Last year, the Denver Nuggets swept the season series against the Dallas Mavericks. On Tuesday night, the Mavs made sure there wouldn’t be a repeat. Dallas caught the Nuggets on the second game of a back-to-back set and handled their business. However, it was probably closer than Coach Rick Carlisle would have wanted. Dallas came out flat and Denver seemed like the fresher team, leading for most of the game. The Mavs bench kept the team in it, despite off nights from Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis, and lead them to a 109-106 win over Denver.
Mavs bench shines
The Dallas Mavericks strength in numbers was apparent on Tuesday. The bench came through in a big way, scoring 61 of the 109 points for Dallas. Maxi Kleber lead the bench with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks (including a game saving one). Jalen Brunson and Delon Wright ran the show with 8 and 6 assists, respectively. Tim Hardaway Jr. filled his microwave scorer role perfectly by making 4 of 6 three pointers for 14 points and had a plus/minus of a very impressive +23. Justin Jackson made all four of his attempts and both free throws to chip in 10 points. It was tonly the second time in franchise history that the Mavs had nine players in double-figures scoring (1986).
The rest of the supporting cast also played well. Dorian Finney-Smith finished with 12 points and made both of his timely back-to-back three pointers in the third. Seth Curry filled the stat sheet with 10 points, 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1 steal. Doncic and Porzingis had rough games but still scored in double digits. The depth of this team was on display tonight as it was only the second time in franchise history that Dallas had 9 players score 10 or more points.
Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis had games that they’d proabably like to forget. Doncic was out of sorts all night. He was timid with the ball and in his decision making, leading to unforced turnovers and bad shot selection. This carried through the game and is why he only had 12 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 turnovers. Porzingis registered a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds to go along with 2 blocks. However, he shot 28% from the field and 12% from the three point line. Both of them could not get any rhythm going in the pick-and-roll game as settling for step-back or long-range three pointers happened too often. They combined to shoot 7 for 26 from the field, including 2 for 14 from three.
4th quarter push
Lead by the bench, Dallas made an early fourth quarter push to take the lead for good after trailing for most of the game. The Mavs scored 12 straight points in the paint, capped off by a Tim Hardaway Jr. three pointer to go on a 15-4 run. Denver would claw themselves back into it and pulled within one off of a Gary Harris three pointer to push the score to 107-106. Luka Doncic then showed us once again that he lives for the clutch moments. With 5o seconds left, Doncic made an aggressive decision to drive the ball to the paint and finished with a left-handed layup off the glass plus the foul. He would go on to miss the free throw to put the Mavs up four, but still. Doncic shook off possibly his worst game in a Dallas unifrom to hit the most important shot of the game.
— MavsHighlights (@MavsHighlights) October 30, 2019
Dallas Most Valuable Player: Maxi Kleber (14 points, 7 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, 3 blocks)
Denver Most Valuable Player: Nikola Jokic (10 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists)
Up Next: Friday 11/1 Dallas hosts Anthony Davis and the Lakers for the first time this season.
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