The Dallas Mavericks made the trip to Phoenix to play the Suns Friday. Coming off of a blowout loss at the hands of the Clippers, the team was looking to get back on track.
It was a close game throughout, going into the fourth quarter with the score tied. However, Dallas used a 31-24 fourth-quarter advantage to win 120-113.
The Mavericks Bounce Back Against the Suns
Luka Doncic Close to Another 40-Point Triple-Double
Luka Doncic had a rough game against an elite Clippers defense on Tuesday. He didn’t shoot the ball well, he struggled with some of the physicality the Clippers brought to the court, and overall it was just a frustrating night for the second-year star.
However, he bounced back in a big way in this one.
Doncic finished this game with 42 points on 12/24 shooting to go with 11 assists and nine rebounds. He already has one 40-point triple-double this season, which is rare for someone at his age, and in this one, he was, of course, one rebound shy of doing it again.
A big part of Doncic being able to have a strong bounce-back was getting to the foul line. In this one Doncic shot 15/18 from the line. Getting to the line allowed him to get in a rhythm and really set the tone for the game he wanted.
This team revolves around Doncic, so him having the game he did is not surprising. He has already become one of the top players in the league and is a threat to have a game like this every time he steps on the floor.
He set the tone for this game early, and the team followed his lead.
The Difference at the Free-Throw Line
As mentioned above, Doncic had a big game from the free-throw line. However, he wasn’t the only one. The free-throw line is largely the reason for this win.
Overall the team went 33/38 from the line, while the Suns only went 18/25. With that kind of difference at the free-throw line, it’s hard not to win.
Nobody else really stood out besides Doncic, but everyone who got to the line was able to knock down their freebies.
Seth Curry was the other most notable player going 5/5 from the line.
This was also a chippy game that featured two technical fouls from each team and a flagrant foul on the Mavericks. Getting those extra chances at the line and taking advantage of it is a game-changer.
Dallas was also the more aggressive team, and generally, the more aggressive team wins. The more aggressive team also tends to win when they shoot that much better from the line. And taking advantage of something like that is something good teams do.
Bench Coming Up Big
The bench really struggled in the game against the Clippers. Now the Clippers probably have the best bench in the league, so it wasn’t a surprise. However, the Dallas bench is also quality, and they had a much better game in this one.
Delon Wright didn’t have his best night in terms of scoring, but he was able to finish with four rebounds and four assists to go with his five points.
Not only was the bench more productive, but they came up big in the fourth quarter. That enabled the team to be in a good situation when Doncic came back in the game to try and close things out.
Going forward, that is what Dallas needs from this bench.
The Mavericks Pull Away From the Suns: Overall Thoughts
Dallas has now won six of their last seven games. This was the opener of a three-game road trip, and with the Los Angeles Lakers looming on Sunday, this was a game Dallas needed against an improved Suns team.
The Mavericks got off to a strong start in this game, but let things slip away at certain points of the game. However, they were able to pull it back together to have the game tied going into the fourth.
Following that, the team played a strong fourth quarter, as mentioned.
After the Lakers game on Sunday will be a trip to play the Pelicans in New Orleans on Tuesday.
Top Photo: Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images