Mavericks End the Memphis Grizzlies’ Winning Streak at 11

NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Memphis Grizzlies
Mavericks guard Luka Doncic defended by the Memphis Grizzlies Jaren Jackson Jr. | Image from Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, the Dallas Mavericks ended the Memphis Grizzlies’ NBA-best 11-game win streak with a 112-85 victory at the FedEx Forum.

The Mavericks have now snapped two significant win streaks in quick succession after ending the Chicago Bulls nine-game win streak on January 9.

Luka Doncic started slowly but shined in the second half, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds, and ten assists. The triple-double is the 40th of the 22-year old point guard’s career so far.

Doncic outdueled the Grizzlies’ star 22-year old point guard, Ja Morant, who finished with 19 points and eight assists with eight turnovers. Morant had only four points in the second half, with four assists and four turnovers.

This week, Morant passed Doncic for second place in the NBA All-Star fan vote for Western Conference guards.

“I think he deserves the attention he’s been getting,” said Doncic postgame, who himself had six turnovers, but only one after halftime. “He’s been playing at an amazing level this season, and I think he deserves it. He’s just a different player. He’s just special. I think he’s very talented. His athleticism is above everything. He jumps out of the gym.”

Dallas (23-19) completed the win in comeback fashion. In the third quarter, Memphis (30-15) led by nine with 10:18 left before the Mavericks blew the game open with a 40-13 run to take a 91-73 lead with 9:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.

A total of seven Dallas players scored in the double digits, including Marquese Chriss andTim Hardaway Jr., who both came off the bench to score 15 and 16 points, respectively. Dallas now has victories in seven of its last eight games after the team’s six-game winning streak was snapped by the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Friday’s win is an impressive one for Dallas as a victory over a Memphis team that has proven to be one of the top four in the Western Conference this year and likely for years to come. The Grizzlies are the third-youngest team in the NBA, with an average roster age of 23.6. Including nine players that are 23 years old or younger.

The Mavericks have now been victorious in seven of its last ten meetings. This season, Dallas is now 2-1 against the Grizzlies, with a fourth and final meeting between the two teams scheduled for January 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 the Mavericks Reggie Bullock, who added 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.”

Things started poorly for Dallas, with Memphis taking a 25-16 lead in the first quarter after a 7-0 run that spanned only 48 seconds. Doncic had four turnovers in the first quarter, yet the Mavericks kept it relatively close in the first half, only trailing 55-50 at halftime.

In the second half, Dallas conjured a spectacular defense to launch the team to a come-from-behind victory. The Mavericks dug in defensively, allowing the Grizzlies to score only 30 points after halftime. Doncic found his rhythm in the third quarter with 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Dallas wound up winning the third quarter by a score of 34-18, finishing with an 11-3 run.

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

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