The Dallas Mavericks nabbed their third win in convincing fashion tonight, 111-79. Dallas was a heavy underdog against the supremely athletic Bucks, but the Mavs put together a great game and won big.
When the game started tonight, the energy in the American Airlines Center was timid. Normally a loud crowd who cheers on their team through thick and thin, the prospect of facing a monster in Giannis Antetokounmpo was scary for the fans of the Dallas Mavericks. After an ugly loss last night, the Mavs were coming into a back-to-back in question.
The question was quickly answered, however, as the Mavs jumped out to a great start, outscoring the Bucks 33-24 behind 8 points from Matthews and 7 from Powell. The Mavs were shooting the ball well and contained the MVP-candidate to only 6 points in the quarter.
The 2nd quarter was more of the same as Dallas extended their lead to 12 going into the half, 56-44. The Mavs held a 12 point lead at half against the Minnesota Timberwolves the night before so people were still skeptical at this point in the game.
They shouldn’t have been.
If the Mavericks dominated the Bucks in the first half then they demolished them in the second half. Dallas held Milwaukee to only 35 points in the entire 2nd half while Dallas dropped 55. For the entire night, the Mavs shot 48% from the field and 50% from behind the arc. The Mavs also made 19 three-pointers, which ties the franchise record.
Wesley Matthews was undoubtedly the MVP of the Mavs tonight as he recorded 22 points behind 6-8 shooting from three. He also guarded Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo well when he needed to. Other Mavericks in double-digits included JJ Barea with 20, Harrison Barnes with 18, and Yogi Ferrell with 16. Dwight Powell and Wesley Matthews both approached double-doubles as well as Powell had 8 points and 13 rebounds, while Matthews had 8 assists.
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Meanwhile, I was watching the game closely and commenting to anyone who would listen to me that the Mavs really were doing a great job containing the Greek Freak. Everyone who guarded him did fairly well, including Powell, Wes, Barnes, and even Maxi Kleber. At the end of the game I looked up and he still managed to drop 24 points and 17 rebounds on us. He is a heck of an athlete. He was accompanied by Khris Middleton with 23 as the only double-digit scorers.
Dallas showed tonight, just as in their other two wins, that they can hang with anyone when they are on their game. The other two wins came against the then undefeated Memphis Grizzlies, and the current 3-seed in the East, the Washington Wizards. Dallas continues to play well against their good opponents, while struggling against the teams that will likely not be playoff bound.
One cool moment at the stadium tonight came with just a few minutes left in the game as Dallas had already clinched the win. The Bucks decided to clear the bench and in came Jason Terry, who was met warmly with a standing ovation and a booming chant of “JASON TERRY”. Terry scored only 2 points but was shown a lot of love from a Mavs crowd who has not forgotten what he did here for so many years.
The Mavericks will look to start their first winning streak against the hottest team in the league right now, the Boston Celtics. Boston comes to Dallas for a 7:30 central time matchup with the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, November 20th.