Takeaways from Mavs-Grizz: Massive dots and massive dots in the paint top the list
The Mavericks go home for five games, starting Saturday night against the Orlando Magic.
They have won seven of their last eight games, mostly without Kristaps Porzingis, who could return on Saturday, if not early next week based on COVID-19 protocols.
In the meantime, let’s savor the 112-85 win the Mavericks celebrated late Friday night in Memphis.
STREAK-BUSTERS: The Grizzlies had won 11 in a row. And it was the second straight time the Mavericks rolled into Memphis like a tank brigade and steamrolled a winning streak in Memphis. In early December, they stopped a five-game Grizzlies run. This time they ended the 11-gamer. They also stopped Chicago’s nine-game streak earlier this month. The Mavericks certainly aren’t the team everyone wants to see coming when they’re navigating a long winning streak.
DEFENDERS OF THE GALAXY: Or something like that. The Mavericks had an average first half against the Grizzlies. Then, after halftime, they limited Memphis to 13-of-43 shooting (30.2%) and 2-of-16 3-pointers (12.5%) and outshot the league’s best rebounding team 30-16 . No wonder they more than doubled the Grizz on the scoreboard in the second half, 62-30. “That’s the key for us,” said Luka Dončić. “We held them to 30 points in the second half. It’s amazing with players like Ja (Morant) and Jaren Jackson. It’s really hard, but we did it.
INJURY UPDATE: Luka said after the match that he was “getting better day by day”, but his sprained ankles were “not an ideal situation”. The second straight night with 8-35 visits to Orlando would seem like a natural time to give him some rest after three tough games last week. But the Magic won in Charlotte on Friday night, so clearly they’re playing hard. At least the Mavericks are hoping to get Porzingis back. And coach Jason Kidd is also approaching the return of the protocols.
SPREAD IT AROUND: The Mavericks had seven players scoring in double digits and three of them were off the bench: Tim Hardaway Jr. with 16, Marquese Chriss with 15, and Reggie Bullock with 10. Bullock also had nine rebounds and was plus-31 in his 21 minutes on the floor.
INVERT FIELD: In many ways, the Mavericks beat the Grizzlies at their own game. Offensive rebounds and second-chance points, often in the paint, are Memphis’ calling cards. And the Grizz got nine second-chance points in the first quarter. Then they got two in the second, none in the third and only two in the fourth quarter during garbage time. The Mavericks outshot the Grizzlies in the paint with a whopping record 72 points to the home team’s 50.