Due to NBA health and safety protocols, the Mavericks were without three players on Saturday night against the Magic. Josh Richardson, Jalen Brunson, and Dorian Finney-Smith all missed Saturday’s game, and with those guys out, others had to step up.
Luka Doncic stepped up with a triple-double(20 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists), Tim Hardaway Jr. returned to the starting lineup and scored 36 points, and Trey Burke came off the bench and scored 29 points as the Mavericks defeated Orlando 112-98 at American Airlines Center.
Burke entered Saturday’s game averaging 13.9 ppg against Orlando, his third-highest scoring average against any franchise. He was a walking bucket against the Magic. In 21 minutes, Burke went 11-13 from the field, including 7-8 from three-point range. Burke and Hardaway Jr. combined for 15 three-point field goals against the Magic.
“He’s(Burke) a weapon; he’s a dangerous scorer,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. “One reason that I think he plays well for us is that he knows we have great confidence in him. He’s a guy that can just get white-hot out there. We had some luck with the mid-pick-and-roll with him. He did a lot of other good things off of movement. He’s a shotmaker. If you’re going to lose a guy like Seth Curry in a trade, being able to pick up a guy like Trey Burke is really important. Again, I can’t stress enough how important Burke was.”
Burke, who missed Thursday’s win against the Nuggets due to illness, was happy to get back on the court on Saturday, and according to him, after he hit his first shot, he felt relaxed.
“I just let the game come to me, he said. “Obviously, I had been out for 48 hours, and you know that initially being out just one day you can feel that in your wind out there. I was really focused a lot on how I felt wind wise. The ball found me right when I got in, and it was a wide-open shot, so I just locked in, focused on my breathing, hit the shot, and I think once I hit that first one, I just relaxed. I think teammates did a great job feeding hot hands tonight.”
Burke has taken advantage of this opportunity with the Mavericks and is a guy who can score in many different ways, as he demonstrated against the Magic. With so much uncertainty with COVID-19, guys like Burke will be counted on to have big nights for the Mavericks going forward.