The Dallas Mavericks used a massive third quarter to defeat the New York Knicks 121-100 on Saturday afternoon. Superstar Luka Doncic scored 30 points in just three quarters to lead Dallas to a win over Jalen Brunson and the Knicks. Tim Hardaway Jr. had 17 points in the third to help Dallas push their way to an insurmountable lead.
Brunson had 13 points, two rebounds, and three assists in his first game against the Mavericks, but he was minus-26 in his 27 minutes on the floor on Saturday. JB forced Luka to wear an Eagles jersey to the game, but it was Doncic who got the last laugh on the court on Dec. 3.
What can Mavericks fans take away from the blowout win in New York? Here are the three biggest things.
Takeaway from Dallas Mavericks win over Knicks: 3. Defense
The Mavs reached the conference finals last season on the back of their defense, but they have struggled during their recent rough stretch. Dallas slipped to 13th in defensive rating coming into Saturday’s game, and after giving up 59 in the first half to the Knicks, it was clear the Mavericks need to lock in on that end of the floor if they were going to win at Madison Square Garden this season.
The Mavericks answered the bell in the third quarter with an impressive effort on both ends. They got hot from long range, and Dallas got connected on defense. New York scored just 15 third-quarter points as the Mavs built a 19-point edge after 36 minutes, and Dallas never looked back.
If the Dallas Mavericks are going to get back to the playoffs and go on another run, they must play stout defense. They proved they were capable on Saturday afternoon, and their defense is something fans should watch closely moving forward.