Heading into Wednesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at American Airlines Center, the Dallas Mavericks hoped to jump back into the win column after dropping consecutive games to the Portland Trail Blazers over the weekend.
Despite getting two key players back from injury in Dorian Finney-Smith and Josh Green, the Mavs’ defense struggled for most of the game, and they ultimately lost the game to the Hawks, 130-122. Dallas dropped to 24-22 on the season, and Atlanta improved to 23-22.
Luka Doncic led the way for the Mavs, as he usually does, by finishing with 30 points, four rebounds and eight assists in 39 minutes. He shot 9-19 from the field and just 2-8 from deep. This was the first time Doncic had scored 30 points against Atlanta in his career so far.
Three Mavericks aside form Doncic scored in double-figures, as Christian Wood, Spencer Dinwiddie and Reggie Bullock scored, 22, 20 and 18 points respectively. Green pitched in nine points on 3-3 shooting off the bench in his return from a 20-game absence.
John Collins, who averaged 13 points per game coming into Wednesday’s contest, nearly matched that in the first half alone with a team-high 12 points for the Hawks. Collins finished with 19 points on 8-14 shooting overall and 3-5 from deep. Collins also tallied five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 34 minutes of action.
Although the Doncic vs. Trae Young narrative gets most of the spotlight when Dallas and Atlanta meet, it was the other Hawks star guard, Dejounte Murray, who went toe-to-toe with the Mavs’ MVP candidate. Murray finished with a team-high 30 points on 12-18 shooting. Murray hit clutch shot after clutch shot in the fourth quarter to keep the Mavs from gaining ground.
Young finished with 18 points on 5-11 shooting in 35 minutes. Every Hawks player that saw action on Wednesday night scored in double-figures except for Jalen Johnson, who had just three points in six minutes. The Mavs’ hemorrhaging on defense continues as decisions will have to be made before the Feb. 9 trade deadline.
Next up, the Mavs take on the Miami Heat at AAC in what will be their second game of this current four-game homestand. Miami hasn’t played up to its standards this season, but the 25-21 record has still been good enough for seventh-place in the Eastern Conference standings.