The 5 takeaways from the Mavs’ 129-127 overtime win over the Memphis Grizzlies
Apr 8, 2019Dwain Price
THE MEJ WAS LARGE AND IN CHARGE: Whatever Salah Mejri ate for his pregame meal on Sunday, he may want to eat the same meal again and again and again. The four-year veteran center from Tunisia really got cooking in the final 7:19 of regulation play when he scored nine points. That includes scoring on an offensive rebound with just 1.5 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. And once the overtime period started, it was The Mej Show live and in living color. Not only did Mejri open the overtime session by going on a personal 7-0 run. He also was blocking shots, grabbing rebounds and celebrating his good fortune by dancing during a timeout. In all, Mejri finished with a career-high 19 points, nine rebounds, a season-high four blocks and three assists.
BURKE STILL THRIVING: Trey Burke is arguably the steal of that blockbuster trade the Mavs made on Jan. 31 with the New York Knicks. Not only has the six-year veteran point guard more than proved his worth. But the more he plays, the more he looks extremely comfortable running coach Rick Carlisle’s offense. On Sunday, Burke broke down Memphis’ defense long enough to pour in a team-high 24 points and hand out five assists in just 29 minutes off the bench. He also was 8-of-16 from the field. It’s the fifth time in the last seven games that Burke has shot 50 percent or better from the field, and it’s the second time in the past five games that he’s scored at least 24 points. Burke also responded admirably during Sunday’s pressure-pack situations as he tallied eight of his points in the fourth quarter and added six more during the overtime session.
MAVS HAD BALANCED ATTACK: For the Mavs, Sunday’s game had some of everything. For starters, the Mavs looked totally listless on offense as they fell behind, 78-63, midway through the third quarter. But then the Mavs suddenly flipped a switch and came alive and racked up 66 points over the final 22 minutes of regulation play and the overtime period. It was a stunning reversal of fortune for the Mavs, who wound up distributing 31 assists, outscoring the Grizzlies in the paint, 60-44, and committing only seven turnovers. The Mavs also shared the wealth as seven players tallied 12 or more points. In addition, the 129 points the Mavs scored represent their second-highest point production of the season, topped only by the 140 points they scored in the second game of the season against Minnesota.
BRUNSON BURNED THEM AGAIN: Once again Jalen Brunson showed that so many general managers and director of player personnels made a huge mistake by unilaterally allowing him to last until the second round of last summer’s NBA Draft. In yet another classic performance on Sunday by the rookie guard from Villanova, it only took Brunson 24 minutes to produce 12 points and a team- and career-high 10 assists. It was the second double-double of Brunson’s young career. The other one occurred when he returned home to Philadelphia and collected 13 points and 11 rebounds during a Jan. 5 game against the 76ers. Brunson had six points and five assists in the third quarter against the Grizzlies, and didn’t even play in the fourth quarter or in the overtime period.
DIRK JOINED SOME MORE LEGENDS: Although he didn’t have the greatest of shooting nights, Dirk Nowitzki was able to join a few more legends on his way to the Hall of Fame. The 21-year veteran entered Sunday’s game needing just one defensive rebound to join Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, Tim Duncan and Robert Parish as the only players in NBA history to grab at least 10,000 career defensive rebounds. Nowitzki promptly got that out of the way in the first 72 seconds of the game, and then he added four more defensive rebounds the remainder of the game. Nowitzki was 1-of-5 from the field and only played 12 minutes – all in the first half – as the Mavs decided to rest him in the second half and in the overtime session.