The Dallas Mavericks ran the Los Angeles Lakers off the court in Dallas on Tuesday night, winning 128-110. The Mavericks opened the game on an 8-0 run and the Lakers packed it in almost immediately. The Dallas lead reached 37 at one point.
The Mavericks scored 82 points in the first half, getting close to the franchise record of 85 for points in one half. Luka Doncic had a triple-double, scoring 34 points, grabbing 12 rebounds, and dishing out 12 assists. Malik Monk led the Lakers with 28 points. Russell Westbrook had 25 points and eight rebounds.
The Mavericks scored 113 through three quarters, the most for them this season. They scuffled a bit in the fourth quarter, only scoring 15 points. The Lakers outscored them by 11 in the final period. But it didn’t matter. The damage had already been done. The Mavericks capped off their season series with the Lakers with a wire-to-wire win.
Here are three thoughts from the game:
The Mavericks’ hot shooting continues
Dallas was scorching hot against the Utah Jazz on Sunday, shooting 51% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. That hot shooting continued against the Lakers. The Mavericks shot 51% from the field and 47% from three.
Even Maxi Kleber and Davis Bertans shot well, despite their recent shooting slumps. Kleber went 2-5 and Bertans went 4-5 on 3-pointers. It’s a great sign heading into the playoffs. Kleber especially needed to see some shots go in. He was shooting 15% from deep since the calendar turned to March. Hopefully the hot shooting continues well into spring.
The huge lead let the starters get some much needed rest
Luka only played 30 minutes. Jalen Brunson only played 31. Dwight Powell logged 29 minutes. That’ll be huge tomorrow night, when the Mavericks take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last back-to-back of the season. Dallas is still fighting for playoff position. They moved into fourth place in the Western Conference with the win against the Jazz on Sunday, and with this win move within a game of the Golden State Warriors for third place.
Moving up in the standings without wearing out their key rotation players before the postseason starts would be a huge advantage. Teams like the Denver Nuggets are having to lean heavy on Nikola Jokic just to avoid the play-in tournament. That physical toll will have consequences in the playoffs.
The Mavericks actually had more fast break points than another team for once
Dallas is a slow moving team that plays at a methodical pace. Luka likes it that way, and so does Jason Kidd. But sometimes they leave easy baskets on the court by not getting up the floor quickly, especially on turnovers and long rebounds. Not tonight. They outscored the Lakers 12-2 on fast breaks. It’s just another sign that the Lakers had very low energy all night, and just didn’t seem as desperate to win, despite the fact that the loss knocked them down to the 11th seed. If the season ended today, they wouldn’t even make the play-in tournament.
It’s nice to see the Mavericks come out with a high energy performance against a struggling team. That’s something they’ve had issues with in the pass, but they’re slowly discovering ways to stay aggressive against lesser opponents.