Dallas Mavericks start strong but can’t finish against Hawks
By Kohl Rast
The Dallas Mavericks and Atlanta Hawks played a tight game right to the bitter end, but the Hawks proved to be stronger in crunch time, taking home a 111-104 win over the struggling Mavs.
What looked like a great night for the Dallas Mavericks turned out disastrous as the Atlanta Hawks erased a 26-point deficit in order to beat the Mavs by 7. Dallas put up an incredible performance in the first quarter and…well, that incredible performance wasn’t present for the remaining 36 minutes.
Dallas came roaring out of the game, scoring 42 points in the first quarter and outscoring the Hawks by 20. The Mavs kept their foot on the gas for 9 more points and then hit a drought so ugly, they may be bringing a burn ban back to Texas.
Dallas widened the lead to 51-25 with 8 minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Atlanta went on to outscore the Mavs 22-7, bringing only a 10-point deficit into the half. The third quarter was back and forth throughout and the Hawks finally took their first lead with 5 minutes left in the game.
The lead only changed one more time before Atlanta took over for good. Dallas couldn’t hit anything for a majority of the game and Kent Bazemore ended up being too much in the end.
Bazemore led all scorers with 32, followed by Taurean Prince with 24. The Mavs were led by Wesley Matthews with 23, Luka Doncic with 21 and Dennis Smith Jr. with 16. Dennis and Luka both looked pretty good at times, but neither had a great game in the end.
Dwight Powell, Maxi Kleber and Jalen Brunson all had good games off the bench and DeAndre Jordan had his fourth double-double of the year with 11 points and 16 rebounds. J.J. Barea had an atrocious game, shooting 1-10 from the field, and Ryan Broekhoff got 5 minutes without scoring.
The Mavs player of the game in this one for me was Maxi Kleber. He played his butt off, hit some big shots and had some excellent defensive plays as well. He has become an important part of the Mavs rotation and has earned more and more minutes going forward.
Dallas will look to fix a few things before their next game on Friday against the Toronto Raptors. The Raptors are undefeated up to this point and will be a very tough challenge for these Mavs. The game will tip-off at 6:30pm central time.