Luka Doncic, Mavericks Cruise to Easy Win vs. D'Angelo Russell, Warriors

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 15, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 14: Luka Doncic #77 of the Dallas Mavericks handles the ball against the Golden State Warriors on January 14, 2020 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Noah Graham/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks soundly defeated the host Golden State Warriors 124-97 on Tuesday in San Francisco's Chase Center.

A well-rounded scoring attack led the winning effort. Dwight Powell paced the offense with 21 points on 9-of-9 shooting, and Luka Doncic added 20 points and eight rebounds. The Mavs shot 51.0 percent from the field and outrebounded the Warriors 54-36.

Dallas used a 36-point first quarter to take a 10-point lead heading into the second and extended its advantage to 65-47 at the halftime break.

The 25-15 Mavs, who won their second straight game, led by as many as 29 in the second half.

Dallas played its eighth consecutive game without big man Kristaps Porzingis (right knee soreness). However, ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported that it was "more likely" he would make his return to the court against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

The 9-33 Warriors dropped their ninth consecutive game.

         

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Notable Performances

Mavericks F/C Dwight Powell: 21 points, 6 rebounds

Mavericks PG Luka Doncic: 20 points, 8 rebounds

Mavericks C Boban Marjanovic: 13 points, 11 rebounds

Warriors PG D'Angelo Russell: 13 points, 8 assists

Warriors SG Jordan Poole: 17 points, 5 assists

Warriors F Eric Paschall: 16 points, 3 rebounds

     

Hot Streak May Be Brewing in Dallas

The Mavs impressively crushed the 8.5-point spread set by Caesars on Tuesday with a 27-point road win sans Porzingis. No player was on the court for more than 27 minutes, Powell was perfect from the field, and the fans got to see a Marjanovic double-double. All in all, it was a great night to be a Dallas fan.

Still, it's hard to take away too much from the Mavericks' resounding win over a shorthanded, last-place Warriors team. Instead, the better takeaway is to look ahead because they have an opportunity in front of them to make a serious run at the West's second spot.

Dallas is 3.5 games behind the Utah Jazz but would need to leap four teams to settle behind the Los Angeles Lakers, who, barring disaster, will likely run away with the No. 1 seed.

But it's certainly doable for two reasons.

First, Porzingis' return seems imminent based on the MacMahon report. While it's possible he has limited minutes to start as he works his way back, he'd be a welcome sight for a team that has gone just 4-4 without him during this latest absence.

Porzingis is also still working his way back to form following a torn ACL suffered in February 2018, and he's shooting a career-low 40.3 percent from the field. But he presents a serious problem for teams on the boards and on defense with his 7'3" size and incredible athleticism. He's a unicorn with traits no one on the Mavs roster can replicate in his absence.

His team-leading 2.1 blocks per night, for example, will certainly help on the defensive end.

Second, 17 of the Mavs' next 24 games are against teams with losing records.

Dallas does have an odd habit of losing to teams lower in the standings, including a pair of defeats to the 11-30 New York Knicks. But the bottom line is a healthy Mavs team is arguably one of the 10 best squads in the NBA. Anything can happen on any given night, but they should be the favorite far more often than not for the next couple of months.

The Mavs may be just 9-9 in their last 18 games, but they're capable of rolling through a hot streak. They're not too far removed from their 10-1 run to move to 16-6, and that included wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets.

The race for second will be one of the NBA's best storylines down the regular-season stretch, and the Mavs will play a part.

              

What's Next?

The Warriors will host the Denver Nuggets on Thursday at 10:30 p.m. ET. Dallas will visit the Sacramento Kings at Golden 1 Center on Wednesday at 10 p.m.