After defeating the Golden State Warriors and Chicago Bulls in a five-day span last week, the Dallas Mavericks had hoped to have an easier time than they did in what turned out to be a 108-85 streak-snapping loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
"I think we played down to (the Knicks') pace tonight," said Jalen Brunson after the disappointing loss. The funny part of that, though, is that the Knicks are dead last in pace this season, and the Mavs are right behind them at 29th. It wouldn't hurt for the Mavs to take things up a notch on offense in the second half of the season.
On Friday night, though, the pace is sure to pick up as the Mavs take on Ja Morant and the red-hot Memphis Grizzlies. Memphis plays much faster than New York, ranking 11th in pace on the season. Memphis has a current win streak of 11 games heading into tonight's matchup. Can the Mavs be streak busters again?
It’s a ‘Southwest Showdown’ tonight, y’all. Let’s have some late Friday night fun.
FUN FACT: January 14 hasn't necessarily been the greatest day for the Memphis Grizzlies historically. On this day in 2002, Kobe Bryant scored 56 points against the Grizzlies in a Lakers' blowout win. On this day in 2019, James Harden poured in 57 points in a Rockets' blowout win over the Grizzlies. Perhaps this can be the game where Luka Doncic starts to break out of his efficiency funk.
FLASHBACK: The Grizzlies beat the Mavs 97-90 in their first meeting of the season on December 4, 2021. The Mavs returned the favor a few nights later with a 104-96 win over the Grizzlies. Doncic led the way with 26 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while shooting 5-of-10 from three-point range.
INJURY REPORT: Willie Cauley-Stein (personal reasons) and Kristaps Porzingis (health and safety protocols) will both miss tomorrow night’s game in New York.
RECORDS: Dallas Mavericks (22-19) at Memphis Grizzlies (30-14)
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WHEN: Friday, January 14, 2022 at 9:00 p.m. CT
LOCATION: FedExForum, Memphis, TN
TV/RADIO: ESPN, BSSW, 97.1 The Eagle (KEGL) — and also, if you’re interested, you can watch the game live via our Mavs Step Back Premium watch party. Sign up here to receive a private link!
ODDS: The Grizzlies are 3.0-point favorites over the Mavs.
NEXT: Dallas returns home for a second night of a back-to-back game against the league-worst Orlando Magic on Saturday night.
LAST WORD: “Our job is to regroup, take (Thursday) to work on our game, work on ourselves and then prepare to play as hard and as well as we can,” said Mavs assistant coach Sean Sweeney.
“(We need to) get back on track with great effort and energy and team basketball.”