AP Photo/Brandon Dill
The Dallas Mavericks snapped the Memphis Grizzlies’ 11-game winning streak with a 112-85 road victory on Friday in FedExForum.
Memphis led 55-50 at halftime, but Dallas outscored the Grizz 62-30 in the second half to run away with this one. The Mavs led by double digits for the entire fourth quarter.
Luka Doncic paced the Mavs with a 27-point, 12-rebound, 10-assist triple-double. He’s now registered 40 for his career.
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
There have been 80 triple-doubles in Mavericks franchise history. Here’s the breakdown:
Luka Doncic: 40
Everyone else: 40
This is Luka’s 226th career game, the 2nd-fewest games to reach 40 triple-doubles in NBA history (Oscar Robertson, 92 games). pic.twitter.com/hcKIynT2zE
Jalen Brunson did work on both ends with 15 points, nine assists and five steals.
Ja Morant led Memphis with 19 points and eight assists.
The Mavs continued to play without big man Kristaps Porzingis, who has missed seven straight games due to his placement in the league’s health and safety protocols.
The 23-19 Mavs, who have won seven of their last eight, remained in fifth. The 30-15 Grizzlies maintained their hold on third place in the Western Conference despite the loss.
Mavericks PG Luka Doncic: 27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists
Mavericks G/F Tim Hardaway Jr.: 16 points
Mavericks G Jalen Brunson: 15 points, 9 assists, 5 steals
Grizzlies PG Ja Morant: 19 points, 8 assists, 5 rebounds
Grizzlies SG Desmond Bane: 16 points, 6 rebounds
Grizzlies F Kyle Anderson: 12 points, 5 rebounds
Luka Guides Mavs To Win
Simply put, Doncic was the best player on the floor Friday. The NBA’s hottest team had no answer for anything he did, and Doncic took advantage with a dominant night.
Doncic’s 10 dimes included an alley-oop to Dwight Powell in the first quarter;
Dallas Mavericks @dallasmavs
That Luka to Dwight connection>>>> pic.twitter.com/TXmX6vfDjc
He also found Dorian Finney-Smith with a pinpoint pass to get the Mavs going in the third:
Free throw line to free throw line 🤯
Luka with a pinpoint long-distance dime on ESPN! pic.twitter.com/Plu566Mubc
Doncic capped off his triple-double in style, finding Powell yet again for two thanks to a behind-the-back feed:
When he wasn’t finding his teammates for great looks, he was creating his own shot, Eurostepping here for two:
Doncic’s precise ball-handling and footwork were on full display in the third as well:
Doncic ended up scoring 10 of the Mavs’ third-quarter points, and his efforts helped change the game’s storyline:
His best play took a page out of Mavs franchise legend Dirk Nowitzki’s playbook, though:
Going to the Dirk fade to close out the third!
Luka’s got 19 PTS, 9 REB and 9 AST heading into the fourth on ESPN. pic.twitter.com/VteHL8AKG5
All in all, Doncic delivered an excellent performance to cool down the Grizzlies, who hadn’t lost since Dec. 23.
Grizzlies’ Win Streak Ends After Tough Second-Half Performance
It was a tale of two games for the Grizzlies, who led by as many as nine points in the third quarter but ultimately couldn’t get anything going on either end for much of the second half.
The Ja Morant Show took center stage early, with the NBA MVP candidate finding Ziaire Williams for two:
He also scored nine first-quarter points to vault the Grizz to a 29-25 lead after one:
Morant kept it going in the second quarter, slicing his way into the paint and putting in a basket over Powell for a 49-46 edge:
The Grizzlies’ defense also came to play, notably blocking Doncic on a few occasions:
Memphis Grizzlies @memgrizz
WE SWARM 🚫 pic.twitter.com/KO9lMpE9sC
Memphis Grizzlies @memgrizz
beautiful. memphis. grizzlies. basketball. pic.twitter.com/5WqGxwPWvR
A Desmond Bane two-pointer gave the Grizz a 62-53 lead early in the third, but Dallas took over from there, outscoring Memphis 59-23 the rest of the way.
As Drew Hill of the Daily Memphian noted, it appeared that the Grizzlies simply ran out of gas in the second half, and for good reason:
Drew Hill @DrewHill_DM
Grizzlies are completely out of gas. Nothing will go. Every shot is short.
Drew Hill @DrewHill_DM
They’ve played eight games in 12 days, won 11 games in a row and beat three of the top four teams in NBA. https://t.co/U3jVrdwkGG
Grizzlies assistant coach Darko Rajakovic also admitted that fatigue played a part:
Parker Fleming @PAKA_FLOCKA
Darko Rajakovic here for postgame. He said you never look for excuses, but fatigue was a factor, and they were running on fumes. Them missing shots led to transition offense for Dallas
As Chris Vernon of The Ringer noted, the Mavs were also able to play at their desired pace and style too:
Chris Vernon @ChrisVernonShow
Mavs have gotten Grizzlies into a halfcourt game. They have only turned it over twice since the 1st qtr. Grizzlies gotta get this thing moving up and down if want streak to continue.
Ultimately, this wasn’t the Grizzlies’ night, but they’ve proven over the past three weeks that they are a dangerous powerhouse team at their best.
This 11-game win streak was no fluke, thanks to an MVP candidate in Morant and the deepest rotation in basketball. Their staying power is legit, and they are going to be a serious problem come playoff time.
Dallas will host the Orlando Magic on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. ET in American Airlines Center.
Memphis will welcome the Eastern Conference-leading Chicago Bulls into town on Martin Luther King Jr. Day for a 3:30 p.m. start.