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On Wednesday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Atlanta Hawks for the second time this season, hoping to continue their momentum that they created. The Mavericks will look to try to win 4 out of 5 games, a stretch that started with a win vs Atlanta last week. Every game is starting to become crucial as we get close to the end of the season.
On Monday, the Mavericks played the Minnesota Timberwolves in hopes of winning back-to-back games at home for just the second time this year. Kristaps Porzingis gave the Mavericks a good start that featured 15 points and six rebounds in the first quarter that resulted in a 43-22 lead. That was the most points a Mavericks player has scored in any one quarter this season. The Mavericks were able to take a 71-51 lead at halftime behind 18 points from Tim Hardaway Jr. This was the third consecutive game in which the Mavericks scored at least 70 points at halftime to set a franchise record. The Timberwolves were able to come within 123-120 with 50 seconds left in the game before ultimately the Mavericks sealed the deal for a 127-122 victory. Kristaps Porzingis finished the game with 27 points and 13 rebounds, Luka Doncic scored 26 points as the Mavericks welcomed frontline workers for free of charge, marking the first time fans were allowed in the arena in 11 months. With the win, the Mavericks record improve to 11-14 on the season and on a two game winning streak.
The Atlanta Hawks are coming into this game by going 5-5 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 132-121 win over the Toronto Raptors on Saturday that improved their record to 11-12 on the season. The Hawks currently stand at seventh in the eastern conference as they hope to give Trae Young his first taste of the NBA playoffs. They are in a good position to do just that if they can stay healthy and have production from Trae Young and John Collins.
Coming into this game, the Mavericks split their regular season series last season going 1-1. Since being traded for one another during the 2018 draft, Luka Doncic holds the edge over Trae Young against each other at 3-2. Overall, the Hawks lead the all-time series lead by holding a record of 44-35 against the Mavericks.
The Mavericks started this game by sticking with the same lineup that has generated this momentum with Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Richardson in the starting five. The Mavericks were glad to be on the court as the weather in the metroplex was cold, let’s hope that it would not transition onto the court. The first points of the game would belong to Maxi Kleber as he nailed a three pointer for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The Hawks will get their first lead of the game by having Trae Young find a wide open John Collins for a three pointer to take a 5-3 lead with 10:57 left in the first quarter. The Hawks will continue to remain in the lead by going to Cam Reddish for a three-foot shot to extend their lead to 7-3. The Mavericks would regain the lead by having Luka Doncic find a wide open Maxi Kleber for his second three pointer of the game for a 10-9 lead. The lead would only last 10 seconds as Trae Young would hit a long 30-foot three pointer to give the Hawks the lead right back at 12-10 with 8:12 left in the quarter. Both teams got off to thunderous starts as they both seesaw their time with the lead. Ultimately, the Hawks would get the lead before a timeout was called as Kevin Huerter hit a 24-foot three pointer for a 15-14 Hawks lead. The timeout was called by Rick Carlisle with 6:30 left in the quarter as he wanted to slow these Hawks down with them having a one point lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Jalen Brunson but couldn’t convert on a layup. The Hawks would build onto their lead by having John Collins make a layup while being fouled and would finish the “three-point play” by nailing the free-throw to make it 18-14 Hawks. These Hawks were as sharp as a “Hawk’s vision” by getting good looks and being aggressive that would convert into points for them. Luckily for the Mavericks, their shooting was the opposite of the weather and that allowed them to keep up with the Hawks pace. In the final minutes, the Mavericks were able to catch up by Tim Hardaway Jr nailing a two-point shot while being fouled and was able to finish the “three point play” by nailing the free-throw for a 28-27 lead with 1:31 left in the quarter. The quarter would end with the Mavericks taking a 33-32 lead. Seven different Mavericks would score in the quarter, with Luka Doncic leading the way at 9 points. The Hawks would be led by John Collins with 8 points on a perfect four of four from the field. The first quarter featured a ton of fireworks as that is what you would expect in this Doncic-Young rivalry.
The Hawks started the second quarter by having the chance to take the lead out of the gate but Willie Cauley-Stein was there to draw an offensive foul call on the Hawks. The quarter would remain scoreless for 2:00 minutes until Danilo Gallinari hit a pair of free-throws to get the Hawks on the board and ultimately a 34-33 lead with 9:59 left in the quarter. The Mavericks would quickly answer as Luka Doncic threw up a prayer that went in for two points to retake the lead at 35-34. A timeout would be called by the Hawks with 8:35 left in the quarter as they trailed by 39-35. Before the timeout, the Hawks took five shots in the quarter and missed all of them as they start to lose some of their feathers. The Mavericks at least made three shots out of six attempts in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, the Hawks turned to Kevin Huerter as he made a corner three-point shot to give them their first made basket in the quarter. A hard foul by Maxi Kleber would send John Collins to the free-throw line, where he had the chance to give the Hawks the lead and ultimately did by nailing both of them for a 40-39 lead with 7:44 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 7:26 left in the quarter after a terrific pass by Trae Young that resulted in John Collins making an “Odell Beckham like” catch for a layup for a 42-39 Hawks lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Josh Richardson but couldn’t get off the shot in time before a 24-second shot clock violation. The Mavericks finally got their first points out of the timeout by going to Josh Richardson for a three pointer to tie the game at 42-42 with 5:24 left in the quarter. The Hawks would quickly untied it on a pair of free-throws by Trae Young to take a 44-42 Hawks lead. Both teams would again seesaw their time with the lead as this game remained extremely competitive and nobody could runaway with it. A stupendous foul by Kristaps Porzingis would occur as he fouled Trae Young while making a three pointer, luckily he missed the extra free-throw to make it 51-48 with 3:16 left to play in the quarter. That was the start of the Hawks breaking away from the Mavericks as the final minutes of the quarter, the Hawks were able to take a 62-52 lead into halftime. The Hawks were taking (and making) ridiculous three pointers, mostly by Trae Young as he has tremendous amount of range shooting the ball. The Mavericks were only beating themselves as they had trouble with fouling as they allowed to give the Hawks free-throws. The game leading scorer would belong to Trae Young and rightfully so as he was three of six shooting from behind the arc to give him a total of 19 points. The Mavericks struggled in the quarter as they only scored 19 points while the Hawks were able to have a 30-point quarter. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he had 17 points but struggled from behind the arc as he was one of five shooting at halftime. There were 9 lead changes in the quarter that ultimately resulted in the Hawks leading.
Coming out of the half, the Mavericks were able to get a steal from Kristaps Porzingis that resulted in Luka Doncic going to the free-throw line on the other end but missed both of them to keep the score at 62-52. The first made basket in the quarter would belong to Clint Capela as he made a layup to extend their lead to 64-52. It would take 1:30 into the third quarter for the Mavericks to get on board and would do so as Josh Richardson made both of his free-throws to make it a 10-point deficit again. It would take nearly 2:00 minutes into the second quarter for the Mavericks to get their first made basket as Josh Richardson found Kristaps Porzingis for an alley-oop with 10:03 left in the quarter as both teams exchanged baskets. The Mavericks would need to step up their defense as they simply cannot afford to exchange buckets with the Hawks, as that would do themselves no favor in this game. That would happen for nearly 5:00 minutes into the quarter as that only helped the Hawks. Luka Doncic would find Willie Cauley-Stein for a thunderous alley-oop to make it 75-68 in favor of the Hawks as the Hawks would then call a timeout with 6:53 left in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, the Hawks turned to John Collins for an easy layup to extend their lead to 77-68. The Mavericks continued to struggle on offense as the Hawks used that to their advantage by getting points out of it. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 4:52 left in the quarter as the Mavericks felt the cold weather outside which matched their shooting as their deficit grew to 81-68. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic as he was fouled trying to make a layup and would make both of his free-throws to come within 81-70 with 4:40 left in the quarter. The Mavericks couldn’t cut into the Hawks lead as they continued to exchange buckets. The Hawks would take a timeout with 2:27 left in the quarter as they led 83-75. Coming out of the timeout, the Hawks turned to Trae Young but traveled with the ball. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Hawks were able to maintain onto their lead as they took a 90-81 lead into the fourth quarter. The Mavericks could only make a one point ground on these Hawks as they made a 10-point deficit at the start of the quarter into a 9-point deficit at the end of the quarter. The game leading scorer after three quarters of play would belong to John Collins as he had 26 points on 10 of 11 shooting from the field. The Mavericks were led by Luka Doncic as he had 23 points on a struggling seven of 16 shooting from the field.
The Mavericks came out of the fourth quarter by turning to Tim Hardaway for the first couple of possessions to make it a four point game 90-86 in the first minutes of the quarter. The Hawks struggled at the start of this quarter as they couldn’t nail a shot which resulted in another possession by Tim Hardaway Jr to make it a two point game. The Hawks would call a timeout with 10:27 left in the game as their lead shrunk into a 90-88 lead. The Mavericks scored 7 points at the start of the quarter and all of them came from Tim Hardaway Jr as he decided to go on a personal 7-0 run at just the right time. Coming out of the timeout, the Hawks turned to Kevin Huerter as he nailed a long three pointer to give them their first points in the quarter. The Mavericks immediately answered by having Kristaps Porzingis nail a three pointer on the following possession to keep it a two point game. The Hawks were able to go on a mini-run as they were able to extend their lead to make it a six point game. The Mavericks were able to cut it to four points as a result of Jalen Brunson making a floating jump shot with 8:19 left in the game. The Mavericks were able to tie the game at 101-101 as a result of Tim Hardaway Jr making a three pointer with 6:34 left in the game. With a chance to go out in front, Luka Doncic decided to shoot a three pointer and was able to nail it to give a 104-101 Mavericks lead with 5:29 left in the game. The Hawks would called a timeout with 4:59 left in the game as a result of a Mavericks 5-0 run to make it 107-101 that costed them the lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Hawks turned to Trae Young as he was able to go to the free-throw line and would nail all three of them to come within three points of the Mavericks. A controversial call would occur as Luka Doncic thought he made the basket while being fouled but the officials would rule the foul occurred before the shot thus not counting the basket with 3:56 left in the game. As a result of the call, the Hawks were able to tie the game by nailing a three pointer to tie it at 109-109. Jalen Brunson was able to untie the game as a result of making a layup to make it 111-109. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 3:12 left in the game to give the Mavericks a breather in hopes of finishing out the game strong. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks again turned to Jalen Brunson as he was able to extend their lead to 113-109 by making a two-point shot. In the final minutes of the game, the Hawks were able to make it a one point game as a result of Trae Young making a long three pointer with 1:05 left in the game. In the final seconds, the Hawks were able to grab the rebound from a Jalen Brunson miss and called timeout with 4.7 seconds remaining as they now had the chance to win it trailing 118-117. Rick Carlisle wanted to call another timeout as he wanted to see what the Hawks were drawing up to potentially win the game. Coming out of the timeout, the Hawks turned to Danilo Gallinari but couldn’t convert as the time ran out.
This team looked like they were beating themselves as they kept coming up empty on multiple possessions on offense. They also couldn’t contain Trae Young as he was able to escape the double-team by the Mavericks. The Mavericks after having a good first quarter, had a complete mediocre second quarter that resulted in scoring 19 points. The Hawks were able to take advantage of the Mavericks struggles and tried to runaway with it when the opportunity presented itself. Luckily this was a game that consisted of four quarters as the Mavericks finally were able to adjust to their miscues. As the famous saying goes “they had us in the first half” as the Mavericks continued to fight hard in the second half that ultimately would be the difference.
In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Atlanta Hawks 118-117. The Mavericks record improved to 12-14 on the season. A WIN IS A WIN NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU WIN BY. Luka Doncic finished the game recording another triple-double with 28 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Hawks were led by John Collins as he finished the game with 33 points to lead the game in scoring. The Mavericks were able to overcome a 58 point effort by John Collins and Trae Young to make it three wins in a row. As a result of the win, the “Defensive Player of the Game Belt” would belong to Willie Cauley-Stein due to his tremendous effort on defense. The Mavericks now have swept the series from the Hawks and ultimately give Luka Doncic a 4-2 advantage over Trae Young. If you want to watch these Mavericks in person, now is the perfect chance to do so but make sure you vote to make your favorite Maverick an All-Star by going to https://vote.nba.com/en?cid=nba:allstar21:institutional:nbacom:homehero:vote:global
The Mavericks continue to stay at the American Airlines Center as part of their home stand by hosting the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. The Pelicans were scheduled to play the Mavericks earlier this season but was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns.