The Dallas Mavericks (3-0) couldn’t dominate a depleted Memphis Grizzlies (0-4) roster Monday, but they did enough to keep Memphis at arm’s length down the stretch in the 125-110 win. And the numbers, as they do so often, told the tale.
It was yet another 30-point triple-double for the protagonist of this story, Luka Dončić. The 3-pointers were raining early. Mavs fans got an incredibly productive night from an incredibly unlikely suspect.
Stir it all together and the Mavs are off to a promising start this year.
15-of-26: Mavericks first half three point shooting as a team
The Mavericks set the tone early by cashing in 15-of-26 first-half 3-pointers. It looked like it would be one of those really prolific Mavericks games for a while. But in the second half the Mavericks used, dare we say it, a little bit of defense to keep the Grizzlies at bay after taking a 67-61 lead into halftime.
The Mavs shot 4-of-11 from three in the second half, so the efficiency didn’t wane as much as the sheer volume did.
48%: Luka Doncic’s three point percentage this season
After shooting 6-of-12 from distance Monday night, Dončić is now 18-of-37 from 3-point land to open the year. That’s 48% in the first three games of the year, and no matter how small the sample size, you love to see it if you’re a Mavericks fan. He looked more than comfortable on his step-back Monday night against the Grizz.
And while we’re talking about folks who shot well from 3-point land, Tim Hardaway Jr. was 3-for-7 from deep in his 21-point effort. The team went 23-of-47 from deep in Memphis.
2: Luka Doncic triple-doubles this season
With his second 30-point triple-double in the first three games of the 2023-24 season, Dončić became just the third player in NBA history to have multiple 30-point triple-doubles through the first three games of the season, according to NBA Stats & Info. Oscar Robertson did it in the first three games of the season in 1961, and Russell Westbrook did it in 2016.
Luka Doncic is the 3rd player in NBA history with multiple 30-point triple-doubles through the first 3 games of a season.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 31, 2023
He joins Oscar Robertson in 1961-62 (3) & Russell Westbrook in 2016-17 (2). pic.twitter.com/Wh0UVY67rJ
22: Points scored by Derrick Jones Jr.
Derrick Jones Jr. introduced himself to Mavericks fans in a big way on Monday, with 22 big points, on 7-of-10 shooting, including, yes, 4-of-6 from deep. He has been something of a head-scratching fixture in the starting lineup in the first three games of the year, but he showed up in a big way against the Grizzlies. He was a plus-12 in his 27 minutes.
He scored 10 of those points in the second quarter, as the Mavericks struggled to establish a lead. The 22 points was three shy of his career high. He scored 25 against the Clippers in February of 2020.
52-34: Grizzlies advantage in points in the paint
Here’s one the Mavericks had to overcome on their way to the 125-110 win. The Grizzlies outscored the Mavericks 52-34 in the paint Monday night. It was a big reason the outcome of the game wasn’t decided earlier on.
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