Dallas Mavericks: Another big win fueled by the rookie

Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks Luka Doncic Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Glenn James/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Luka Doncic scoring over 20 points in a game is such a frequent occurrence for the Dallas Mavericks that it is starting to become a regular, respected scorer. This is definitely true after his performance against OKC.

The Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder started their back to back against each other last night, when the Mavs took care of business in a tough fought 105-103 victory at American Airlines Center. They will have the much more difficult struggle of beating this Thunder team on the road tonight, something they haven’t been able to do just yet.

A big key to the Mavs win last night came thanks to a rough shooting night for former MVP, Russell Westbrook. Despite averaging over 20 points per game and a triple-double on the season, the Mavs were able to keep Russ to 9 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, however he did end up snagging 6 steals along the way.

Although Russ was slowed, the Mavs still had to deal with scoring machine, Paul George. PG has been beating up on the Mavs for years and that didn’t change with him getting 36 points on 50% shooting. Others who found success for the Thunder include Dennis Schroder with 19 and Jerami Grant and Patrick Patterson with 10 each.

For the Mavs, Luka Doncic led the way with 25 points on 9-19 shooting. He shot 4-11 from three and only 3-4 from free throw. Luka also had 7 assists and 3 rebounds but got caught by the turnover bug, turning the ball over 6 times. The Mavs as a team had 23 turnovers, way too many to count on a win on most nights.

Other Mavs who turned in solid performances include Harrison Barnes with 16 points, Dennis Smith Jr. with 14, DeAndre Jordan with 12 and 17 rebounds and Dorian Finney-Smith with 10. The Mavs bench ended up on the wrong end of the plus-minus, but the starters were able to makeup for it.

Dallas trailed by 2 going into halftime in a game that was just waiting for one of the teams to break out of the back and forth. The Mavs answered the call with a barrage of three-pointers to open the 2nd half, thanks to DSJ, Maxi and Luka. Within minutes, the Mavs had jumped out to as big as an 11-point lead, ballooning all the way to 13 just before the end of the third.

The Thunder fought back quickly and tied the game back up less than four minutes after the Mavs had taken their biggest lead. OKC took a 6-point lead with less than two minutes left on a Paul George three and the game felt like it might have slipped out of the Mavs fingers. The Mavs had other ideas, though, as Luka started getting to the line and Harrison Barnes became a defensive wizard, getting steals from both George and Westbrook in the final two minutes.

DSJ hit the final field goal of the game with 24 seconds left and DJ added 1-2 free throws with just 2 seconds left to play. Westbrook got off a decent shot attempt but caught all iron.

Next. Dallas Mavericks: Barnes changing his game next to Luka

The Mavs will get another chance to prove that they are the real deal as they travel to OKC for a road game against the team they just beat, tonight. The game will tip-off at 7:30 and we will be ringing in the new year just a few hours after the final buzzer.