When you have a game like Luka Doncic did on Tuesday night, and the world reacts like it did, almost everything else gets swept under the rug. If you peak under said rug, however, you will find plenty of other interesting things that happened in the Mavericks home win.
Christian Wood’s block streak
The Mavericks big man has really stepped up on defense since becoming a starter, and has now recorded at least two blocks in every game going back to December 16th. He has 17 blocks over this stretch, including two games of three or more.
Immanuel Quickley had an all-time assist game
The 23 year old point guard got the starting nod in Jalen Brunson’s absence. In an outcome no one expected, he out-dimed and out-lasted Luka Doncic with 15 assists in 51 minutes (11 assists in the first half). What makes this an all-timer is that he did this with only one turnover, becoming only the eighth time in NBA history that a player has recorded 15 assists, 50 or more minutes, and one or fewer turnovers in a game.
Early fouls, but no trouble?
To compound the craziness of Quickley’s ball security, he also picked up his third foul five seconds into the second quarter, and did not foul out. His teammate, Julius Randle, who played 45 minutes, picked up his third foul in the first quarter, and did not foul out. At one point in the first half the Knicks had nine team fouls: three by Quickley, three by Randle, and three by Jericho Sims, who only played 13 minutes.
RJ Barrett’s unfortunate injury
The reason Randle and Quickley had such long leashes was because less than two minutes into the game RJ Barrett seemingly jammed his finger on his own hand. He immediately was in pain and asked to be taken out. The Knicks were down two starters for almost the entirety of this game.
Near history for Miles McBride
Now without Barrett and Brunson, the Knicks were forced to play Miles McBride a career-high 46 minutes off of the bench. This was only eight minutes short of the record for minutes in a game by a bench player, and just the 72nd time in history that a player had played at least 46 minutes off the bench.
Dwight Powell was… good?
If you had to take a guess on who the highest plus/minus on the team was Monday night, who would it be? Luka Doncic, who had 60 points? Maybe Christian Wood who recorded four blocks? It was neither of them, but instead Dwight Powell who recorded two points and one assist in 31 minutes of play. He was a plus-10, despite not even grabbing a rebound.
As Charles Barkeley would say, the Mavericks bench had a triple single
No, not everyone individually. The entire Mavericks bench combined for just nine points, six rebounds, and one assist. They played 61 of the 265 available minutes, or 23 percent. Almost a fourth of the game was occupied by bench minutes and not a single major statistical category could reach double digits.
Doncic’s start versus his miraculous finish
A personal favorite, the comparison of Doncic’s first three quarters to his fourth quarter and overtime is mind-boggling. Both are good enough for entire games in their own right, and yet they combine for a complete game line you have to see to believe:
Luka Doncic in 4th Quarter & Overtime Tonight— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) December 28, 2022
Luka Doncic First 3 Quarters— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) December 28, 2022
Hilariously he had all 5 of his fouls in 4th & OT as well— Nick Angstadt (@NickVanExit) December 28, 2022