The Dallas Mavericks concluded a three-game road trip on March 1 against the Orlando Magic. They dominated the second half to pick up a 130-124 victory behind a 33-point performance from Luka Doncic where he fell one assist shy of a triple-double. The Mavs had six players in double figures as everyone contributed to the win.
Maxi Kleber has been a key piece for the Mavericks this season. He played so well early on that coach Rick Carlisle inserted him into the starting five. Dallas won three straight before Kleber was forced to miss 11 consecutive games in the health and safety protocols. The Mavs are 10-4 in games started by the 6’10 forward in the 2020-2021 season.
Kleber had an outstanding performance against the Magic that earned him the Defensive Player of the Game belt for the first time this season. Let us take a closer look at his night and why fans can expect it to be the first of many times he takes home the belt.
Maxi Kleber wins Player of the Game belt as Dallas Mavericks top Magic
The 6’10 forward earned the belt on Monday night. He spent time guarding All-Star Nikola Vucevic and still managed to produce incredible numbers. Kleber finished with 13 points, six rebounds, one assist, three steals, and two blocks in Orlando. The Mavericks outscored the Magic by 13 during his 28 minutes on the floor, which was the highest plus/minus of the night.
All of that helped him earn the Defensive Player of the Game belt on March 1. See his celebration below.
Kleber is an outstanding defender. He is one of the few players in the NBA that can guard both on the perimeter and in the paint. The 29-year-old has averaged over one block per game for the last two seasons. Guards often regret trying to take on Kleber one-on-one too.
The Dallas Mavericks close out the first half of the season on Wednesday at the American Airlines Centers against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Fans will not want to miss it, so please stay tuned.