5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE MAVS’ 141-121 WIN OVER WARRIORS
MAVS BREAKING THE CALCULATOR: Nights like Saturday night are reminders why the Mavs will be a very tough out in a seven-game playoff series. These guys can score the ball! With anybody! Saturday’s 141-121 win over the Warriors amplified that in a very big way. While the Warriors broke out to a quick 18-9 lead behind the insane shooting exploits of D’Angelo Russell — (I want whatever he had for a pre-game meal) — the Mavs matched Russell’s high efficiency with their own brand of eye-popping shooting. Not only did the Mavs make 10-of-15 shots from behind the 3-point stripe and match the 41 points Golden State scored in the first quarter. The Mavs also came back with an additional 45 points in the third quarter. Overall, the Mavs set a franchise record for 3-pointers made with 24. They also set a new single-season franchise record by scoring at least 140 points for the third time this year. And they still have 51 more regular season games left this season.
LUKA CONTINUES TO AMAZE: When you can’t beat Luka Doncic, you try and do what Marquese Chriss did Saturday night. And sometimes even that doesn’t work. Probably growing tired of seeing Doncic use the Warriors as a triple-double punching bag, Chriss decided to fling the Mavs’ ultra-talented point guard to the floor in the third quarter. That earned Chriss a technical foul — and a hard stare-down from Doncic, who was smart enough to maintain his cool, knowing that he’s more valuable to the Mavs long-term that Chriss is to the Warriors. Doncic wound up putting in just three quarters of work, scoring 31 points, collecting 12 rebounds and handing out 15 assists. He also had 35 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists in just 26 minutes during the Mavs’ 142-94 romp over the Warriors on Nov. 20. Thus, Doncic is the first player in NBA history to have multiple 30-point triple-double games where that player played 30 minutes or less. He also has nine triple-doubles this season, tying him with Jason Kidd (1995-’96) for the most in one season by a member of the Mavs.
CURRY GETTING SHOTS: After inexplicably getting just one field goal attempt during Thursday’s four-point win over San Antonio, Seth Curry was back hoisting up his fair share of shots against the Warriors. The six-year veteran sharpshooter came off the bench to fire up 13 shots, converting five of them. He also was 4-of-11 from beyond the 3-point stripe while getting involved in the offensive flow of the game. Curry finished the night with 17 points in only 25 minutes. That’s a stark contrast to the Mavs’ previous three games when Curry scored a total of 12 points on 4-of-16 shooting, including making only one shot in seven attempts from downtown. In the first quarter alone Curry was 3-of-3 from 3-point range for nine points. Those points were sorely needed as D’Angelo Russell was going absolutely bonkers while hitting everything in sight and staking the Warriors to an 18-9 lead. The Mavs need Curry’s shot-making to help spread the floor, and it was on full display against the Warriors.
HARDAWAY FOUND THE TARGET: Everyone knows about Luka Doncic and the point guard’s amazing contributions to the Mavs (21-10) being 11 games above .500 for the first time this season. But the other player in the Mavs’ back court isn’t too shabby either. Tim Hardaway Jr. showed once again his true value to the Mavs as he scored 25 points in 23 minutes. Working his way through the seams of the Warriors’ defense and finding open spots, Hardaway was 9-of-13 from the field and a masterful 6-of-8 from 3-point land. His handy work kept the defense from ganging up on Doncic. It’s the sixth time this season Hardaway has poured in 25 or more points in a game, including the fourth time over the past nine games. Over the past five games Hardaway is averaging 19.6 ppg.
PORZINGIS MAKING MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Kristaps Porzingis was back at his unicorn best against the Warriors as he finished the game with 18 points, seven rebounds, four blocks and three assists. It was indeed a stat sheet fulfilling night for Porzingis, who was 6-of-12 from the field and 4-of-9 from behind the 3-point line. Gone unnoticed is the fact that this ties for the most 3-pointers Porzingis has converted in a game this season — he’s made four 3-pointers now five times this year — as he continues to put his imprint on this team. Over the past eight games Porzingis is averaging 20.4 ppg, 11.5 rpg and 2.6 bpg. That includes going through a four-game guillotine of rugged Eastern Conference foes when he collected at least 20 points and 10 rebounds against Miami, Milwaukee, Boston and Philadelphia. It was the first time in Porzingis’ career that he produced four straight games with 20 or more points and 10 or more rebounds. Porzingis’ defensive performance on Saturday helped shut down the middle and forced the Warriors to find other alternatives to score.