Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. That’s the best intro I could come up with tonight.
It was a magical season for the Dallas Mavericks, capped off by an inspiring playoff run. But ultimately, the better team is heading to the Finals, and the Mavs are ready to regroup in the offseason after a 120-110 Game 5 loss to the Golden State Warriors Thursday night.
Here are four numbers that tell (part of) the story from the season-ending loss to the Warriors.
6: Luka Doncic first half points
If you didn’t know prior to Game 5, you now know that Luka Doncic is human. It’s true! He’s a once-in-a-generation talent, and he’s on track to be one of the greatest basketball players the world has ever seen. But he’s young, and he’s human. He did not have a good game tonight.
Luka scored a mere six points on 2-of-12 shooting from the field in the first half, and the Warriors jumped out to a 17-point lead at the half. Against a championship-level team like the Warriors, and on their homecourt no less, that’s not a recipe for success.
Doncic picked up his play toward the end of the third quarter when the Mavs went on a 15-0 run to get the game within striking distance. He ended up with 28 points, nine assists and six rebounds. But don’t let those raw numbers fool you. He played a poor game, and I’m sure he’d be the first person to tell you that.
14: Warriors offensive rebounds
The Warriors dominated the Mavs on the glass in Game 5, just like they did for most of the series. It was painful to watch. It felt like every time the Mavs worked hard and had a good defensive possession, they couldn’t finish it by grabbing the rebound. 24 seconds of good defense doesn’t really mean anything if you don’t secure the board. All it means is you’re tired.
It’s important to give the Warriors some credit for their dominance on the glass. Kevon Looney had 18 boards (seven offensive) in just 31 minutes of action. Andrew Wiggins snagged 10 of his own. But the Mavs do deserve some blame as well. They struggled to box out, and it looked like they got outworked. Ultimately, you just can’t give up 18 offensive rebounds and expect to win the game.
26: Spencer Dinwiddie points
One consistent bright spot for Dallas in Game 5 was Spencer Dinwiddie. He was throwing metaphorical punches from the start and never let up.
Time and time again, Dinwiddie made tough threes and got to the rim when the Mavs needed him most. He finished with an impressive 26 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field and 5-of-7 shooting from three to go along with four assists and only one turnover. It was an inspiring night from Dinwiddie.
32: Klay Thompson points
Nobody punches you in the gut quite like the Splash Bros. Whether it’s Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, or both of them at the same time, they have a funny way of making the game of basketball feel impossible.
Klay hasn’t been himself this postseason (you know, after missing what felt like a lifetime of basketball due to some devastating injuries), but tonight, it felt like he got his mojo back. He was hot from the start and finished the game with a monstrous 32 points on 12-of-25 shooting from the field and 8-of-16 from deep.
If Klay is on fire, good luck winning the game.
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.