with the sixth-best defense in the NBA. Coach Nick Nurse is considered a defensive guru and Toronto’s roster is littered with long armed, athletic players to muck up an opposing offense. For most of this game, the Mavericks handled it.
Dallas shot 27-of-43 on two pointers, getting what they wanted in the paint. Luka Doncic on his own was 7-of-11 on two pointers, continuing his dominant scoring trend inside the three point line so far this season.
19: Mavericks turnovers
Since Doncic was drafted in 2018, part of the Mavericks key to success has been limiting turnovers and playing an efficient half court game. Dallas entered Friday’s game averaging the fourth least turnovers per game at 12.7. The Raptors managed to put a wrench in that game plan, but the crazy thing was it not mattering.
The Raptors are like the Grizzlies — they like to cause havoc on defense and get out in the open court. The Mavericks surprisingly hung tough with Toronto in transition, despite the Mavericks rarely playing in it. Kudos to the Mavericks for overcoming and adapting to the frenetic pace the Raptors play at.
20: Josh Green’s minutes played
While a lot of attention has focused on what the Mavericks are going to do with JaVale McGee and the starting lineup, another storyline was Josh Green’s impactful start to the season and whether he’d get more time. He ended up playing a season-high 20 minutes against the Raptors on Friday night.
It was a well-earned 20 minutes too, as Green continued to do the things he’s been doing well all season — hitting his open threes, playing hard defense, and finishing at the rim. Green had an electric steal and score on the fastbreak in the first half that really woke the crowd and the team up. Green hasn’t graduated to closing lineups, but let’s continue to keep patience with Green. He’s doing good things! This is progress! If Green continues to impact the game in winning ways when he steps on the court, the minutes situation will eventually take care of itself.
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