The Dallas Mavericks found a way to win a pivotal playoff game without Luka Doncic. It wasn’t always pretty, and it definitely wasn’t always easy, but they did it thanks to a career-high 41 points from Jalen Brunson and some nasty shooting. Rejoice! Let’s take a look at four important numbers from the win.
0: Number of points for Mike Conley
There are a lot of fun offensive numbers to highlight for the Mavs (and believe me, we’ll highlight them), but one of the more thought-provoking numbers from Game 2 comes on the defensive side of things. The Mavs’ stingy defense held Mike Conley to zero (zero!) points all game.
Conley struggled in Game 1 as well, but nothing quite like what happened in Game 2. Part of his struggles can be attributed to foul trouble. He was never able to get in a rhythm and only played 22 minutes. But the Mavs defense deserves a massive amount of credit as well. Any time one of the best players on the opposing team is held to zero points, that’s a huge deal.
3: Number of turnovers committed by the Mavs
One reason the Mavs were able to stay competitive in (and ultimately win) a playoff game without Luka Doncic? They took care of the rock, only turning it over three times. Here’s some context on how big of a deal that is:
Tonight was only the 8th instance in @NBA postseason history where a team recorded 3-or-fewer turnovers (since 1982-83).— Mavs PR (@MavsPR) April 19, 2022
3 marks a new franchise record, supplanting their previous low of 5 turnovers (5/28/06 at PHX).
h/t @Stathead https://t.co/8CHy9Hj9xT
Another fun fact: All three turnovers were committed by Spencer Dinwiddie. No one else on the Mavs turned the ball over one time.
8: Number of threes splashed by Maxi Kleber
Perhaps the most notable part of tonight’s game was Maxi Kleber lighting the nets on fire for all to see. Maxi had his fair share of struggles throughout the season. For a while, it looked like his shot had vanished permanently. Tonight, Maxi was the difference. He shot 8-of-11 from behind the arc and was the ultimate kryptonite to Rudy Gobert and the Jazz defense.
Speaking of threes...
22: Number of threes splashed by the Mavs
Maxi wasn’t the only one that had it going from the 3-point line. It was a team effort for the Mavs. In Game 1, they shot 9-of-32 (28.1%) from deep. In Game 2, it was a completely different story as the Mavs shot 22-of-47 (46.8%) from beyond the arc.
That’s a monumental shift in three-point shooting, and it largely tells the tale of Game 1 vs Game 2.
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.