A big win at a crucial time in the season gives Dallas hope for what it can be as a team.

The 116-103 win comes on the heels of a disappointing loss at OKC, where the Mavericks chose to rest its two stars during a must-win stretch of games. Against the Denver Nuggets, Dallas remedied a bevy of its issues, finding its groove after a slow start in the first quarter. Let’s dive right into observations from Saturday’s game.

Key observations:

1.) Dallas is a tough team to stop when the three-point shot is falling. Seven players on the Mavericks roster made a three-point jump shot against Denver. As a team, the Mavericks made 18 three-pointers, five more than the season average. Five players for Dallas made two or more. With players as lethal in the halfcourt as Doncic and Porzingis, if Dallas is stretching the opposing team out past the three-point line, the Mavericks offense becomes incredibly difficult to stop.

2.) An aggressive Porzingis can make or break Dallas’ offense. Tonight he tallied 25 points on 66 percent from the field and 71 percent from three. He tortured Nikola Jokic in the midrange, showcasing a tender touch on his bank shots from the left or right-wing. Porzingis has his legs back, and it is just in time for the home-stretch in Dallas’ season.

3.) Michael Porter Jr. is the real deal. Heading into the fourth quarter, Porter Jr. had seven points. In the last frame, he scored 17 more and didn’t miss a shot in his final nine minutes of game action. He was the reason Denver made things interesting midway through the fourth quarter, but in the end, his offense wasn’t enough.

4.) Dallas beating Denver is a huge win for seeding implications. With the seeds 5-10 in the west only separated by a handful of games, each win is important. The Mavericks now own the season series 2-1 and expect that to play a factor later in the season when the playoffs are right around the corner.

5.) Josh Richardson is finally looking like the guy Dallas thought it was getting last summer. He scored 20 points and made four of his five three-point attempts. In the last five games, Richardson is averaging 17.2 points per game and four assists. Many labeled him dead in the water, but he has found his groove as one of the Mavs key contributors down the stretch.

Looking ahead:

Dallas had three players score in double-figures on Saturday: Doncic, Porzingis, and Richardson. Having all three of those guys on the same page heading into the grueling stretch of basketball is a necessity. Big wins over the Los Angeles Clippers and the Portland Trail Blazers will allow Dallas to judge how good this team actually is with all the chips on the line.

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Feature image via Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

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