When you are making a playoff push, there are certain games you can’t lose, and for the Dallas Mavericks(24-21), that game was on Monday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder(19-27), who were without their leading-scorer Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
While Dallas let the Thunder hang around in the first half and led by eight at the break, the team asserted their dominance in the second half, and more specifically, the third quarter, where the Mavericks pushed their half time lead to 17 entering the fourth quarter. Dallas would go up by as much as 27 points in the fourth quarter and would defeat OKC 127-106 at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Luka Doncic, who missed the last two games due to back tightness/illness, led Dallas with 25 points and seven assists, and Kristaps Porzingis scored 12 of his 20 points in the first quarter with nine rebounds and a career-high-tying five assists. Aleksej Pokusevski led OKC with 21 points.
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was not happy with the team’s play in the first half, but he loved what they did in the second half.
“The first half was a bit disjointed,” Carlisle said after the game. “Our first quarter was okay. Second quarter was not very good. Second half, I thought we played to our level, our capabilities.”
Dallas did a great job sharing the ball on Monday night. They had 30 assists against the Thunder and shot 53% from the floor. The 30 assists and 127 points made Carlisle happy.
“Overall, I thought there was a lot of very good offensive stuff,” he said. “A 127 points in an NBA game, you’re moving it pretty good and 30 assists; that’s a damn good number.”
After a day off on Tuesday, the Dallas Mavericks continue their five-game road trip on Wednesday night in Boston against the Celtics.
Dallas moved to the seventh spot in the Western Conference with the win over OKC after the Spurs fell to the Kings.
Nicolo Melli scored six points in his Mavs’ debut. Melli and J.j. Redick were acquired by Dallas from New Orleans before the trade deadline.