The Dallas Mavericks defeated the San Antonio Spurs 126-125 Saturday night. Luka Doncic reminded everyone that he is in the midst of one of the best stretches of basketball in the history of the planet. Christian Wood finally didn’t block at least two shots but he provided an extremely efficient 25 points. Despite all of that the Mavericks still only beat the Spurs by one.
Here are the stats to know.
51: Points scored by Luka Doncic
It is impossible to overstate how fantastic Doncic has been recently. It is literally the best offensive stretch since Wilt Chamberlain. Doncic was the first player in NBA history to record at least 50 points, nine assists and no turnovers. Doncic has long been a fantastic player, but there was always the ability to nitpick about his efficiency or turnovers. Doncic had his 51 points tonight on a 71.6 true shooting percentage. He did miss six of his 15 free throw attempts, but other than that it isn’t really possible to play offensive basketball at a higher level than he is right now.
25: Points scored by Christian Wood
Wood’s insertion into the starting lineup has coincided with Doncic going full supernova. Association does not equal causation but there is some causal relationship here. Doncic thrives in the space Wood creates for him and Wood can take advantage of the chaos Doncic creates for defenses. Wood only had one block tonight, but he was 10-of-15 from the field and 4-of-7 from three.
58.1: Percent the Mavericks shot from the field
This is a fantastic percentage even though the Spurs are among the worst defenses in the league. This is hindered by the fact that the Mavericks actually shot better from the field than the free throw line, where they shot 57.1 percent. The Mavericks had quietly shot much better from the free throw line recently, but this represented a step back from the charity stripe.
Overall, the most important statistic is six, as in the six consecutive games the Mavericks have won. They haven’t all been pretty, and this was no exception. But an ugly win is better than an ugly loss. The Mavericks have now strung together enough wins to finish the year fourth in the Western Conference. Happy New Year!
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