From the outset, the Mavericks decide to trapper Trae Young as soon as he touches the ball. A strategy paying off since the Hawks are unable to set up their attack and the All-Star point guard gets frustrated, suffering from two quick faults. Opposite, Luka Doncic moves more freely and offers us a real clinic in the organization. However, the Texans do not really take advantage of the many ball losses of their hosts, who return thanks to Kevin Huerter (15-10).
The address is not the highest that is at the start of the match. If the benches are gradually opening up, the quality of the basketball offered to us remains, overall, quite poor. Despite the good entry of Danilo Gallinari (10 points) on the side of Atlanta, a less expensive Dallas remains in front, after these first twelve minutes (26-22).
Defended by less physical players than him, Clint Capela imposes his dominance inside. Choked, Trae Young makes himself useful otherwise by handing out offerings to his teammates and the Hawks return to the top. Without Luka Doncic, the Mavericks galloped offensively. They rely on Josh Richardson and Kristaps Porzingis to score baskets (39-39).
Luka Doncic out for a ride, Trae Young in trouble
After more than a quarter of an hour of play, Trae Young ended up registering his first points. The closer half-time gets, the more balanced the meeting, although the show is still not there. Atlanta can however count on the good contribution of Kevin Huerter (13 points, 4 assists) to turn in the lead at the break (56-53). The activity of Luka Doncic is not enough for the moment in Dallas (17 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists).
Back from the locker room, Trae Young continues to draw against the grips of two of his defenders. Worse still, it continues to show significant signs of frustration, evidenced by the technical fault it collects. The Mavericks seek, them, to accelerate as soon as possible the tempo to better develop their game in attack. And under the impetus of a Luka Doncic in the oven and in the mill, they regain the advantage (71-69).
A real hand to hand settled at the end of this third quarter. The game gets carried away offensively, Atlanta and Dallas surrendering blow for blow by exchanging 3-point successes. Tim Hardaway Jr. (19) and John Collins (22) take the opportunity, moreover, to raise their counter. And twelve minutes from the end, it is the Texans who remain in front, by two possessions (88-83).
Trae Young wakes up … too late
Still without Luka Doncic, the Mavericks go to +10 from the start of this last act. In attack as in defense, the teammates of a now untenable Kristaps Porzingis are gradually making their mark on this game. The Hawks, like Trae Young, are unable to respond. The money-time approaching, the difference stabilizes at more than ten units (108-94).
Moment chosen by Young to gain aggression. He finally manages to make his way to the circle on several occasions. The All-Star point guard brings Atlanta back below the ten-point mark, scoring or sending John Collins to the alley-oop (113-107). Then on a 3-point logo, Trae Young completely revives the suspense, 40 seconds from the end (115-112). Against all odds, Dallas falters!
In the process, Kristaps Porzingis recovers a miss from Luka Doncic to score on a tap and give a little air to the Mavericks. But on the next possession, Young responds with a layup (117-114). In free throws, Josh Richardson does not tremble and Trae Young, again, scored a new basket in the paint (119-116). And if Tim Hardaway Jr. then lets a pitch slip down the line, Young fails to take advantage of it on the other end. Leaving the Mavs seal the fate of the Hawks and this meeting, in free throws (122-116).
End of series for Dallas, therefore, which remained on six defeats in a row. Luka Doncic (27 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists), Kristaps Porzingis (24 points, 11 rebounds) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (22 points) were essential in helping the Texans get back to the fore. On the Atlanta side, John Collins (35 points, 12 rebounds) was a hit, while Kevin Huerter (21 points, 5 rebounds, 10 assists) and Danilo Gallinari (19 points) proved invaluable in the relay. But Trae Young’s three-quarters without relief (21 points, 9 assists) were expensive.