In a back and forth game between the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors, the Mavs would take their first home loss of the season Friday night, losing to the Raptors by a score of 127-116.
Mavs fans have been complaining about cold starts to games and having to rely on the second half to get back in the game, but it was quite the opposite in the loss last night. The star duo of Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving had taken over the game in the first quarter, as it would be in the second half where the team began to struggle.
The Mavericks shot 19/31 from the free-throw line and also allowed 15 offensive rebounds throughout the game. Dereck Lively II and the role that he brings to this team is clearly more important than what some people think.
3 Studs, 2 duds in Mavericks' first home loss of season against Raptors
After the Mavericks loss, they still remain the second seed in the Western Conference with a record of 6-2.
Here are your three studs and two duds from the home loss.
Honorable Mention: Dante Exum
In just eight minutes of play, Dante Exum had a very solid game for the Mavericks. Exum scored five points and grabbed five rebounds while closing out the game.
Jason Kidd made the decision to have Exum close out the game over Tim Hardaway Jr. and Josh Green, which could become a very controversial decision.
Exum executed on both sides of the floor in a short time of play and also showed signs of chemistry late in the fourth quarter with Doncic.
Expect Exum to make his way back into the rotation Friday night as the Mavs will face the LA Clippers.
5. Stud - Tim Hardaway Jr.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had another great night for himself, as he put up 17 points and shot 5-9 from behind the arc. Hardaway Jr. also managed to draw three charges against the Raptors as well.
In just eight games this season, Hardaway Jr. has been making clutch plays down the stretch of games which has allowed Jason Kidd to trust him in late game situations. That surprisingly took a turn tonight as Kidd chose to allow Exum to close the game out. One could assume Kidd chose to take the Exum route due to the fact Hardaway Jr. had a plus-minus of minus 19.
Hardaway Jr. has solidified himself as the third best scoring option on this team, as he has proven to be very consistent with his shots.
The Mavericks have struggled with bench depth in the past, but Hardaway Jr. has changed that narrative as he’s clearly a front runner for NBA Sixth Man of the Year.