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Luka Doncic and Mavericks dominated Grizzlies behind stellar defense

Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic
Dallas Mavericks, Luka Doncic / Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
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The Dallas Mavericks dominated the Memphis Grizzlies for the second time in the last ten days on Jan. 23. This time, they led from wire to wire as Luka Doncic and company ran away with a 104-91 win. Memphis had four rotation players out, and Dallas took full advantage on Sunday evening.

The Mavs knew it was an important contest. They trailed the Grizzlies by five games in the standings coming into the game, and Dallas could secure the season series and an important tiebreaker with a victory. Luka came out with some extra energy at the American Airlines Center in an impressive performance on Sunday night.

It was not just Doncic. The Mavericks had a it firing on all cylinders, and it showed in their stellar defensive performance in the victory. Here is a closer look at everything fans need to know from Sunday’s win, and what it means moving forward.

Dallas Mavericks dominated Grizzlies behind Luka Doncic and defense

The Mavs grabbed the lead early with stifling defense. Memphis scored just 16 in the first quarter and 34 in the first half, which was the lowest total Dallas allowed in an opening half this season.

It started with rim protection as Kristaps Porzingis had five blocks in the opening 24 minutes, but everyone was flying around the floor as the Mavericks proved their defensive improvements are no fluke. When KP is protecting the rim at an elite rate, Dallas becomes so much more dangerous. It has been fantastic to see him bounce back after a rough season on the defensive end in 2020-2021.

Luka Doncic was locked in from the opening tip too. He had his neck taped, but the 22-year-old superstar showed zero signs of it impacting him on Sunday night. Luka’s passes were special like this one that swept right into Dorian Finney-Smith’s arms for a 3-pointer.

Doncic got hot in the final period to finish off the Grizzlies on Jan. 23. He had 11 points in the first six minutes of the quarter to help put the game out of reach. Luka finished with 37 points, 11 rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and one block for his 20th double-double of the season. He made 13 of his 25 field goals on Sunday night as the Mavericks outscored the Grizzlies by 16 in his 38 minutes on the floor.

When the Mavericks have Luka playing at an elite level and their defense is stepping up, Dallas is virtually unbeatable. They have won 11 of their last 13 games as they secured the season series and the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies on Jan. 23. Memphis had no answers for Luka Doncic and the Mavs, and it was fantastic to watch.

The Dallas Mavericks face a busy week that features two back-to-back sets as they look to stay hot. Dallas is back in action on Tuesday night as they travel to San Francisco to face the Golden State Warriors before heading to Portland for Wednesday night’s game. Fans won’t want to miss a second of the action as the Mavs look to keep building momentum, so please tune in and enjoy.

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