The Dallas Mavericks overcame the young and scrappy Detroit Pistons for a 115-105 win without Luka Doncic and Dorian Finney-Smith on Thursday night. Both Josh Richardson and Kristaps Porzingis returned to the lineup, but KP was forced to exit early with a knee injury. The Mavs needed 42 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. to lift them to their 35th victory of the season.
JRich was back in the starting five after missing three games with a hamstring injury, but he had an up and down performance in the victory. The Mavs needed everyone to step up with Luka out of the lineup. Richardson had more defensive responsibility too with Doe-Doe on the sidelines.
The 27-year-old finished with ten points in 31 minutes on Thursday night. Here is a closer look at his performance against the Pistons and what fans can expect going forward.
Josh Richardson shows rust as Dallas Mavericks defeat Detroit Pistons
JRich came out and scored the first bucket of the game with a floater. Coach Rick Carlisle had him match on Josh Jackson on the other end. The former top-five selection had 12 points and five assists in the first meeting against the Mavericks on April 21. Richardson did well on the defensive end on Thursday night. He finished seven rebounds and two steals in his 31 minutes.
JRich nailed this 3-pointer in the third quarter to expand the Mavs lead.
The 27-year-old showed rust on the offensive end. He finished just three of 12 from the field and committed two turnovers. Richardson did dish out three assists, though.
Expect Josh Richardson to get back on track this weekend. The Dallas Mavericks face an important back-to-back as they host the Wizards and Kings. Dallas is just one game ahead of the Trail Blazers for sixth in the Western Conference. Neither team wants to take part in the play-in tournament, so expect a wild finish.
Keep an eye on JRich. The Mavericks are going to need his defense in the playoffs. Hopefully, he is healthy and ready to make a massive impact. Stay tuned.