On Monday night the Dallas Mavericks played the Milwaukee Bucks for the second time in the last three days. The Mavericks are coming off a 112-102 victory and look to follow it up with another win as they continue on with their second of only three preseason games.
On Saturday, the Mavericks limited the Bucks to 23.7 percent from behind the 3-point arc as they continue to stress the importance of defense. The Mavericks were coming into this game shooting 41.4 percent from the field. I feel like the Mavericks defense has dramatically improved, of course it’s only preseason and the Mavericks are still missing some key players.
The Milwaukee Bucks were coming into this game looking to bounce back from the preseason opening loss to these very same Mavericks. This is a very important season for the Milwaukee Bucks as their franchise player, Giannis Antetokounmpo still hasn’t signed his extension with the team. Antetokounmpo is coming off a MVP season that featured 29.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 5.6 assists that resulted in the Bucks being eliminated in the first round. The Bucks made some offseason moves that featured a pair of backcourt acquisitions in Jrue Holiday and notable Mavs killer D.J Augustine, in hopes of helping bring Antetokounmpo to his first NBA Finals and convince him to stay in Milwaukee.
The Mavericks started this game hot by shooting 63 percent from behind the 3-point arc with Josh Richardson scoring eleven of the Mavericks thirty-two points on a perfect three of three shooting from behind the arc. The Mavericks finished the first quarter strong by taking a 32-28 lead.
The Bucks roared back throughout the second quarter taking a 69-59 lead to close the first half. The Mavericks were able to finish the half with three Mavericks players in double figures.
The game continued its back-and-forth trend before the Mavericks took command in the third quarter by out scoring the Bucks 36-24 with Luka Doncic notching 27 points through three quarters of the game. With great teamwork, Dallas was able to erase the halftime deficit and grab a two point lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Mavericks took control in the fourth quarter, holding the Bucks to just 19 points. It was really a great night for Josh Richardson, who shot 7 of 10 from the field including 5 of 6 shooting from behind the arc for a strong 23 points. Luka was dominant, attacking the paint and finding the open man, making it look easy.
This Maverick team looked much more comfortable than it did on Saturday night and it showed with Tim Hardaway Jr, Luka Doncic and Josh Richardson all having solid games combining for 67 points. This is what Mavs fans had hoped for when Josh Richardson came to Dallas. He competes on the defensive end, knocks down open shots, and has the ability to put the ball on the floor when thhe time is right.
In the end it was a solid 128-112 Mavericks win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Three of the Maverick starters scored in double figures. The Mavericks shot pretty well in this game, 44-95 (46.3%) from the field and an incredible 22-46 (47.8%) from three point range.
The Mavericks look to stay hot in the preseason as they host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday in the first preseason game at the American Airlines Center (No fans yet, sorry MFFLs). The Timberwolves are coming off a 123-104 defeat from the Memphis Grizzlies and look to snap a two game preseason losing streak. If the Mavericks continue to play at this level then we are poised to be a major threat in the western conference.