The Dallas Mavericks managed to eek out a victory against the lowly Houston Rockets on Friday night by a score of 112-106. It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination, but they all look the same in the win column. The victory vaults the Mavs to over .500 at 17-16 on the season.
Let’s get right down to the important numbers from this one:
50: Luka Doncic points scored
Luka Doncic was the only reason the Mavericks won tonight. They needed a superhuman effort from him to scratch out this game; he played the entire second half. What that says about the state of the Mavericks’ roster and injury situation is an entirely different discussion, but Doncic played an incredible game. It’s the second time he’s scored 50 in his career.
Tonight, he did it by going 17-of-30 from the floor and 6-of-12 from three. He added eight rebounds and 10 assists. And the Mavericks needed every last bit of that production.
9-23: The Houston Rockets’ record
The Rockets are an abysmal basketball team. Offensively, they are bad. Defensively, they are worse. I would say there is no excuse to lose to this team, but Dallas already did that once this year with Doncic resting. For stretches during the second half, it looked like they were on their way to doing it again. But this time, the Mavericks had Luka Doncic at their disposal. Dallas is very fortunate that Houston is terrible enough for one man to beat them.
2: Non-Luka Mavericks in double figures
Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans each chipped in 11 points. Both players eclipsed the double digit plateau late in the fourth quarter. Every other non-Luka player was held to single digits. One would have hoped that facing the worst defense in the NBA would be an opportunity for other guys to get their games off, but that didn’t transpire tonight. Christian Wood (eight points, 2-of-6) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (seven points, 2-of-13) simply have to produce, especially with injuries ravaging the roster. Dallas needs more from their supporting cast on a consistent basis.
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