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3 observations from a satisfying 119-107 win in Brooklyn

The dynamic duo for Dallas did it again

Dallas Mavericks v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Brooklyn Nets by a score of 119-107 Tuesday night in Brooklyn. Kyrie Irving led the way for Dallas with 36 points, while Luka Doncic chipped in a near triple-double with 35 points, 18 rebounds, and nine assists. Mikal Bridges was the high-point man for Brooklyn with 28 points of his own.

With two days to go before the trade deadline, the Mavericks swept a back-to-back set that they absolutely had to have. These two wins have gone a long way toward restoring vibes to manageable levels. Tonight was a game that Dallas seemed to be in control of the entire way.

Kyrie Irving set the tone early for Dallas with a fantastic first quarter. He was incredibly aggressive and established how this game would go. No doubt the revenge game juices were flowing, as Irving wowed the Barclays Center with impressive shot making. Dallas finally gained some separation as the quarter went on and ended up with a seven-point lead heading into the second.

The Mavericks were able to extend their lead in the second period, as the Doncic/Irving duo continued to cook. The Brooklyn offense looked confused and disorganized, and Dallas seemed tied together defensively. A Doncic three at the end of the half helped the Mavericks take a 65-47 lead into the locker room.

Dallas swelled their lead to as many as 23 in the third, but the Nets made a run to cut things to single digits later in the frame. But again, Doncic and the Mavericks had a response, and the Slovenian superstar hit back-to-back threes to close the quarter and restore the lead to 18.

Brooklyn just would not go away, and they made another run in the fourth quarter. But Irving closed the door, hitting two huge threes to stop the Nets’ comeback in its tracks. Though the lead got down to as few as six, Dallas never lost their composure, and the outcome never felt in danger. It was a solid win for the Mavericks, who suddenly have an opportunity to string some good games together and head into the All-Star break on a high note. Here are three observations from this one.

Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, good at basketball

The Mavericks essentially won this game with two players tonight. Sure, Josh Green chipped in 12 points and hit a dagger three. Tim Hardaway Jr. contributed 14 off the bench. But other than that, this was strictly a two-man show for Dallas. Doncic and Irving combined for 71 points and looked utterly unstoppable doing it. Performances like this go to show you that this team can beat anyone when those two are firing on all cylinders. Their brilliant play can make up for a lot, even if the rest of the roster no-shows. It’s why the onus is on Dallas to field a team that can support them and help to make a run in the playoffs this season.

Jason Kidd is managing Luka’s minutes poorly

Once again, Luka Doncic played the entire second half. And honestly, there was no need for him to do so. Yes, Brooklyn made a couple of runs and forced a close-ish game down the stretch. But a lot of that was due to poor defensive play from a gassed Doncic. With Kyrie Irving healthy and playing excellent basketball, there is simply no need to play Luka for 24 straight minutes and 43 minutes overall. Irving could have started the fourth quarter with Doncic resting on the bench. Doncic could have rested at some point during the third.

This seems like a silly thing to gripe about, but the minutes are adding up in such a big way. And as they get healthier, there’s no need to force it. The Mavericks have to find more ways to manufacture rest for their superstar.

Who played their last game as a Maverick?

Obviously, the trade deadline is less than 48 hours away. With as active as Dallas has been in rumors and reports, there’s a good chance that we just witnessed one or more players’ last game in a Maverick uniform. Josh Green, Jaden Hardy, Grant Williams, and Tim Hardaway Jr. have all been involved in the rumor mill. We’ll see what the deadline brings but to any player who may have just had their swan song in Dallas, I say this: thank you for your service, and best of luck wherever the wind blows you.

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