Still in the midst of the Western Conference playoff race, the Mavericks look to make a push before the All Star break to attain a high seed going into the final stretch of the season.
@ Golden State Warriors (1/14)
Tuesday night saw the Mavericks facing the team they’ve ravaged in their meetings this season, the injury-riddled Warriors, who currently sit at the bottom of the conference in what has essentially been a year of “hiatus” for their franchise.
Dončić (20 pts, 8 rebs) and Dwight Powell’s (21 pts, 6 rebs) pick-and-roll was key to the Mavs’ offensive success. As a team, Dallas completely dominated in the rebounding department (53 to 36) including 15 offensive rebounds. Even without Porzingis, the Mavericks were able to establish an domineering paint presence.
Golden State was led in scoring by the rookie out of Michigan Jordan Poole (17 pts, 5 asts) and in assists by D’Angelo Russell (13 pts, 8 asts). Draymond Green (5 pts, 4 asts) struggled mightily, as it’s clear he misses his superstar teammates in Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
FINAL: Dallas 124 (25-15), Golden State 97 (9-33)
@ Sacramento Kings (1/15)
Game 2 of a California back-to-back had the Mavericks traveling upstate to face the Kings, who have disappointing overall when compared to their preseason expectations of growth and success.
In a close romp, Sacramento’s studs shined. De’Aaron Fox (27 pts, 7 rebs, 12 asts) put up an impressive line, and both Buddy Hield (25 pts) and former Maverick Harrison Barnes (25 pts, 8 rebs) all got their work in offensively.
Back to his triple-double attaining ways, Luka (25 pts, 15 rebs, 17 asts) was all over the floor for Dallas, and once again Powell (17 pts, 9 rebs) had another good outing. Tim Hardaway Jr. (18 pts, 6 rebs) and Dorian Finney-Smith (15 pts, 8 rebs) made good use of their starting minutes in this shootout win.
FINAL: Dallas 127 (26-15), Sacramento 123 (15-26)
vs Portland Trail Blazers (1/17)
Dallas went back home to face up-trending Portland, who have started to integrate Carmelo Anthony more smoothly into their overall scheme. Melo himself (22 pts, 5 rebs) was able to score efficiently, and team star Damian Lillard (34 pts, 10 asts), despite a noteworthy double-double, wasn’t able to put the team over the top against Dallas’ offensive diversity.
Speaking of diversity, while in the past 2 games relying heavily on the pick-and-roll, this contest was all about the Mavs’ backcourt showing out. Dončić (35 pts, 8 rebs, 7 asts) once again did his thing, as his superstar mold is quickly forming. Hardaway Jr. (29 pts) had a scoring frenzy including 5 threes, and Seth Curry (16 pts) got some long range shots in on his own as well.
FINAL: Dallas 120 (27-15), Portland 112 (18-25)
Overall, the consistency of the Mavericks’ offense seems to be successfully getting them through a Porzingis-less stretch. As the team gets ready for the upcoming rest period due to the All-Star weekend, they will need to keep the consistency going in order to maintain their spot in the tight playoff race.
1/21 vs Clippers 7:30pm CST
1/23 @ Blazers 9:30pm CST
1/25 @ Jazz 4:00pm CST