After not being able to win a one-possession game in the early part of the season, the Dallas Mavericks are a perfect 3-0 in one-possession games in their last three games.
That includes Monday’s 96-94 cliffhanger of a win over the Brooklyn Nets. It was a game where the Mavs led, 91-80, with 3:50 remaining following a three-point by Dorian Finney-Smith.
The Mavs held on for dear life after Kevin Durant was fouled while attempting a three-point shot by Finney-Smith with 5.6 seconds left. Durant went to the line having made 61 consecutive free throws and with a chance to tie the game.
Durant connected on his first free throw, making it a run of 62 straight made free throws. But the 12-time All-Star missed the second free throw, and intentionally missed the third free throw, and the Mavs got out of American Airlines Center with a two-point victory.
The victory came one game after the Mavs nipped the Toronto Raptors, 111-110, last Friday. And that followed this past Wednesday’s 103-100 win over the Utah Jazz.
The Mavs are now 3-2 in one-possession games this season. Dallas opened the season on Oct. 19 losing in Phoenix, 107-105, and also lost on Oct. 25 in New Orleans, 113-111, but have now become a dominant figure in one-possession games.
Here are the three takeaways from the Mavs’ 96-94 victory over the Nets.
DONCIC STILL STREAKING: Luka Doncic’s streak of scoring 30 or more points is still alive. Doncic scored 36 points Monday night, giving him 30 or more points in all nine games this season. The only player to score 30 or more points to start a season is Wilt Chamberlain, who tallied 30 or more points in the first 23 games of the 1962-’63 season. Doncic also contributed six rebounds, six assists and two steals.
FINNEY-SMITH’S BREAKOUT GAME: Dorian Finney-Smith poured in 10 of his season-high 18 points in the fourth quarter, and was 5-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-5 from three-point range. He also made all six of his free throws, including a pair of clutch freebies with 9.8 seconds remaining which gave the Mavs a 96-93 lead. The Mavs are now 33-10 all-time when Finney-Smith scores 15 of more points.
GREEN WAS MONEY: Josh Green was money in the bank, as everything he threw at the basket went in. The third-year energizer bunny was 5-of-5 from the field, 2-of-2 from beyond the three-point arc and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Green wound up scoring a season high 16 points in a season-high 27 minutes. He also picked up a season-high tying five rebounds and a season-high tying two assists.
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