The Dallas Mavericks drove the Los Angeles Lakers off court in Dallas on Tuesday night and won 128-110. The Mavericks opened the game on an 8-0 run and the Lakers wrapped it up almost immediately. Dallas’ lead reached 37 at times.
The Mavericks scored 82 points in the first half, nearing the franchise record of 85 points in one half. Luka Doncic had a triple-double, scored 34 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 12 assists. Malik Monk led the Lakers with 28 points. Russell Westbrook had 25 points and eight rebounds.
The Mavericks had 113 goals in three quarters, the most for them this season. In the fourth quarter they tussled a bit and only scored 15 points. The Lakers outplayed them by 11 points in the final third. But it didn’t matter. The damage was already done. The Mavericks ended their season streak with the Lakers with a straight win.
Here are three thoughts from the game:
The Mavericks’ hot shooting continues
Dallas was red hot against the Utah Jazz on Sunday, shooting 51% from field and 50% from behind the arc. The hot shooting continued against the Lakers. The Mavericks shot 51% from the field and 47% from three.
Maxi Kleber and Davis Bertans also shot well despite their recent weaknesses in shooting. Kleber went 3-pointers with 2-5 and Bertans with 4-5. It’s a great sign for the playoffs. Above all, Kleber had to see that some shots go in. It’s shot up 15% from the depths since the calendar switched to March. Hopefully the hot shooting will continue well into spring.
The big lead gave the starters some much-needed rest
Luka only played 30 minutes. Jalen Brunson only played 31. Dwight Powell logged 29 minutes. It’s going to be huge tomorrow night when the Mavericks take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in their final duel of the season. Dallas is still fighting for the playoff position. The win against the Jazz on Sunday moved them to fourth place in the Western Conference and moves them to third place in a Golden State Warriors game with that win.
It would be a huge benefit to move up the standings without exhausting their key rotation players before the postseason begins. Teams like the Denver Nuggets have to lean heavily on Nikola Jokic just to avoid the play-in tournament. That physical toll will have consequences in the playoffs.
The Mavericks actually had more fast break points than any other team for once
Dallas is a slow-moving team that plays at a methodical pace. Luka likes it that way and so does Jason Kidd. But sometimes they miss easy baskets by not getting up quickly, especially on turnovers and long rebounds. Not tonight. They outplayed the Lakers 12-2 on fast breaks. It’s just another sign the Lakers had very little energy all night and just didn’t seem that desperate to win, despite the loss knocking them down to the 11th seed. If the season ended today, they wouldn’t even make the play-in tournament.
It’s nice to see the Mavericks come out with a high-energy performance against a struggling team. That’s something they struggled with in passing, but they’re slowly finding ways to stay aggressive against weaker opponents.