The Dallas Mavericks had front row tickets to the Kemba Walker show tonight and forgot the fact that they were supposed to be playing defense. Despite a solid shooting night from Walker, Luka Doncic kept the game close.
It was not a great night for the Dallas Mavericks, even if Luka Doncic looked every bit the dominant player he has been all season. The Mavs took on the one-loss Boston Celtics in what was supposed to be a solid bout between two good teams. What we got was a game close in score, but miles apart in quality.
I hate to be harsh about the game, but the Mavs just did not have it tonight. Aside from Luka, there wasn’t a Mavs player that really impressed with their play. On the other side of the ball, Kemba Walker was unstoppable, Jaylen Brown was on fire and Marcus Smart killed the Mavs as he always does.
Dallas started the game essentially shooting at a backboard with no rim, scoring only 7 points in the first six minutes of the game. Luckily, they were able to get Boston off to a relatively slow start as well. By the end of the quarter, the Celtics were only up 25-21.
Dallas fought back hard throughout the second quarter, which is what it took just to erase the four-point deficit. The game was tied 54-54 after 24 minutes. Dallas took their first lead in the beginning of the third quarter until the guys in New York decided to review Dorian Finney-Smith‘s corner three and ruled it left his hand after the shot clock buzzer.
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Despite the poor turn of events, Dallas did end up catching the Celtics at the beginning of the fourth and it seemed like they may turn a corner. Instead, the Mavs watched as Kemba caught fire and torched us the rest of the way as Dallas eventually fell 116-106.
The Mavs were led wholly by Luka Doncic tonight as he scored an impressive 34 points to go with his 9 assists and 6 rebounds. Perhaps the best part of his game was the fact that he went 9-10 from free throw, a vastly improved area of his game this year. He also scored 14 of his points in the third, something he has done regularly this year.
Other Mavs who ended in double figures include Maxi Kleber with 15 and Jalen Brunson and Dwight Powell with 12 each. Kristaps Porzingis turned in his worst performance of the season with only 4 points on 1-11 shooting.
Luckily, KP didn’t have the worst night shooting on the court. Jayson Tatum turned in an impressive 1-18 from the floor for 5 points. Lucky for him, he was wearing the same color as Kemba Walker and Jaylen Brown, who scored 29 and 25, respectively. Marcus Smart had an additional 17, while Daniel Theis scored 11 and Brad Wanamaker put up 10.
The Mavs didn’t have it tonight, but will have a chance to get back in the win column on Thursday as they travel to New York to take on the Knicks once again. I would expect a different result in this matchup with the Knicks, but don’t be fooled, they will do everything they can to make sure KP does not beat them on their home court.