3 takeaways as Dallas Mavericks dominate Memphis Grizzlies in home opener

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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Takeaway as Dallas Mavericks dominate Grizzlies in home opener: 2. Defense

The defense will not draw many headlines, but Dallas was dominant on this end of the floor. Memphis scored just 36 first-half points and committed nine turnovers while shooting just 12 of 37 from the field. Ja Morant is one of the fastest and most athletic players in the world, so stopping the Grizzlies' attack is not easy, but the Mavericks were up to the task on Saturday night.

Dallas reached the conference finals last season on the back of their defense. They held the Utah Jazz to 100 or fewer points in four of their six games in the first round of the playoffs after finishing seventh in defensive rating during the regular season. The Mavs backed it up by limiting the Suns to their three lowest-scoring games of the season in the conference semifinals upset.

Memphis had 35 points in the third quarter, and they still had just 54 after 36 minutes. The Mavericks were tied together on the defensive end of the floor on Saturday night, and they showed their defensive potential. Holding the Grizzlies to 36 points in a half is nearly impossible, but Dallas did it in their home opener.

The Mavs will be a top-ten defense again this season, and they gave fans a glimpse of what they are capable of on Saturday night.