There were a few new faces on both benches Saturday, as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the L.A. Lakers 130-123.
Dallas has now won the last 15-of-16 regular season meetings with L.A., dating back to the 2013-14 season.
WIth the recent shakeup by the Cleveland Cavaliers, at the February 8 trade deadline, six players find themselves on new squads. Two of which made their debut tonight as members of the L.A. Lakers.
Isaiah Thomas and Channing Frye suited up for the first time since being traded. However, only Thomas received playing time.
Unfortunately–for most Mavs fans–the deadline also brought some change to Dallas. A three-team-trade sent longtime fan-favorite, Devin Harris to the Denver Nuggets while bringing in Doug McDermott from New York.
Statistically, the two squads matched up pretty evenly, as can be seen by the 13 lead changes and 13 ties. The deciding factors, however, came down to two things–free-throws and ball security.
While Dallas shot 82 percent (22-of-27) from the charity stripe, L.A. struggled, only converting 68 percent (15-of-22).
Also, Dallas successfully forced 17 turnovers, nearly double their amount (9). Whether it was first-game-jitters or defensive pressure from Dallas’ backcourt, Thomas accounted for six of those giveaways.
Down the stretch, Dallas played a well-balanced game and limited their miscues while capitalizing on those of L.A.
Dallas was led by Dirk Nowitzki, who registered 22 points on 72 percent shooting and four rebounds.
Harrison Barnes added 21 points while Dwight Powell put together 19 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Dennis Smith Jr. played a balanced game, producing 14 points, five rebounds, 6 assists and two steals.
In his first game, Doug McDermott tallied eight points, three boards, three assists and a steal.
Julius Randle scored a game-high 26 points to go along with eight rebounds and seven assists.
Brandon Ingram scored 22 points. Kyle Kuzma had an impressive double-double, scoring 12 points and 15 rebounds.
In his debut, Thomas scored 22 points while dishing out six assists.
Dallas (18-38) won’t have time to revel in tonight’s win, as they travel to Houston for a meeting with James Harden and the red-hot Rockets (41-13) on Sunday. Game time is at 7 p.m. ET. As always, go Mavs!