Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic and the bench lead Dallas to win at Rockets

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Dallas Mavericks (10-9) picked up their seventh win in eight games by defeating the Houston Rockets (9-11) 128-108 on Nov. 28.

The Dallas Mavericks might be a playoff team. Well, at least this current red-hot version of the team would be as they now sit in eighth place in the Western Conference standings.

The Mavs have looked like a completely different team in recent weeks than the one they were to start the season. As many of the teams projected to be at the top of the Western Conference struggle, Dallas is capitalizing and securing wins.

Luka Doncic once again led the way for the Mavericks tonight in their 20-point victory over the Rockets. In only 24 minutes, Doncic scored 20 points and six rebounds. He made some pinpoint passes, and hit some spectacular shots including this heave right before halftime.

Doncic almost hit another deep buzzer-beater from the center of the Toyota Center logo, but the shot just barely rattled out at the end of the third quarter.

The rookie’s play has been so good that he might have an outside chance at earning an All-Star nomination, something that has only happened three times in the last 20 years.

Bench continues to shine

Probably the biggest reason for the Mavericks’ recent winning ways has been the bench. J.J. Barea (13 points and 12 assists) and Devin Harris (20 points and four assists) both played excellent tonight, carving up a disorganized Houston Rockets defense.

Maxi Kleber and Dorian Finney-Smith continued to play ferocious defense, and the return of Dwight Powell‘s rim-running and endless energy played a massive role in the win.

One thing that has stood out and maybe has surprised Dallas fans about this Mavericks bench is their ability to defend. Other team’s benches cannot seem to get into any sort of rhythm against them.

Barea and Harris’ high understanding of Rick Carlisle’s offensive schemes allows the group to put up points a hurry. The combination of their offensive firepower and the energetic defense has transformed Dallas into one of the league’s most dangerous teams.

Looking forward, the Dallas Mavericks take on the Los Angeles Lakers (11-9) on the road on Friday. The win would allow the Mavericks to jump the Lakers in the current Western Conference standings.

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The Lakers will be playing on their second night of a back-to-back as they take on the Indiana Pacers on Nov. 29. If the Dallas Mavericks can replicate anything close to their performance from tonight, then they’ll do just fine Friday night.