Image Credit: @MavsPr Twitter
On Monday, the Dallas Mavericks played the Memphis Grizzlies as the Mavericks resumed action for the first time since the devastating snowstorm that hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Mavericks were given an unexpected eight days of rest and look to pick up where they left off in pursuit of landing a playoff spot. It’s good to finally see these Mavericks back in action.
The city of Dallas was hit tremendously by this snowstorm that came in over the last week that caused people to lose power and be without water for days. The snowstorm was so bad across Texas that it forced the postponement of their road matchup against the Houston Rockets on Friday. The Mavericks have been hit hard this season as they were forced to play multiple games being shorthanded earlier this season due to a COVID-19 outbreak within the team. This snowstorm only adds to the list the Mavericks had to dealt with this season. Many of the people that live in the metroplex are still without water and power as they recover from the damage the snowstorm left. We would like to send a special thanks to Mark Cuban, Cynt Marshall, Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., Maxi Kleber and Dwight Powell as they’ve donated $1.25 million to the Dallas Mayor’s fund and other local sources for winter storm relief. We want to take this time to thank all of the people that volunteered to help others that were affected by this snowstorm. Thank You to all of the plumbers and electricians for helping us get back to normal. We will be back and stronger than ever before from this.
During this snowstorm, the NBA revealed its All-Star starters for the Western Conference on Thursday and announced Luka Doncic as starter for the second consecutive season. Doncic is the only member of the Mavericks to be voted as an All-Star game starter since 1996 when Jason Kidd did it. He becomes the first player in Dallas Mavericks franchise history to be voted as a All-Star starter in two consecutive seasons. All of this comes as he’s currently fifth in the NBA in scoring (29.1), third in assists (9.4) and 18th in rebounding (8.6) while also being the co-leader in triple doubles with seven. Plus he has scored 42 or more points in three of the last five games. This created criticism from fans across the NBA as many fans argued that Damian Lillard should’ve started in Luka Doncic’s place in the All-Star game due to the Portland Trailblazers having a better record than the Dallas Mavericks. Let us remind you that the only reason why Luka Doncic is starting over Damian Lillard is because there was a tie in the process and the tiebreaker went to who had the most “fan votes” which resulted in Doncic’s favor. Ultimately, Luka Doncic deserved to be an All-Star game starter, given what he had to deal with this season surrounding this team. Despite all the COVID-19 outbreaks and without having his team be fully healthy from injuries, Doncic still posted incredible numbers that has kept the Mavericks afloat during this difficult time. Thank You to all of those, who voted for Luka Doncic during the NBA All-Star voting timeframe.
On Sunday, February 14th, the Dallas Mavericks played the Portland Trailblazers as they try to remain hot during this long home stand. The Mavericks were leading the Trailblazers 61-58 at halftime until the Trailblazers went off in the third quarter as they scored 45 points in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to rally in the fourth quarter by taking a lead in the final minutes of the game until Damian Lillard hit a tie breaking 3-pointer with just under a minute to go. The Mavericks had a chance to force overtime by drawing a play for Luka Doncic in the final seconds but he couldn’t convert as the Trailblazers held off for a 121-118 victory. Luka Doncic finished with 44 points to lead the game in scoring on 14 of 20 shooting from the field in the loss. With the loss, the Mavericks record dropped to 13-15 on the season and snapped a four game winning streak.
The Memphis Grizzlies are coming into this game by going 4-6 in their last 10 games. They are recently coming off a 128-97 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday that dropped their record to 13-13 on the season. The Grizzlies were fairly quiet this offseason as they were focused on their draft picks which resulted in Desmond Bane and Xavier Tillman Sr which both of them are averaging 18 points per game combined. The Grizzlies are coming off a season in which they qualified for the NBA’s “Play-in Game” as they were the ninth seed and finished within four games of the eighth seed according to the rules. They were eliminated by the Portland Trailblazers in the best two out of three series as the Trailblazers swept the Grizzlies 2-0. The Grizzlies, led by Ja Morant, are looking to improve from last season by finishing with a higher seed and advance further in the NBA playoffs. They currently stand ninth in the western conference as they want to avoid the “Play-in Game” at all costs. If they can stay healthy and be productive then they stand a chance at grabbing a good seed in the conference.
Coming into this game, the Mavericks won the regular season series last season 2-1 over the Grizzlies. The Mavericks have taken three of the last four meetings after winning the first 46 of the 53 meetings between these two teams. Overall, the Mavericks lead the all-time series with a record of 67-30.
The Mavericks started this game after an 8-day break by getting some unfortunate news as Kristaps Porzingis was ruled out for this game due to “back stiffness” according to Rick Carlisle. As a result, the Mavericks went with Doncic, Richardson, Kleber, Finney-Smith and Powell as their starting five for this game. The first points of the game would belong to Josh Richardson as he drills a three pointer for the Mavericks to get this game underway. The first points from the Grizzlies would belong to Ja Morant as he makes a floating jump shot to get the Grizzlies going with 10:08 left in the first quarter. Both teams were sloppy in this one as there was a combined seven points scored in three minutes of play. The Grizzlies would call a timeout with 7:56 left in the quarter as they were trailing 7-2 to the Mavericks. Prior to this timeout, the Grizzlies looked like they were the ones coming off a break, as they only could make one shot in seven attempts. Coming out of the timeout, the Grizzlies turned to Ja Morant but couldn’t convert on a three pointer as the struggles continued for the Grizzlies. Josh Richardson nailed a 27-foot three pointer to give the Mavericks a 10-2 run at the start of this game with 7:10 left in the quarter. Six minutes came off the game clock and the Grizzlies had five points as Desmond Bane nailed a three pointer. The Mavericks built a 10 point lead as Josh Richardson nailed a 25-foot three pointer to give him 11 points already in the game. The Grizzlies would call a timeout with 4:15 left in the quarter as Tim Hardaway Jr nailed a three pointer to extend the lead to 18-5 for the Mavericks. Nearly eight minutes into this game and Grizzlies were massively struggling as they could only put up five points thus far. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were having fun drilling three pointers as they hit four in nine attempts already. Coming out of the timeout, the Grizzlies turned to Desmond Bane but couldn’t on a three pointer as the Grizzlies continue to be ice cold on their shooting. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to hold onto their lead to take a 26-13 lead into the second quarter. Josh Richardson led the way in scoring through one quarter of action as he scored 11 points for the Mavericks. The Grizzlies were led by Tyus Jones as he scored 8 points. The Mavericks came out this game firing as they drilled 5 of 11 three pointers. The Grizzlies were frozen as they shot 24% from the field. The Grizzlies starters scored ONLY two points and those came from Ja Morant in the first quarter.
The Grizzlies first points in the second quarter came from Jonas Valanciunas as he drilled a two pointer with 10:59 left in the quarter to cut the deficit to 29-13. The Mavericks kept their momentum going as they were able to get points in three out of their first four possessions in this quarter to create a 33-19 lead with 9:45 left in the quarter. The Grizzlies kept going to Valanciunas as he scored six of the team’s 11 points in the quarter thus far, as they tried to catch up with these Mavericks. The Grizzlies would call a timeout with 7:10 left in the quarter trailing 37-21 as the Mavericks kept pouring it on the Grizzlies. Prior to this timeout, the Grizzlies shot the ball much better as they made four of their seven attempts in the quarter thus far. Coming out of the timeout, the Grizzlies turned to Ja Morant as he was able to convert on a layup to come within 37-23 of the Mavericks with 6:57 left in the quarter. The Mavericks hit the 40-point mark on a Jalen Brunson’s three pointer to extend their lead to 40-23 with 6:18 left in the quarter, as their momentum kept on going. The Mavericks had their eyes on 50 points while the Grizzlies could barely break the 20-point mark as that should give you a closer look on how this game was going. The Grizzlies would call a timeout with 4:18 left in the quarter as they were trailing 48-25 thanks to Tim Hardaway Jr nailing a three pointer for the Mavericks. Prior to this timeout, Tim Hardaway Jr scored the last eight points for the Mavericks to increase their lead to 23 points. Coming out of the timeout, the Grizzlies turned to Justise Winslow as he nailed a three pointer to come within 48-28 of the Mavericks with 4:06 left in the quarter. The Mavericks hit the 50-point mark as Tim Hardaway Jr nailed a three pointer to give him 17 points in the game and the team’s 51st point as they took a 51-30 lead with 3:14 left in the quarter. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to maintain their lead as they took a 54-36 lead into halftime. The leading scorer through two quarters of play would belong to Tim Hardaway Jr as he scored 20 points for the Mavericks. The Grizzlies were led by Tyus Jones as he scored 10 points coming off the bench. The Mavericks shot the three-ball pretty as they were able to nail 11 out of their 25 attempts in the first half. The Mavericks were absolutely dominant in the fast-break points category as they were able to score 20 points on the fast-break while the Grizzlies had 0 points. Everything was going in the Mavericks favor in the first half as they were completely dominating the Grizzlies. Only Ja Morant and Jonas Valanciunas scored for the Grizzlies out of their starting lineup and both of them scored six points.
Coming out of the half, Luka Doncic was able to give the Mavericks their first points in the third quarter as he nailed a layup with 10:57 left in the quarter to extend their lead to 56-36. The Grizzlies were able to get their first points in the quarter on the following possession as Kyle Anderson nailed a two pointer to come within 56-38 with 10:44 left in the quarter. The Grizzlies barely cracked the 40-point mark as Ja Morant nailed a layup to give the team’s 40th point in the game, while the Mavericks broke 60-point mark cas Dwight Powell gave the team’s their 60th point on a alley-oop from Luka Doncic with 9:42 left in the quarter. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 8:13 left in the quarter as the Mavericks were leading 63-42 over the Grizzlies. Prior to this timeout, the Mavericks were shooting the ball well as they made four of their seven attempts taken in the quarter. The Grizzlies were trying hard and unfortunately the shots weren’t falling for them as they were only able to connect on three of their seven attempts taken in the quarter. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Luka Doncic but a bad pass from him led to a Jonas Valanciunas’ slam dunk on the other end to come within 63-46 with 7:46 left in the quarter. The Mavericks were able to hit the 70-point mark with 4:21 left in the quarter as Willie Cauley-Stein gave the team’s their 71st point in the game on a tip-in shot, to extend their lead to 71-53. In the final minutes of the quarter, the Mavericks were able to still hold onto their lead as they took a 81-62 lead into the fourth quarter. The leading scorer in the game through three quarters of play would belong to Tim Hardaway Jr as he scored 20 points for the Mavericks thus far. The Grizzlies were led by Ja Morant as he scored 14 points. The third quarter was pretty much even as the Mavericks were able to outscore the Grizzlies 27-26 in the quarter.
The Mavericks were able to create a 24 second shot clock violation on the Grizzlies thanks to their tremendous defense to start out this fourth quarter. The Grizzlies were left wondering about how do you get a 24 second shot clock violation on your first possession in the quarter. The first points in the fourth quarter would belong to Dorian Finney-Smith for the Mavericks as he nailed a two pointer as the shot clock expired, to increase their lead to 83-62 with 10:45 left in the game. The Grizzlies would get their first points on the following possession as Jonas Valanciunas nailed a two pointer to come within 83-64 with 10:29 left in the game. The Grizzlies were able to finally hit the 70-point mark as De’Anthony Melton nailed both of his free-throws to give the team’s their 71st point in the game, as they were trailing 87-71 with 8:46 left in the game. While the Grizzlies were busy breaking 70 points, the Mavericks were busy hitting 90 points in the game and did on a Luka Doncic three pointer to give them 90 points with 8:29 left in the game as they were leading 90-73. The Grizzlies would call a timeout with 7:37 left in the game in hopes of trying anything to catch these Mavericks as they were trailing 92-73. Coming out of the timeout, the Grizzlies turned to Ja Morant but couldn’t convert on a jump shot as the Grizzlies had nothing going for them. Rick Carlisle would call a timeout with 5:57 left in the game as he wants to remind these Mavericks to not blow this lead, something the Mavericks had troubles with as they were holding a 95-77 lead. Coming out of the timeout, the Mavericks turned to Tim Hardaway Jr but lost the ball out of bounds to give the ball to the Grizzlies. The Grizzlies could only get one point off of Hardaway’s turnover as Ja Morant made only one of his two free-throws to come within 95-78 with 5:30 left in the game. Time was starting to be in the Mavericks’ favor as they were in the driver’s seat to close this game out with a win, if they were able to get some good possessions and dribble out the clock. They were able to do just that as the Mavericks were able to hit the 100-point mark with Tim Hardaway Jr nailing a three pointer to extend their lead lead to 100-84 with 2:26 left in the game.
This team looked ready and prepared despite Kristaps Porzingis missing this game as they were able to maintain the pace in the first half as they took a 54-36 lead. The Mavericks were shooting with confidence and acted like they never missed a beat. This is exactly the type of performance the Mavericks needed as there were fears that this extreme layoff would affect their rhythm.
In the end, it was the Dallas Mavericks defeating the Memphis Grizzlies 102-92. The Mavericks record would improve to 14-15 on the season. With the win, the Mavericks have now won six of their last eight games. Luka Doncic finished the game with 21 points and 5 assists in the win. The Grizzlies were led by Ja Morant as he finished with 22 points and 9 assists. The leading scorer in the game belonged to Tim Hardaway Jr as he scored 29 points on 7 of 11 shooting from behind the arc for the Mavericks. This was a game the Mavericks had to have and they were able to get it, to stay in contention for a playoff spot in the western conference.
The Mavericks will continue to stay home as they host the Boston Celtics at the American Airlines Center on Tuesday on the second night of a back-to-back.