5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE MAVERICKS’ 123-111 WIN OVER BROOKLYN
DONCIC CELEBRATES ALL-STAR VOTING: The first round of the voting for the NBA All-Star game was released Thursday, and Mavs point guard Luka Doncic turned out to be the leading vote-getter. Doncic showed his appreciation to the fans by showing them what he does best. The 6-7, 230-pounder led the way against the Nets as he poured in a game-high 31 points and also had game highs of 13 rebounds and seven assists. Overall, Doncic was 9-of-18 from the field, 5-of-8 from 3-point range and 8-of-9 from the charity stripe, and also grabbed a game-high four offensive rebounds. In addition, he scored 15 points in the fourth quarter.
DEFENSIVE STANCE: For three quarters on Thursday, the Nets ran up and down the court and scored 93 points against the Mavs. But in the fourth quarter the Mavs decided enough was enough, so they took a stand. Over the game’s final 12 minutes, the Mavs’ tenacious defense held Brooklyn to only 18 points on 7-of-21 shooting, including just 2-of-12 shots from behind the 3-point arc. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said assistant coach Jamahl Mosley, who is in charge of the team’s defense, told the players coming out of the huddle to start the fourth quarter that he wanted them to hold the Nets to just 20 points in the fourth quarter. They beat that mark by two points.
DEPTH ON FULL DISPLAY: If there’s anyone left who doubts how deep the Mavs are, they’re probably not doubting that assessment any more. With starters Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (left hamstring strain) sidelined along with reserve forward Ryan Broekhoff (left fibula fracture), the only thing the Mavs’ bench players did Thursday night was score a whopping 62 points. In other words, the Mavs’ bench outscored the Mavs’ starters by one point. The starters were 21-of-51 from the field and 9-of-26 from 3-point land. The bench was 24-of-39 from the field and 9-of-13 from beyond the 3-point arc. How is that for depth?
CURRY ON A HOT STREAK: When Seth Curry gets on one of those runs like he was on during Thursday’s game, you’ve got to have some form of pity for the defense. Curry finished the game with 25 points and was 9-of-13 from the field and 5-of-5 from downtown. It’s the fourth time in the last 11 games that Curry has scored at least 20 points. More importantly, Curry dominated the third quarter. After subbing in for Luka Doncic with 6:47 remaining in the third quarter, Curry spent the next six-plus minutes scoring a blistering 15 points on 5-of-6 shots and 3-of-3 buckets from 3-point territory.
KLEBER RECORDS SEASON HIGH: Maxi Kleber proved once again that the defense that doesn’t pay attention to him is the defense that’ll get burned. Kleber was steady as a rock against the Nets and wound up scoring a season-high 18 points on 6-of-7 shots, including 3-of-4 hoops from behind the 3-point line. Kleber also blocked a season-high tying three shots for the fourth time this season. The point total surpassed the 17 points Kleber tallied against Miami on Dec. 14. And this comes one game after Kleber collected 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds during Tuesday’s game at Oklahoma City. The Mavs are 10-4 this season when Kleber scores 10 or more points.