The Dallas Mavericks dominated the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night behind a 32-point double-double from Luka Doncic. The 23-year-old superstar had 21 in the first quarter as his team controlled the game from the opening tipoff on their way to a 137-96 win. Doncic did not even have to play in the final quarter because the outcome was decided.
It was an impressive bounceback for the Mavs after losing their season opener in Phoenix. They had their defense locked in as they held the Grizzlies to just 36 first-half points. Ja Morant had 20 points on Saturday night, but Memphis just never found their footing at the American Airlines Center, and the result was a dominating victory for Dallas.
Luka had made two plays that had everybody buzzing on Saturday night. The first was either one of Doncic’s best assists or a shot that he missed badly that resulted in a Dorian Finney-Smith putback dunk. The official scorer went one way, but Luka says otherwise. There was also Doncic turning defense into offense. Here is a look at both plays, and what fans can take away from each.
Did Luka Doncic shoot or pass on the play Mavericks fans cannot see enough?
Luka was guarded by Grizzlies rookie Jake LaRavia as he came down the court, so the Mavs superstar hit a spin move and exploded to the rim. Ja Morant rotated over to help, so Doncic flung the ball off the backboard and right into the hands of Dorian Finney-Smith for a dunk. Here is a look at the incredible sequence.
Doncic was credited with a missed shot, and Finney-Smith got one rebound and two points. Luka did not agree, and fans can see his quote from his postgame presser below.
"That was a pass."
When Tim MacMahon followed by saying they gave Finney-Smith a putback, Luka playfully mentioned that the official scorers don’t like him.
It was clear that Doncic meant to throw that off the backboard. There is no way he misses that shot so badly with just Morant defending at the rim. Number 77 made ten more difficult shots than that on Saturday night alone. No matter the scoring, it was still an incredible play.
It was not the only standout moment from Luka against the Grizzlies. He also had a block, which he turned into a Christian Wood alley-oop after some incredible dribbling. See the highlight below.
This play is everything head coach Jason Kidd wants from his team. Luka is playing outstanding defense before racing up the court and finding Wood for the slam. The 6’10 forward has already made the team’s offense more dynamic, and he is still finding his footing in Dallas.
Doncic and Wood are building a connection, and they could become one of the most dangerous duos in the NBA. Fans know the Mavericks superstar is one of the best shot creators in the world, and C-Wood can score the ball with the best of them.
It was a memorable home opener for the Dallas Mavericks as they dominated the division-rival Grizzlies. Luka Doncic produced two incredible plays that everyone will be talking about, but this was just another night for number 77. He casually dropped a 30-point double-double and got everyone in the arena buzzing.
The best is still yet to come from Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks this season, so be sure to stay tuned. Will he finally win MVP? Do the Mavs make another deep playoff run? Time will tell, but it will be an exciting ride that fans won’t want to miss.