Mavs’ Doncic; ‘No matter how we’re not trying to be in the Play-In Tournament’

The Dallas Mavericks moved up in the standing after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 115-110 at American Airlines Center on Thursday night. With the win, Dallas(32-26) and Portland(32-26) are tied for the sixth spot in the Western Conference. 

Dallas, who have won two straight, concludes their five-game homestand when they play the Lakers(35-24) in the second game of their two-game set on Saturday night.

Luka Doncic again led the way for the Mavericks with 30 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, and three steals. He now leads the NBA this season with 18 games of 30-plus points, five-plus rebounds, and five-plus assists.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Lakers with a season and team-high 29 points, including six threes, and Dennis Schroder added 25. 

After the game, Doncic reacted to moving on up to sixth-seed in the Western Conference.

“I think that’s great,” he said. “We’re just trying to get into the playoffs. No matter how we’re not trying to be in the Play-In Tournament. We’re trying to keep moving up.”

While they got the victory, not all was good for the Mavericks. Kristaps Porzingis, who had 19 points and six rebounds, left the game in the third quarter due to a left ankle sprain. 

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle is hoping the injury is not too severe. 

“[Kristaps Porzingis’] left ankle — he rolled it [and we’re] uncertain as to the severity,” Carlisle said. “We’re hoping it’s not too severe. I don’t think he’s been ruled out for Saturday yet, but with ankles, a lot of it’s about how the player is feeling the next morning. We’ll see where he is tomorrow. He was in pretty good spirits After the game. He is walking. He’s not in a boot or anything at this point, although he has it wrapped with some elastic tape. Anyhow, we had a lot of guys contribute.”

While Los Angeles was still without LeBron James, Thursday marked the return of Anthony Davis, who missed 30 games due to a calf injury. Davis finished with four points and four rebounds in 17 minutes. 

“I felt fine,’ Davis said. “My wind felt better than expected. I had looks that I missed, but I felt good out there to give the team some juice. Going through the second half was tough watching everything that was happening and not being able to play, though.”

Defeating the Lakers on Thursday night was not easy, and beating the Lakers on Saturday night will probably be even more challenging for Dallas, especially if they don’t have Porzingis. But, if they want to continue to move up in the standings, they have to keep winning. 


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