The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 122-112 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies
Apr 6, 2019Dwain Price
DIRK THROWING IT DOWN: For those who were still at the concession stands or still in the parking lot, the big play of Friday’s game happened soon after the game started. Just 18 seconds into the Mavs-Grizzlies game, Dirk Nowitzki took a feed from Courtney Lee and quickly did what he hadn’t done all season. He dunked the basketball! No, it wasn’t one of those fancy “Chocolate Thunder Flying, Robinzine Crying, Teeth Shaking, Glass Breaking, Romp Roasting, Bun Toasting, Wham Bam, Glass Breaker, I Am Jam” dunks that the late Darryl Dawkins was famous for. But it was a two-handed dunk that brought down the house and brought Nowitzki’s teammates on the bench to their collective feet.
LEE LED THE WAY: In his first time playing extended minutes this season, Courtney Lee responded with easily his best game of this season. Lee played 30 minutes against the Grizzlies, was 9-of-15 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point land and finished with 21 points and seven assists. Every one of the aforementioned numbers represent season highs for Lee, who the Mavs acquired on Jan. 31 as part of that seven-player, two draft pick blockbuster trade with the New York Knicks. Lee also recorded a season-high tying three steals. This was the 40th time in Lee’s career that he scored 20 or more points in a game and his first since he tallied 20 points against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 23, 2018.
JACKSON STILL OPERATING SMOOTHLY: As the games keep stacking up, Justin Jackson keeps showing that he really could become a viable part of the Mavs’ future. The second-year forward out of North Carolina helped the Mavs remain within striking distance of the Grizzlies by scoring 10 of his 19 points in the second quarter. He also finished the night with six rebounds. This was the fourth time in the last nine games that Jackson has poured in 19 or more points, and the fourth time in the last nine games that he has grabbed five or more rebounds. In the past nine games Jackson is averaging 13.4 points and shooting a very impressive 51.1 percent (48-of-94) from the field.
MERJI THE. . .POINT CENTER?: For the first time in his career, center Salah Mejri was dropping dimes all over the place. The four-year veteran from Tunisia scored 12 points, collected five rebounds and blocked a season-high tying three shots on Friday night. More importantly, Mejri showed off his ballhandling and passing skills to the tune of picking up a career-high five assists. He also was 4-of-9 from the floor, including 2-of-3 from beyond the 3-point arc. This was the third straight game in which Mejri has scored 10 or more points after not scoring at least 10 points in any of the previous 31 games he played in this season. Clearly, Mejri, who tied his previous career-high of three assists two games ago, is on a roll.
WRIGHT GETS HIS TRIPLE-DOUBLE: Unfortunately for the Mavs, Memphis guard Deion Wright registered the first triple-double of his career as he wound up with game highs of 26 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists on Friday. The assists were a career-high for Wright and the rebounds were a season-high. Wright also had two steals and scored 12 of his points in the first quarter. The Mavs just couldn’t get a good handle on Wright, who was 10-of-19 from the field in 39 minutes. In the first half alone, Wright played 21 of the game’s 24 minutes and poured in 19 points, distributed seven assists, snatched five rebounds and was an efficient 8-of-13 from the field.