- Eric Martinez
Mavericks drop 2 in a row in a back-to-back against Bucks and Bulls
Friday night pinned a marquee matchup between two teams that are trending in different directions. The Milwaukee Bucks traveled to Dallas to play an inconsistent Mavericks team thus far in the season. The Bucks have been in 2nd in the Eastern Conference for the good part of the season starting since October. Milwaukee ranks amongst the top 5 teams in the NBA with a +/- of 4.9 and 2nd in the NBA only allowing 107.9 points per game.
The Bucks also collectively rebound as a team, 2nd in the NBA in rebounds per game with 48.4. The Mavericks showed an inconsistency shooting from three-point range (32.5%) and from the free throw where they missed 14 of 24 free throws, not to mention the Mavs were outrebounded 51 to 43 by the Bucks Ultimately, head coach Jason Kidd knew the missed free throws were going to determine the outcome of the game. “We practice free throws all the time. It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t make them at the right time.”
Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 28 points but did foul out late in the game. It was Bucks’ center Brook Lopez scoring the game winning layup to propel Bucks over the Mavericks 106-105. Luka Doncic recorded a double-double with 33 points and 11 assists. He did have 6 rebounds but shot 3 for 11 from three-point range.
Any time a team travels off of a back-to-back it is imperative that energy starts at the beginning of the game. Mavericks traveled to Chicago for a Saturday night game against the Bulls. The Bulls got off to fast start outscoring the Mavericks 82 to 53 in the first half. One thing Dallas was missing was their star Luka Doncic.
The Bulls had contributions from the entire lineup by Nikola Vucevic scoring 20 points, Ayo Dosunmu (17 points), Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams, Derrick Jones Jr. all had 16 points. The fast start helped the Bulls beat the Mavericks 144-115. The Mavs did have 4 players in double figures, Christian Wood (21 points), Tim Hardaway Jr. (12 points), Spencer Dinwiddie (27 points), Javale McGee (18 points), and Jaden Hardy (15 points). Dallas will travel to Oklahoma City to play the Thunder on Monday and host the Cavaliers on Wednesday. Luka Doncic will be listed as questionable. If the Mavericks want to get back to winning, they will need to improve on the defensive end.