Since Luka Doncic returned to action, the Mavericks are different. Far from the inconsistent team that was seen in the first months of competition, the Texas team is now one of the most reliable in the NBA. To their traditional offensive joy – it cannot be otherwise with the Slovenian genius at the controls – they have added a strength defending that they were unknown. Last night, visiting the Grizzlies, they ended their winning streak (11 wins in a row) by a resounding 85-112.
As we anticipated – it is a spoiler permanent–, Doncic was the leader of Dallas. The point guard added a new triple-double to his career (they go 40), this time with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, to be key in the final takeoff of his team in the second half, in which they won by an impressive 30-62… Yes, we went from 24 minutes of equality in the first half to another 24 minutes of beating in the second.
It was in that second part when Doncic was almost infallible. 18 of his 27 points came in that stretch while he was making eight of his 10 shots. He played a serious game that was not lacking in his classic brilliant actions. The Mavs have won eight of their last ten meetings.
Doncic was at a high level, but not alone. Jalen Brunson, his companion in the backcourt, contributed 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 steals; Tim Hardaway Jr., already from the bench, went up to 16 points; while Marquese Chriss had 15 points and 6 rebounds also from the second unit.
Tired in Memphis?
Maybe. Those from Tennessee lived their second night of back-to-back and the feeling is that the gasoline was only enough for them to fight until the break. It was the first night that they did not reach 90 points since November 6, and the truth is that the second half they did was far from what was shown in their spectacular streak of 11 straight wins.
Regarding individual performances, Ja Morant was the best with 19 points and 8 assists; yes, in the same way he committed up to 8 losses. After him, only two other players were in double scoring figures: Desmond Bane with 16 points and Kyle Anderson with 12 points off the bench.
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)