The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 126-91 win over the Golden State Warriors
Mar 24, 2019Dwain Price
DIRK’S FRIENDLY REMINDER: As if there was in question on whether or not Dirk Nowitzki still has it, he reminded everyone on Saturday that he indeed does still have it. The 21-year veteran turned back the clock against the two-time defending NBA champions while pouring in a season-high 21 points in only 26 minutes. It’s the most points Nowitzki has scored in a game since he tallied 23 points in 26 minutes against New Orleans on Mar. 4, 2018. On Saturday, Nowitzki scored the game’s first five points, and by the time the Mavs had rushed out to a 14-2 lead with 8:31 left in the first quarter, 10 of those points came from Nowitzki. Overall, Nowitzki was 8-of-14 from the field and 5-of-8 from 3-point land.
LUKA PUNISHING THE WARRIORS AGAIN: In making his final push to lock down the prestigious Rookie of the Year trophy, Luka Doncic put on a very impressive show against the team that won the last two NBA titles. In just three quarters of work against the Warriors, the rookie from Slovenia registered his sixth triple-double of the season as he finished with 23 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Doncic also contributed three steals and was 6-of-14 from the field and 4-of-11 from behind the 3-point line. It’s as if Doncic sees the Warriors and he immediately steps his game up to another level. In four games against Golden State this season, Doncic averaged 23 points 7.3 rebounds and six assists.
PERFECT GAME FOR THE MAVS: If a coach was designing the perfect game for his team, they could definitely use what the Mavs did to the Warriors as Exhibit A. Unless you’re just a nitpicker, it’s hard to find many flaws in the Mavs’ performance against the Warriors. The Mavs shot 53 percent from the field, made 21-of-49 three-pointers, held the Warriors to 40 percent shooting, and Golden State also was only 4-of-30 from 3-point range. In addition, the Mavs outrebounded the Warriors, 49-36, led wire-to-wire, and forced Kevin Durant into a 9-of-25 shooting night and Klay Thompson into a 4-of-13 shooting night. All this came from a Mavs team that was playing its third game in four days, and entered the game with only a 6-30 road record.
KLEBER VERY EFFICIENT: In his second game after missing last Wednesday’s contest at Portland with a sprained left wrist, Maxi Kleber showed no effects from the injury. The second-year forward from Germany tallied 14 points and collected nine rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench, and did not play in the fourth quarter. Kleber was 6-of-9 from the field and an equally impressive 4-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc. The six made field goals are a season-high for Kleber and are the most he’s made in a game since he made six baskets during a Dec. 26, 2017 contest against Toronto. Also, the four made 3-pointers ties Kleber’s season high for 3-pointers in a game.
BENCH CAME ALIVE: The players on the Mavs’ bench who have been hoping for more playing time got their wish in this lopsided affair and ultimately made it pay off. In one of their more dominant performances of the season – especially against a quality opponent – the Mavs’ bench outscored the Warriors’ bench, 58-26. Also, the Mavs’ bench was 19-of-35 from the field for 54.3 percent, 10-of-20 from 3-point land for 50 percent, and picked up 19 rebounds and 10 assists. By contrast, the Warriors’ bench was 10-of-27 from the field for 37 percent, and 1-of-10 from downtown for 10 percent. In addition, Golden State’s bench produced 14 rebounds and six assists.