The Dallas Mavericks snapped a two game losing streak Monday night, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-114 in Dallas.
Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 38 points, while Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander had a game-high 42 points.
The Thunder gave the Mavericks everything they could handle, overcoming an early 12-0 deficit to lead by five after the first quarter. From there, the Mavericks slumbering offense woke up, Doncic kept scoring almost at will, and the defense got stops after the offense started making some shots.
This win creeps Dallas back over the .500 mark at 14-13. Let’s get to the numbers.
34: Consecutive games Luka Doncic has scored 20-plus points
Doncic finished with a team-high 38 points, which means he scored 20 or more in his 34th consecutive game dating back to last season. That ties a Mavericks franchise record held by Mark Aguirre.
Every point from Doncic was needed, as the Thunder would just not go away. Doncic did a little bit of everything against the Thunder: he hit three 3-pointers, scored in the paint, and got to the free throw line 10 times, making nine. Doncic goes for the record Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
22: Made three pointers by the Mavericks
Dallas shot 22-of-54 (40.7 percent) from three, which means they basically get an automatic win. When the Mavericks make their shots, they win. Sometimes it’s that simple.
There were six Mavericks that made at least two three pointers, and of those, five made at least three. Tim Hardaway Jr. led the way with a 6-of-14 night, as he had just an outrageous green light to fire away. Dinwiddie made a miracle buzzer-beating three to beat the shot clock midway through the fourth quarter that felt like a dagger.
The big thing about the Mavericks is that they need to make shots to play defense. Dallas has the second best defense after making a shot and while most NBA teams play better defense after making a basket, it’s really evident for the Mavericks.
SGA had a monster night, but Dallas did a decent enough job on everyone else. The Thunder only scored 24 points in the fourth quarter, which was solid.
41.2: Shooting percentage on Mavericks shots in the restricted area
One of the main reasons this game was as close as it was despite the red-hot three point shooting is that the Mavericks absolutely could not buy a bucket at the rim. Dallas shot 7-of-17 in the restricted area Monday night, a ghastly 41.2 percent. League average for that area of the floor is 66 percent.
It was bizarre, as the Mavericks almost shot better from three than they did at the rim. That doesn’t happen very often in the NBA! For whatever reason there was a lid on the basket when the Mavericks got close and thankfully the hot long distance shooting bailed them out.
You can listen to our latest podcast episode in the player embedded below, and to make sure you don’t miss a single one moving forward, subscribe to the Mavs Moneyball podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Pocketcasts, or Castbox.
You can check our our After Dark Recap podcasts, Spotify Live recordings, Moneyball Minute shows, and guest shows on the Mavs Moneyball Podcast feed. Please subscribe, rate, and review.