For a few games now, Dallas Mavericks coach Jason Kidd has been preaching about his team getting inside the paint so they can do more damage and make the game easier on themselves.
Especially since the Mavs’ three-point shooting hasn’t exactly been anything to write about lately. (Dallas shot 27.3 percent from downtown on Sunday).
Well, Kidd’s players finally got the message Sunday when they aggressively attacked the basket and outscored Oklahoma City in the paint, 50-20, as the Mavs prevailed in convincing fashion, 103-84.
“We’re talking about that every night – the ball has to touch the paint, and look to score when we do touch the paint,” Kidd said. “Again, we didn’t shoot the three well (Sunday).
“But when you can attack and score in the paint, that makes the game so much easy.”
Here are our five takeaways from the 103-84 win over the Thunder.
BRUNSON TOOK CHARGE The Mavs’ offense was looking a little sluggish. Then, following a timeout with 7:20 remaining in the third quarter and the Mavs holding a 60-54 lead, Jalen Brunson decided to take matters into his own hands. Over the next two-plus minutes, Brunson poured in 10 consecutive points that helped the Mavs re-establish control of the game. Brunson finished the night with team highs of 18 points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes while starting at point guard in place of the injured Luka Doncic.
MOSES CLIMBING THE MOUNTAINTOP: Given an opportunity to prove his worth, Moses Brown unleashed the energy that is within him by leaving an indelible imprint on this game. When he wasn’t bouncing up and down and grabbing rebounds or blocking shots, Brown was somewhere in the vicinity of the rim altering other field goals the Thunder attempted. If this wasn’t Brown’s coming out party, Mavs’ fans sure would like to know when that party will start. Brown finished the game with season highs in points (15) and minutes (20), and also grabbed six boards, blocked two shots and was 5-of-6 from the floor.
ONE OF KLEBER’S BEST GAME: Maxi Kleber produced one of his best games of the season Sunday when he collected 16 points, seven rebounds and two assists in 30 minutes. It was the fifth time this season Kleber has scored 10 or more points in a game, the fifth time he’s collected seven or more rebounds in a game, and the fifth time he’s played 30 or more minutes. He also was 6-of-12 from the field. The 12 field goal attempts are a season-high for Kleber, and the six made field goals equals his season high previously recorded when he was 6-of-9 from the floor during the Nov. 27 game against Washington.
BENCH DID HEAVY LIFTING: For those looking for the heavy lifters from Sunday’s game, take a closer look at the Mavs’ bench. For starters, the Mavs’ reserves outscored their Thunder counterparts, 54-29, outrebounded them, 24-19, and out-shot them from the field, 48.8 percent to 42.3 percent. In fact, the star of this show on this night was the Mavs’ bench. Especially when taken into account that the Mavs’ starters only scored 49 points and shot 36.7 percent from the field, and OKC’s starters tallied 55 points on 35.2 percent shooting and grabbed just 20 rebounds.
DEFENSE ROSE TO THE OCCASION: Sunday provided yet another opportunity where coach Jason Kidd could praise his defense for a job well done. For the fourth time in the past six games, the Mavs were able to hold an opponent under 100 points. That’s phenomenal in today’s NBA game that is tailor-made for offenses to produce points like they’re sitting at home playing a video game. With the Mavs playing lock-down defense, the Thunder converted just 37.5 percent of their field goals. OKC also scored just 19 points in the second quarter and only 13 points in the fourth quarter, and got rebounded, 54-39.
Share and comment