Dallas Mavericks Are Peaking At The Perfect Time

Luka Doncic, Mavericks, NBA
Mar 31, 2024; Houston, Texas, USA; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) drives with the ball as Houston Rockets forward Jabari Smith Jr. (10) defends during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks had their work cut out if they wanted to avoid being part of the NBA Play-In Tournament this season. The opportunity to earn a top-six seed was there, they just had to make the most of it and take it. To this point, they have been successful in doing that.

On Tuesday and Friday last week, the Mavericks faced off against the Sacramento Kings in what were essentially elimination games. Whoever won those contests would put themselves in a great position in the Western Conference standings, earning tiebreakers and two huge wins.

It was Dallas who came out ahead, sweeping the two-game set. That pushed them ahead of Sacramento in the standings and they kept the good times rolling against the red-hot Houston Rockets on Sunday.

The Rockets entered the game on an 11-game winning streak, pushing themselves into the NBA Play-In Tournament picture with their hot play. The Mavericks brought that winning streak to an end with a dominant 125-107 victory on Sunday evening.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Luka Doncic led the way with 47 points, adding 12 rebounds and seven assists as he has been on fire the last few weeks. The NBA MVP race has gotten a little tighter with his recent performance, as he is putting the heat on Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets.

Knowing that his team needed a win to keep their momentum going, Doncic came out aggressive early on. He scored 22 points in the first quarter and 32 in the first half, shooting 12-of-18 from the field and 6-of-10 on 3-pointers.

“When you talk about best player in the world, understanding the time and where we are in the schedule and this road trip, he came out and showed why he’s one of the best in the world,” Dallas coach Jason Kidd said. “He set the tone offensively. … He put the ball in the basket, was able to read and play the defense we saw tonight. It’s up to him to do his job, and he did it at a high level tonight.”

The highlight of the night for Doncic was a wild underhand shot near the 3-point line with the shot clock nearly expiring. It was the kind of shot you would see in a gym or backyard between people playing a game of HORSE.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks Updates

Doncic wasn’t the only Mavericks player to have a big game against the Rockets. Kyrie Irving scored 24 points with seven assists, while they received solid contributions from their supporting cast as well.

Dante Exum scored 13 points off the bench while P.J. Washington added 12 in the starting five. In a game that had major NBA playoff implications, the Mavericks showed up big and got the job done.

Their record now sits at 45-29, putting them in a tie with the New Orleans Pelicans. Because of tiebreakers, the Mavericks currently sit in the fifth spot, with the Pelicans in sixth. Both teams are two games clear of the NBA Play-In Tournament, as the Kings and Los Angeles Clippers are tied with records of 43-31.

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