5 TAKEAWAYS FROM THE 113-97 WIN OVER NUGGETS
BOBAN DOMINANTS: We all knew it was only a matter of time before Boban Marjanovic had one of those breakout games. It finally happened Wednesday in a game Mavs fans will be talking about for a long time to come. That breakout game made it difficult to tell who was the two-time NBA All-Star – Marjanovic or Denver’s two-time All-Star, Nikola Jokic. Marjanovic finished with a career-high 31 points and 17 rebounds. He was particularly dominant late, collecting 16 points and eight rebounds in the fourth quarter. The Nuggets? They had 12 points and eight rebounds in the fourth quarter.
CORONAVIRUS IMPACT: When news first broke that the NBA was suspending its season until further notice due to the coronavirus, the Mavs-Nuggets game was in the third quarter. As fans were examining the unfortunate news on their cell phones, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said it played a part in deciding to play players more minutes. For instance, backup center Boban Marjanovic came into the game having played over 18 minutes in just four games this season. Well, Marjanovic played 18 minutes – IN THE SECOND HALF – against the Nuggets, including an unusual 10 minutes in the fourth quarter.
LUKA DID HIS THING: Luka Doncic has been getting beat up and tossed around a lot this season. And he’s dealt with ankle, wrist and thumb injuries in recent weeks. But the second-year point guard brushed all of that aside in helping the Mavs snap their two-game losing streak. While playing a game-high 40 minutes on the second night of a back-to-back, Doncic finished with 28 points, six rebounds, nine assists and two steals in an all-around fill-up-the-stat-sheet night for the NBA’s reigning Rookie of the Year. In addition, he had 11 of his points in the second quarter when the Mavs outscored Denver, 24-21.
DELON HAD THE W(RIGHT) STUFF: If you just take a moment to track Delon Wright when he’s on the court, he is an analytics nightmare for opposing teams. The Mavs’ backup point guard came off the bench to toss in 10 points, snatch a season-high nine rebounds, distribute four assists and register a blocked shot. He also showcased his unique way of being a pest on full display as he recorded four steals – or two less than the entire Denver team. In 28 minutes, Wright was 3-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc. He also wound up with a gaudy game-high plus/minus of plus 27.
NICE BOUNCE-BACK GAME FOR MAVS: No one had to remind the Mavs that they blew a golden opportunity to sweep the San Antonio Spurs for the first time in team history on Tuesday night when they had a 13-point lead in the third quarter. But the Mavs inexplicably let their foot off the gas and wound up losing that game, 119-109. A day later and still seething from that forgettable loss to the Spurs, there was not a hint of a letup in the Mavs’ game against Denver. Dallas kept pouncing on the Nuggets until Denver finally cracked in the fourth quarter when it was outscored by the Mavs, 29-12.