The Dallas Mavericks fell to the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday night, losing 120-109. It was their third game in four nights, and the second night of a back-to-back. Luka Doncic didn’t play, and of course, the Mavericks bench is like the waiting room at an orthopedic surgeon’s office. So the result isn’t exactly surprising.
Christian Wood led the Mavericks in scoring with 27 points, continuing his strong play of late. He also grabbed 16 rebounds. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 and dished out eight assists.
Future Mavericks guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led all scorers with 33 points. He also grabbed five rebounds and handed out five assists. Lu Dort chipped in 18.
Here are three numbers from the game:
Plus-22: The Mavericks’ free throw advantage
Dallas was aggressive all night, shooting more than twice the number of free throws than the Thunder. And surprisingly, they hit those free throws, for the most part. The Mavericks shot 79 percent from the charity stripe. They sunk 17 more free throws than the Thunder. It just didn’t matter, because they shot poorly everywhere else on the floor.
Minus-32: The Thunder’s advantage on points in the paint
The Mavericks only scored 24 points in the paint, compared to 56 for the Thunder. Dallas frequently loses the battle with interior scoring. They lack a quality rim protector right now, but more importantly, they struggle to score inside. Doncic is really their only consistent threat to score in the paint. With him out, no one else can get into the thick of the defense and create points. Dinwiddie does a reasonable job at getting to the basket, but infrequently.
0: The number of wins the Mavericks have without Luka Doncic this season
Dallas hasn’t been able to pick up a win with Doncic on the bench this season. They’re 0-4 without him. Tonight’s game was especially rough, because the Mavericks were missing Josh Green, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Maxi Kleber as well. Last season, they went 8-9 in games Doncic missed in the regular season and 2-1 in the 2022 playoffs. When he sits, the absence of Jalen Brunson is felt severely. The Mavericks haven’t been able to find someone who can control the offense in Doncic’s stead so far this year.
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