The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Golden State Warriors for the second time in five days, winning at home 122-113. Luka Doncic led the Mavericks with 41 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. Steph Curry was the high point man for Golden State with 21.
Dallas got up to an early lead on the Warriors as Golden State struggled from the field. Led by Doncic’s 19 first quarter points, the Mavericks kept a solid lead on the Warriors for the entire frame. After 12 minutes, Dallas found themselves ahead 38-27. The Mavericks pounded the Warriors for much of the second, led by the bench unit for the first half of the quarter and ended by Spencer Dinwiddie and Doncic connecting on deep threes. At the half, the Mavericks were up 68-54.
An early run powered by Klay Thompson pulled the Warriors back into the game in a hurry. The Mavericks settled eventually and re-extended the lead back to double digits. Hot shooting for the Warriors kept things within reach though and Golden State trailed 99-91 heading into the final frame. Rookie Moses Moody helped pull the Warriors all the way back into things in the fourth, tying the game at 104 with 6:28 remaining. The Dallas offense (and, to a degree, their defense) woke up finally via Spencer Dinwiddie and the Mavericks went on an 18-9 run to close the game. Dallas walked away with a 122-113 victory.
Now, some thoughts...
Punch and counterpunch
There’s a resiliency in these Dallas Mavericks. When looking at the schedule after All-Star break a pessimist (see: Henderson, Kirk) might’ve seen the team struggling to win a single game, given the teams (Jazz, Warriors, Lakers) and home road split (three roadies, one home game). Yet this current iteration of Dallas has a swagger about them that’s hard to define. It’s currently best exhibited by new Maverick Spencer Dinwiddie, a man who plays with sky high confidence paired with a remarkable level of patience. He fits, he’s calm, and it translates to winning plays.
When things went sideways in the fourth with the missed shot clock reset and rookie Moses Moody reigned threes on the Mavericks to tie things at 104, it seemed like the recent luck of Dallas might’ve dried up. Only it seems it’s not luck; rather, it’s grit and skill and Doncic and Dinwiddie led the Mavericks on one of the best closing runs this season. Who can say what’s to come, but for now, it seems the sky is the limit.
Dwight Powell is very tough
There’s not much to say here, past the fact that Powell is a relentless player with a lot of guts. The knot he has on his head is one that might’ve put many players out for the rest of the game. His willingness to give up his body night in and out is one of the many reasons the Mavericks love him. Some nights he drives us nuts but he’s been so good this year and he deserves our appreciation, particularly on an 13 point, eight rebound night which included some awesome finishes.
Doubling Steph Curry
The double teams Dallas sent Curry’s way looked VERY familiar to any Maverick fans. The traps near half court are what Luka Doncic sees every night and, at least for one night, the greatest relocation shooter in the league simply couldn’t free himself up. The Dallas team defense on Curry was breathtaking. And while a variety of other Warriors player carved Dallas up, holding the two time league MVP to 21 points on 15 shots is really impressive.
Dorian Finney-Smith and the confidence meter
Watching Dorian Finney-Smith evolve to the kind of player who takes a jab step, then drains a corner three in front of the opposing team’s bench has been a truly wild experience. Having watched nearly all of Finney-Smith’s games, including a ton of NBA Summer League, I simply did not think he was ever going to be come a functional rotation player, let alone a starter.
And he’s much more than a starter. He’s a reliable shooter, a staunch defender, and in Jason Kidd’s offense, an occasional play maker. This is the player Rick Carlisle insisted should’ve been a top 15 pick. This current iteration of an undrafted player is nothing short of spectacular and like previous seasons, how he plays may determine how far the Mavericks go. This time might be different, because we should all believe in Dorian Finney-Smith.
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