The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Detroit Pistons at home Tuesday evening, 116-86. Luka Doncic finished with 33 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds in just 33 minutes. Jeremi Grant was the high point man for Detroit with 15.
Against an undermanned Pistons squad, the Mavericks came out a bit sluggish, with lots of traded baskets and poor man defense. Coach Jason Kidd brought out a zone defense to stymie Detroit and Luka Doncic caught fire and the Mavericks closed the opening quarter up 36-26. Detroit stayed feisty in the second, closing the gap as the Mavericks ran out some odd units. But a 27-16 Dallas run to close the half gave the Mavericks a 65-51 lead at the half.
Dallas opted to not mess around at all in the third, pouring in the points. The Mavericks as a team shot 69% from the field and 75% from three from the floor in the frame and built up a huge lead. Heading into the fourth, Dallas found themselves with a 98-71 lead. The fourth quarter was entirely garbage time, with both teams just trying to make it out without injuries. There were many turnovers and a few points scored. Dallas walked away with the 116-86 victory.
Now, a thought
Closing out a bad team with authority
Despite this being nearly the exact same team as last year’s Dallas Mavericks, the team this year has some important differences which are helping them push towards a potential four seed (a high hope, but that’s the point). First, they play really good defense. That is part of the second thing in that they play really hard almost all the time. It’s visible in that instead of trying to not get beat, they’re taking the fight to the other team.
That leads into the third and final thing: these Mavericks have the capacity to beat the crud out of bad teams. I know they just lost to the Thunder and Magic, but those were both one possession games at the deciding point. Dallas buckled down against a short handed Pistons team and never let up. It’s just nice to see.
Past that, there’s not a ton to take away from this game. The have a back to back against the Clippers starting Thursday, so let’s go beat those guys.
Here’s our latest episode of Mavs Moneyball After Dark. If you’re unable to see the embed below, click here to be taken to the podcast directly. Or go to your favorite podcast app and search Mavs Moneyball Podcast.