The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 109-104. The Mavericks had a lead as large as 21 points in the first half before eventually going into halftime up 71-56. The game was contentious as the collection of aging legends of the Lakers realize the danger their season and in some cases their careers are in. The Lakers fought hard and took a lead, but the Mavericks showed real resilience in fighting back for a win.
Here are the stats to know.
9: Number of assists for Spencer Dinwiddie in 24 minutes
Dinwiddie continues to be the Mavericks’ second best player since the trade. He continued to score well by chipping in 14 points but mostly he provided a jolt of playmaking that the team desperately needed. Luka Doncic struggled with his shot and a lot of defensive attention, so Dinwiddie’s playmaking was sorely needed.
4: Number of made threes for Jalen Brunson
With the addition of Dinwiddie to go along with Luka, the Mavericks are no longer starved for playmaking. The malleability of Brunson’s game was on full display as he shifted to a more scoring oriented role while chipping in 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 shooting from three.
48: Combined number of minutes that Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell played.
They did not share the court any so the Mavericks played zero minutes with the fun no center lineups used against Golden State. Kleber is in a shooting slump but continues to provide quality defense and effort. Kleber in particular fouled Talen Horton Tucker on a breakaway which prevented a dunk which might have raised the Lakers’ spirits. He also had another nice block on Westbrook in the second half.
Kleber has to make jumpers to provide the Mavericks their best chance to win going forward though. Every player goes through slumps but Kleber is now 1-of-9 from three in 69 combined minutes since the all star break.
2: Number of blocks for Luka Doncic
Luka had two blocks of Russell Westbrook and one official steal (he appeared to have another steal during a Lebron James post up but was not credited with it officially). He also broke up a lob to Lebron on a fast break. The matchup with Westbrook brings out the best in Luka’s defense.
The Mavericks clearly made a choice to dare Westbrook to shoot from virtually any distance short of a layup. This allowed Luka to use his size and length to challenge Westbrook at the rim as well as provide help over the floor. Overall, the Mavericks let this one get quite a bit closer than it should have been, but they did just enough to win and the win is all that matters.
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