Only 48 hours after enduring a high-scoring 147-116 beatdown by the Golden State Warriors, the Dallas Mavericks found themselves in yet another barn-burner on Saturday night. The Mavs scored 76 points in the first half of Thursday's game and followed that up by scoring 72 in the first half of tonight's game. This time, however, Dallas was able to keep up the high-powered offense all the way though, getting their revenge and beating the Warriors, 134-132.
Luka Doncic and Steph Curry both had masterful performances in this one. Curry was on fire for most of the night and even hit a three from the Mavs' logo at one point. The Mavs were fortunate to hold onto win in this one, as Curry finished the night with an incredible 57 points on 11-of-19 shooting from deep. Doncic countered Curry's mastery by putting up a regular-season career-high tying 42 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds while shooting an efficient 12-of-23 from the field and 7-of-12 from deep.
“It was fun,” Doncic said. “Going up against Steph was fun. I’ve got to have more fun playing the game ... I’ve got to get back to enjoying the game.”
Dallas is just 10-14 and here broke a six-game home losing streak - so nobody's had much fun lately.
But it continues to be enjoyable to watch Luka.
“The basketball floor is his stage,” Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "Guys like him . . when there’s another player on the other team raising his game to the level that Curry was, you feel an obligation, if you’re that kind of player.
“I saw (Larry) Bird do it. I saw (Reggie) Miller do it. You just dig deep and you find a way to try to match the guy, and try to match the guy for your team. And that’s what he did. ... (Luka) was spectacular.”
Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis pitched in with 18 points and 10 rebounds of his own, despite shooting just 7-of-18 from the field. Maxi Kleber scored 16 points to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Kleber also had the biggest moment of the game, as he hit a clutch three off of a pass from Doncic with just five seconds left to give the Mavs a four-point lead.
The Mavs will now look ahead to their home matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night, as they welcome back 1,500 fans back to the American Airlines Center for the first time since March 11, 2020.
Maybe the fans will offer yet another boost. Maybe owner Mark Cuban's supportive address in Saturday's pre-game team meeting will have a positive carryover, too.
“Mark said he’s seen teams that fracture and those that bond when things get tough, and he believes we are the latter,'' Carlisle said. “Good stuff from the heart.”