Mavericks look to maintain a strong defense against the Rockets

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January 5, 2022; Dallas, Texas, United States; Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic (77) is fouled by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the game between the Dallas Mavericks and the Golden State Warriors at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

With the Dallas Mavericks organization celebrating Dirk Nowitzki’s career by removing his No.41 jersey and wearing it to the hilt at the American Airlines Center on Wednesday, the stage was set for the Mavericks to produce a worthy offensive fireworks display. the sixth highest scorer in NBA history.

Instead, Dallas chose to maintain its recent tendency to play a stifling defense, choking the Golden State Warriors 99-82 to extend their winning streak to four games.

The Mavericks, who travel to face the Houston Rockets on Friday night, have limited the Warriors to a low scoring this season, about 28 points below their average per game. It was the fifth game in a row where Dallas limited an opponent to less than 100 points.

“It’s pretty amazing,” said Mavericks guard Luka Doncic. “It was just amazing the way we played in defense, everyone together.”

The fact that the Mavericks found a defensive stride without center Kristaps Porzingis, who missed three games while in league health and safety protocol, is a testament to their team-centric approach to defense. .

The Warriors’ fluid offense imposes even the strongest defenses, and Dallas’ effectiveness against Golden State has given a glimpse of the Mavericks’ potential on the defensive end of the field whenever their roster is full again.

“Everyone was active and loud,” said Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith. “It’s one of the great offensive teams. They move the ball, and they have a lot of assists. We knew we were going to have to talk. They barely play in the rooms, they just play against each other, so we had to talk and stay together.

Rockets coach Stephen Silas bristled earlier Wednesday over suggestions his team had culture issues following game suspensions of Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood for prejudicial conduct to the team for incidents resulting from a loss to Denver on January 1.

Silas got immediate validation when Wood produced his 18th double-double (22 points, 11 rebounds) at the top of the team before Porter drilled a 3-point with 0.9 seconds remaining to take Houston to a victory of 114-111 on the Washington Wizards. which ended an eight-game slippage.

“It’s funny how this league is and how life is with where we were 48 hours ago and then where we were as far as C-Wood playing a game as solid as he has played all season,” he said. Silas said. “Focused and attacking and bouncing and on every cover – he was so good.

“And then (Porter) struggled. He made plays for his teammates (but) struggled to shoot the ball. But to be the winner of the match, it’s just funny how life is, because before the match everyone was talking about our culture and all that.

Beyond Porter and Wood’s contributions, the Rockets needed a win. Houston had a 15-game losing streak earlier this season, and with their current slippage reaching eight games, it was easy to see how nerves were starting to unravel. Despite a commitment to rebuild with a young team, the Rockets aspire to win. The result in Washington was welcome.

“We’re going to stay together through thick and thin,” Porter said. “I feel like we’ve shown we can bounce back. Yep, we just needed this one.

– Media at field level

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