Dallas defeated the Cavaliers in Cleveland by a score of 120-112 in service of their late push for the West’s third seed. On the team’s third game in four nights and the second night of a back-to-back, the Mavericks overcame some tired legs in order to secure the win. The results of the Warriors/Suns game tonight will determine where exactly Dallas lands in the standings.
28: Career-high points scored for Dorian Finney-Smith
On a night without Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith answered the call in a big way. He scored a hyper-efficient 28 points on 10-of-16 including scoring a career-high six three-point shots on 12 attempts. That 50% from distance was well earned, too. Luka generated some good looks, but on more than one occasion, Finney-Smith was the guy forced to take the shot with time running out on the shot clock, and he nailed them anyway.
To top it all off, he was a team-high plus-16 on the night.
8: Assists Luka had in the first quarter
The game kicked off fast, with both teams taking and making shots. With Cleveland determined to double Luka with every touch, he entered master facilitator mode, and his teammates cashed in. Even the recently snake-bitten Maxi Kleber and Davis Bertans started hot, with Maxi hitting his first two threes, and Bertans adding another. And Luka did it all with zero turnovers.
It was another night where Doncic absolutely stuffed the box score. He nearly had a triple-double in the third quarter for the second night in a row, putting up a 32-point, 13-assist, 6-rebound line through three. He was ultimately one rebound shy of a triple-double, but it was a masterful performance for Doncic who provided whatever Dallas needed at the moment. He even threw in one of his patented behind the back fakes on former teammate Moses Brown
how i be tricking my dog with his treats pic.twitter.com/1aCvx71eeK— mike taddow (@MikeTaddow) March 31, 2022
22: Fewer points for the Cavs in the second half
From the word go, this looked like it was going to be a shootout. And looking at the final score of 120-112, it wasn’t exactly a defensive masterclass. However, Cleveland's 112 points isn’t so bad considering they scored 67 of those in the first half, until Dallas’ defense came alive in the second to hold them to 45.
The 8-of-16 the Cavs shot from three in the first half was probably bound to revert to the mean a little in the second half, holding Cleveland to 3-of-9 from deep and forcing eight turnovers.
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.