Luka Doncić was imposed on Ja Morant and, with a triple-double at the head of a fabulous collective performance by the Dallas Mavericks, broke this Friday in a thousand pieces the streak of eleven consecutive victories of the Memphis Grizzlies (85-112).
The Slovenian managed 27 points (12 of 22 in shots, 0 of 6 in triples), 12 rebounds and 10 assists (with 6 turnovers) to steamroll the Grizzlies, the fashion team in the NBA but only had 30 points in the second half (the Mavericks had 62).
Doncic handled the last quarter as he pleased, both in scoring and distribution, and put the finishing touch to the Mavericks’ victory with a lovely back assist for a dunk with additional Dwight Powell.
Nevertheless, the key to the Mavericks’ triumph was in the defense, superb and very supportive in the last two quarters. The Texans defeated some Grizzlies who arrived on the back of a sensational streak.
Jalen Brunson (15 points, 5 rebounds, 9 assists and 5 steals) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (16 points, 2 rebounds and 2 assists) were part of the group of seven Mavericks players above 10 points.
On the Grizzlies, Ja Morant (19 points, 5 rebounds and 8 assists but 8 turnovers) and Desmond Bane (16 points and 6 rebounds) were the highlights of a night of poor success for the locals (38.2% in field goals compared to 51.6% for the Mavericks) and clearly inferior in rebounding (41 compared to 52).
The Spanish Santi Aldama played 5 minutes for the Grizzlies in which he grabbed a rebound. The center did not have too many opportunities in the defeat of his team.
The appearance of Tim Hardaway Jr.., with two triples, encouraged the visitors after a very even start, which tied the game at the beginning of the second quarter (37-37 with 8:14 for the break).
However, a spirited rush from the home side, fueled by a shot from Jaren Jackson Jr. and a creditable two-plus-one from Desmond Bane, led Grizzlies into intermission ahead (55-50).
The Mavericks defensive attitude changed completely after passing through the locker room. Much more combative and united, those from Dallas drowned out the Grizzlies’ attack and thus were able to go on the counterattack very easily.
Displaced and with the broken compass, the Grizzlies racked up turnovers with amazing ease, something that further catapulted the Mavericks who, with their second unit and with Doncic resting, executed their plan of defending and running to the millimeter (66-73 with 3.38 to go).
To the despair of the Grizzlies, Doncic was already in his sauce by then, crushing the local defense again and again, and thus put the finishing touch to the match and also to the triumphant streak of the Memphis team.
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