Maverick’s youngsters hold on to beat L.A.
The Mavericks came into Saturday’s matchup looking to right the ship after losing 7 of their last 8. They were taking on a Lakers squad that had won four straight, and was easily playing their best ball of the year.
What was tight contest all the way through, would predictably come down to the last few minutes.
After a flagrant foul on the Lakers, Kyle Collinsworth split a pair of freebies that gave the Mavericks an 8 point advantage with about 8 minutes remaining.
L.A. Would return fire with a critical 10-1 run to give them back the lead with a little over four minutes to go.
And Rick Carlisle, in a shocking move, elected to play his young guys. No Harrison, No Wesley, No JJ, and no Dirk.
And the kids got it done.
With a little over a minute to go, and the Maverick lead only two, the Mavericks ran the good old fashioned give and go. Maxi pitched the ball to Smith on the wing, and immediately cut back door. Smith promptly flipped it right back to the cutting Kleber, who was met at the summit by Julius Randle. An epic showdown with Maxi coming out victorious. He put down a thunderous dunk, matched by a thunderous slamming of the proverbial door, as Klebers poster put a nice bow on this one for Dallas. They would hold on, 130-123.
Dirk Nowitzki led they way for Dallas with a season high 22 points. Harrison Barnes added 21 points 6 rebounds, while Dwight Powell pitched in with 19.
For Los Angeles, it was Julius Randle. He stuffed that stat sheet to the tune of 26 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Second year swing man Brandon Ingram also scored 22.
Both teams would get off to a red hot start in what was an electrifying game.
In the first half, they would combine for 131 points, shooting 65 and 64 percent from the field. Barnes had 14, and Ingram had 12 for L.A.
New additions Isaiah Thomas and Doug McDermott also made debuts with their new squads in the first half. And both made an impact.
Upon checking into the game, McDermott immediately got a steal and a breakaway dunk, much to the delight of the home crowd.
“It felt great.” McDermott said of getting out their with his new teammates.
“I just wanted to come in and try to bring energy. You know, these guys play really unselfish, so I should fit in well. It just felt good to get a win.” He said.
McDermott would finish with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 impressive assists.
But Isaiah Thomas was the newcomer who stole the show.
Right after checking into the game, he splashed home a right wing triple that really seemed to get him going.
He would go on to score 16 in the first half, flashing dazzling ball handling and shot making. His performance drew loud applause from the large Laker contingent at the game.
Thomas would finish with 22 points, and propel the Lakers to a 66-65 halftime lead.
It was more of the same in the third period.
Back and forth they went, with more lackluster defense and explosive offense. The two teams put up nearly 200 points through 3 quarters, to go along with 11 lead changes.
It would all set the stage for the Mavericks budding youth movement to carry it home.
“I think you have to put them in that position where they can get better, and get that experience.” Nowitzki said of the young fellas getting this one over the finish line.
“Just being in that position is going to help them in the future.”
You can catch Dirk and the Mavs back in action on Tuesday when they host the Sacramento Kings.
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