PORZINGIS JOINS ELITE COMPANY: The Mavs may have lost Wednesday’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies, but look at the company Kristaps Porzingis has become a part of. With the 32 points and 12 rebounds Porzingis collected against the Grizzlies, he joins Luka Doncic, Kawhi Leonard and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the only players in the NBA to produce three consecutive 30-point, 10-rebound games this season. He also joins Josh Howard, Dirk Nowitzki and Doncic as only the fourth member of the Mavs since the turn of the century to manufacture three straight 30-point, 10-rebound games. Porzingis scored 24 of his points against Memphis in the first half. That’s the most points he’s had in any half with the Mavs.
BROKEN NOSE DIDN’T DETER PORZINGIS: As replays clearly indicated, Grizzlies forward Josh Jackson broke Kristaps Porzingis’ nose with a misguided elbow late in the third quarter. Blood was spewing profusely from Porzingis’ nose as he left the court with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter. But after the bleeding stopped, Porzingis made a hero’s return to the court with 53.5 seconds left in the third quarter. However, the Mavs’ deficit grew from 81-71 to 95-74 by the time Porzingis got back in the game. Porzingis finished the night 10-of-20 from the field, 5-of-11 from behind the 3-point line and a perfect 7-of-7 from the charity stripe. He also had a couple of assists and a couple of steals while playing just 29 minutes.
BRUNSON CONTINUES HIS HOT STREAK: You ever wonder why NBA executives are probably blowing up the Mavs’ telephone to see if they want to part ways with backup point guard Jalen Brunson by today’s trading deadline? It’s because he’s pretty darn good! Brunson proved his value again on Wednesday when he poured in 20 points and distributed six assists in a solid all-around performance. The second-year veteran from Villanova was 6-of-14 from the floor, 3-of-7 from 3-point territory and 5-of-5 from the free throw line while keeping the Grizzlies off-balanced all night. Brunson’s plus/minus of plus 12 was the highest among any of the 12 players the Mavs played, and the third-highest among any of the 22 players who participated in Wednesday’s game.
THIRD QUARTER DOOMED THE MAVS: This was a pretty tight game. Until the third quarter unfolded. Thanks to some sharpshooting by Kristaps Porzingis, the Grizzlies only led, 59-56, at intermission. But the third quarter told a completely different story. That’s when Memphis outscored the Mavs by a whopping 41-22 margin. Tyus Jones (13 points) and Jaren Jackson Jr. (nine points) combined to score as many points in the third quarter as the Mavs’ entire team. In the third quarter the Grizzlies were 13-of-22 from the field and 6-of-8 from 3-point land, while the Mavs were 6-of-27 from the floor and 4-of-10 from downtown. Also in the third quarter, Memphis used a blistering 24-3 run to break loose from a 71-all tie.
STATS TELL THE STORY: From a statistical standpoint, Wednesday was not a very good night for the Mavs and was an exceptionally good one for the Grizzlies. The Mavs put up five more field goals than the Grizzlies (94 to 89), but made 13 less (34 to 47). Since the Mavs were unable to effectively chase Memphis off the 3-point line, the Grizzlies converted 48 percent of their 3-pointers, while Dallas shot a respectable 39.5 percent from beyond the 3-point arc. With Jonas Valanciunas grabbing 10 boards and De’Anthony Melton adding nine, the Grizzlies outrebounded the Mavs, 52-42. Memphis also out-distanced the Mavs on points in the paint (60-26), second-chance points (15-8) and fastbreak points (22-10).