The Dallas Mavericks(7-7) made a little change to the lineup on Wednesday night against the Pacers(7-7), and that changed appeared to work. Dallas moved Kristaps Porzingis to the center spot, sent Willie Cauley-Stein to the bench, and added rookie Josh Green to the lineup.
The change led to the Mavericks defeating a good Pacers( team on the road 124-112 to end their three-game losing streak.
“After three straight losses, this is a game we had to have,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said.
Porzingis had his best game of the season. He shot 12/15 from scored had a season and game-high 27 points along with a game-high 13 rebounds against the Pacers. According to Porzingis, with him at the five, there was more space on the court.
“Just rolling to the basket, there’s more space,” Porzingis said. “Rolling to the basket more, having the option to roll or to pop, and that’s it. A lot of good looks, a lot of good opportunities, a lot of layups and stuff, and that’s it and make those and get those easy ones, and I’m glad we got to win.”
Carlisle explained why he made the change to the lineup.
“It made a huge impact on our offense for sure,” Carlisle said. “With all the different defensive looks that we expected and the fact that (Myles)Turner wasn’t playing, we were going to play smaller. If Turner would have played, we would have stayed big, but we would’ve probably gotten small pretty quick.
Ultimately, Porzingis and Cauley-Stein would play together down the stretch, and Carlisle was happy with what they did.
“I think KP(Porzingis) and Willie proved down the stretch of the game that you can score points, get stops playing with two bigs, and that was great to see, and that was the difference in the game.”
The Pacers gave a lot of attention to Luka Doncic. However, he recorded his 30th career triple-double with 13 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists on Wednesday. While he did not score many points and did not have a good shooting night(5-15), he made plays in the other ways, which he discussed after the game.
“Obviously, it’s not everything about scoring,” Doncic said. ‘They were double-teaming me every time, playing box-and-one. A lot of players are open. I don’t’ think it’s just the assist. There’s sometimes, a lot of times, an extra pass and not always the assist. We just play out there. it’s probably easier basketball, more space.”
Carlisle was correct. The Mavericks needed this victory, and because of the play of Porzingis and others, Dallas was able to get it done.