MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Luka Doncic scored 35 points, Dereck Lively II added 16 points and 16 rebounds, and the Dallas Mavericks beat the Memphis Grizzlies 120-113 on Monday night.
Jaden Hardy scored 19 points off the bench for Dallas and Dante Exum had 16 points for the Mavericks, who have won three straight. The victory came despite the Mavericks being short on players due to injuries, including Kyrie Irving, the team's second-leading scorer.
“Obviously, we had a lot of people out,” Doncic said. “I said before the game, 'Everyone be ready.' The confidence factor was huge in this game.”
Luka Doncic ran the show for the Mavericks when they won the W in Memphis!
35 PTS / 8 REB / 6 AST pic.twitter.com/ZuSgV9ccHj
-NBA (@NBA) December 12, 2023
Hardy's night included 7-of-15 from the floor and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc. Hardy said it was a matter of confidence converting from distance.
“When I’m out there and the ball is finding me, she’s just ready to shoot,” Hardy said. “I feel like if I’m open, I feel like that’s going to happen every time I shoot. Just having confidence when I’m out there.”
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored a season-high 41 points and Desmond Bane added 28 for Memphis. Vince Williams Jr. finished with 10 points, the only other Memphis player to score in double figures. It was an example of how Memphis has struggled offensively.
“We didn’t have a lot of guys play well tonight,” Memphis coach Taylor Jenkins said. “There was a bit of play here and there. The second part is a little better. We can only trust Des and JJ. So we all have to keep working and play better.”
Jaren Jackson Jr. was a BUCKET in the Grizzlies' loss to the Mavs!
41 PTS / 6 3pm / 2 BLACK pic.twitter.com/VnVx1Fcd2D
-NBA (@NBA) December 12, 2023
Dallas led by 21 points early in the fourth quarter and continually stymied Memphis' comeback attempts. Doncic finished 9 of 21 from the field and 5 of 10 on 3-pointers, including his 1,000th career 3 to open the fourth.
Dallas played without Irving, who missed his first game since a right heel injury suffered in Friday's win over Portland. Tim Hardaway, the Mavericks' sixth man, suffered a late injury because of back spasms. The duo collectively averages 40 points per game.
Derrick Jones Jr. of the Mavs left the game in the first quarter with a left quadriceps contusion.
Memphis continued to play without its leading scorer from last season, Ja Morant, who is serving the final games of his 25-game suspension to open the season following incidents in which he displayed a weapon. Morant's absence and some key injuries have left the Grizzlies near the bottom of the league, scoring 106 points per game.
Lively's work on the boards, which matched her season high, allowed Dallas to control the rebounds with a 43-38 advantage, 10 from the offensive glass. This led to 21 second-chance points for Dallas.
Lively's rebounds were what Mavs coach Jason Kidd wanted to see.
“I just asked him to get a 15 and he got a 16,” Kidd said. “I didn’t challenge him. I just asked him that we needed more than 15 rebounds from him, and he went and got them.”
For Memphis, the season continues to be a battle. The Grizzlies are now 1-10 at home and near the bottom of the Western Conference as they try to keep things under control until Morant's return on Dec. 19 in New Orleans.
Bane said Jenkins talked a lot during the game about how the team wasn't executing the game plan and the Grizzlies' energy level.
“There wasn’t much to be said after the game,” Bane said. “Between (Tuesday), pick up our work. Refresh our minds and be better when we have another opportunity.”
Mavericks: will host the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday
Grizzlies: At Houston on Wednesday.