Streak Busters: Behind A Luka Doncic Triple Double, Mavs Halt Grizzlies At 11 Games

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Streak busters: Behind a Luka Doncic triple-double, Mavs halt Grizzlies at 11 games

Dallas ended Chicago’s nine-game winning streak earlier in the week.

Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) handles the ball against Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)(Brandon Dill / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

By Brad Townsend

11:37 PM on Jan 14, 2022 CST

svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="24" height="24" viewbox="0 0 24 24" fill="currentColor" stroke-width="2" stroke-linecap="round" stroke-linejoin="round"">>svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="24" height="24" viewbox="0 0 24 24" fill="currentColor" stroke-width="2" stroke-linecap="round" stroke-linejoin="round"">>svg width="16" height="11" viewbox="0 0 16 11" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" fill="currentColor"">>svg fill="currentColor" width="15" height="15" viewbox="0 0 15 15" xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg"">>

MEMPHIS — If the Dallas Mavericks achieve nothing else this season, though mounting evidence suggests they’re not anywhere close to done, they can at least be anointed as streak busters.

Five days after ending Chicago’s NBA-high nine-game winning streak, the Mavericks on Friday night halted Memphis’ 11-game streak with a comeback 112-85 victory in FedEx Forum.

Luka Doncic overcame a sluggish first half by dominating the Grizzlies and young star point-guard counterpart Ja Morant, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to Morant’s 19 points, eight assists and eight turnovers.

Did Doncic derive added incentive when, earlier this week, Morant passed him for second place in All-Star fan votes among Western Conference guards?

Doncic on Ja Morant passing him in All-Star voting. pic.twitter.com/I0kW7Cl24h

— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) January 15, 2022

“I think he deserves the attention he’s been getting,” said Doncic, who had six turnovers, but only one in the second half. “He’s been playing at an amazing level this season, and I think he deserves it.”

This is the 40th triple-double in Doncic’s career, making him the 11th NBA player to reach that milestone. And in case anyone’s forgotten, he’s just 22.

The Mavericks (23-19) held the Grizzlies to 30 second-half points and overtook Memphis (30-15) with a 40-13 blitzkrieg from the 10:18 mark of the third quarter to 9:58 of the fourth period. That run erased a nine-point deficit and gave Dallas a 91-73 lead.

Seven Mavericks scored in double figures, including 16 and 15 points off the bench, respectively, from Tim Hardaway Jr. and Marquese Chriss. Dallas has won seven of its last eight games.

The Grizzlies and Morant have served notice that they not only are a top-four Western Conference team this season, but perhaps a force for seasons to come, but on this night Dallas beat Memphis for the seventh time in the teams’ last 10 meetings.

Dallas also won here in December, breaking a five-game Grizzlies winning streak in the process.

According to Elias, Memphis is the youngest team (24.2 years) when weighted by playing time to achieve an 11-game winning streak since the NBA began keeping track of minutes in 1951-52. But, on this night, Dallas avoided falling further behind in the Southwest Division and pulled within 5.5 games of Memphis.

The Mavericks also took a 2-1 lead in the season series, with the finale between the teams looming on Jan. 23 in Dallas.

“The last few games, just us as a unit, we’ve been trying to be locked in on the defensive end,” said Mavericks forward Reggie Bullock, who contributed 10 points and nine rebounds off the bench. “We know that defense is going to be able to carry us through a lot of these games.”

Dallas trailed by as much as 60-51 early in the third quarter, but rallied behind Doncic and Dorian Finney-Smith, who at one point scored three straight baskets to give the Mavericks a 71-64 lead.

Ultimately Dallas outscored Memphis 34-18 in the third quarter — finishing with an 11-3 run — with Doncic contributing 10 points, grabbing four rebounds and dealing three assists.

In the second half, with a national ESPN audience and potential All-Star voters tuned in, Morant totaled four points, four assists and four turnovers.

“He’s just a different player,” Doncic said of Morant. “He’s just special. I think he’s very talented. His athleticism is above everything. He jumps out of the gym.”

The game was a matchup of clashing pace-of-play teams. The Grizzlies brought in the NBA’s No. 3 scoring offense (112.3 per game) and Dallas had the NBA’s third-best scoring defense (103.4).

It didn’t seem to be a good omen when Memphis raced on a 7-0 in a 48-second span to take a 25-16 lead. Or when Grizzlies forward Brandon Clarke, 2-of-15 on 3-pointers for the season, sank two treys in a 54-second span.

Or when Doncic committed four first-quarter turnovers and Dallas was outscored by seven points when he was on the court.

Still, Dallas was within 29-25 after one quarter, and within 55-50 at halftime despite Doncic’s turnover total rising to five — along with nine points, six assists and five rebounds.

In fairness, it should be noted that Morant had four turnovers by halftime — along with 15 points, four assists and three rebounds.

By early in the third quarter, it was evident that the Mavericks were digging harder defensively. And perhaps the Grizzlies showed fatigue from playing Minnesota here just 24 hours earlier.

After getting 11 second-chance points in the first half, Memphis managed two in the second half. After getting 11 fast-break points in the first half, the Grizzlies got zero in the second half.

“Overall, a great job there,” said Sean Sweeney, after his fourth game as acting head coach (3-1), filling in for Jason Kidd, who is in health and safety protocols. “And I thought the team rebounding and the team defense was excellent, to go with the way we played with tempo and pace offensively.”

a href="/sports/mavericks/2022/01/12/playing-with-crazy-energy-is-josh-green-finally-coming-into-his-own-as-a-maverick/"">>Dallas Mavericks guard Josh Green (8) dunks as Houston Rockets center Christian Wood, right, defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)Mavericks

‘Crazy energy’: Is Josh Green finally coming into his own as a Maverick?

By Brad Townsend

Find more Mavericks coverage from The Dallas Morning News here

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Source : https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/mavericks/2022/01/14/streak-busters-behind-a-luka-doncic-triple-double-mavs-halt-grizzlies-at-11-games/

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