The Dallas Mavericks were dominated by the Chicago Bulls 144-115 on Saturday night. It was the team’s second straight loss after a wild home loss to the Bucks on Dec. 9. The Mavs rested Luka Doncic on the second night of back-to-back along with Maxi Kleber and Josh Green. They were shorthanded, and the Bulls used their significant rest edge to dominate the contest.
DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Zach LaVine were locked in on Dec. 10 as they dominated Dallas. Chicago scored 40 in the opening period, and they never looked back on their way to an impressive victory.
Resting three players opened up minutes for Jaden Hardy and the Mavericks' debut of Kemba Walker. Dallas struggled on the defensive end as they were blown out by the Bulls, but there was still plenty worth taking away from Saturday’s game.
Dallas Mavericks prove their reliance on Luka Doncic in blowout loss to Bulls
The Mavs need Luka to be otherworldly to win on most nights. He is the team’s primary shot creator and playmaker, and he is handling a massive workload for the fourth straight year. Dallas goes as Doncic goes, and they fell to 0-2 in games he has missed this season on Saturday night.
In his absence, Spencer Dinwiddie had 27 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and one steal. He was nine of 15 shooting from the field in his 29 minutes of action. Christian Wood got his first start of the season, and he scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Kemba Walker played his first game since February where he had eight points and five assists in 20 minutes of action. Fans should not expect too much from Walker, but they signed him to be their third ball-handler and playmaker. Kemba may not play every night, but he showed on Dec. 10 that he still has something left in the tank.
MFFLs have been clamoring for rookie Jaden Hardy to get more minutes with the Mavericks after he has dominated the G League. The 20-year-old got his chance on Saturday night as he finished with 15 points in 22 minutes of action. He may not quite be ready to contribute to a contender, but Hardy's skill was on full display on Dec. 10.
It was an ugly overall performance for the Dallas Mavericks' second straight loss. They slipped to 13-13 on the season with a three-game homestand on deck. Expect Luka Doncic to return and help get the Mavs back on track, so do not miss it.