Mavs’ Doncic on win over GSW: ‘It was just an amazing night – one you will never forget’

On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks honored Dirk Nowitzki by retiring his numb4r 41 jersey, but before that, a player who could also get his jersey retired one day, Luka Doncic, went to work against the team with the best record in the league, the Golden State Warriors(29-8).

Doncic had a game-high 26 points to go along with seven rebounds and a game-high eight assists as the Mavericks(20-18) defeated the Warriors 99-82 at American Airlines Center.

Dorian Finney-Smith added 17 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks, and Jalen Brunson extended his career-best double-figure scoring streak to 19 games with 15 points tonight.

Dallas, who held the Warriors to a season-low 82 points, has won four straight and five of their last six.

The Mavericks had a great defensive night and held Steph Curry to 14 points on 5/24 shooting.

“You know the Warriors are going to score. Steph [Curry] is going to make 3s,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd. “We just tried to make it as tough as possible and then, on the offensive end, take care of the ball. We felt our defense did a great job tonight and gave us a chance to win.”

Ironically, on the night Dirk Nowitzki’s number 41 was officially retired, Doncic’s point/rebound/assist stat line added up to 41.

“It was just an amazing night – one you will never forget,” Doncic said. “With the game – the Warriors are one of the best teams in the world right now, and we did an amazing job. And after that was even more special. To be there in the front row to see that was special.”

Doncic rolled his ankle near the end of the game, but according to him, he’s fine.

“I twisted it a little bit but not that bad,” he said. “I guess it will be OK. It just hurts a little bit, but I will be fine.”

It was a great night for the current Mavericks and a great night for Nowitzki, who is the only player in league history to play 21 seasons with the same franchise. In addition, the 14-time All-Star led the Mavericks to their only NBA championship in 2011 en route to being named Finals MVP.

Despite all the love, Nowitzki found a way to avoid shedding tears Wednesday night, but he was close.

“Yeah, some of the videos got me – which it’s a good thing I didn’t have to speak then and there,” Nowitzki said. “Super cool stuff, and I didn’t know we were doing a whole championship run and seeing some of those clips and the guys sitting there so proud – it was so cool. It’s funny. Yeah, it got me a little bit there, and Mark [Cuban] was speaking, and he got emotional, and that was a tough one.

“The kids said some really nice things when I had some tears in my eyes. But, my speech was finally good. I think I worked on it for weeks now, so in you’re head, you’re like, ‘what’s next? What’s next?’ and you’re kind of trying not to mess up, but then the fans got me just like the other day at the press conference, just thinking about the support. Like I mentioned the other day, [I appreciate] how many people have come up to me and said they appreciated what I did for the city [and] for this organization, and that always gets me.”

Overall, January 5, 2022, was a good day for the Dallas Mavericks.

Doncic on Nowitzki: ‘Everybody has the highest respect for him, the highest everything’

Luka Doncic is back after missing ten games due to an ankle injury and health and safety protocols, and on Monday against the Denver Nuggets, he did not disappoint

Doncic, who returned on Sunday in team’s win over the Thunder, led the Mavericks with 21 points, 15 assists, and eight rebounds; Dwight Powell and Reggie Bullock added 15 points apiece as Dallas defeated the Nuggets 103-89 to win their third straight.

Dallas had six players in double figures, including all five starters. 

Dallas took a six-point lead into the fourth, and took control in the final period as they had their largest lead of 17 points.

“They have a great team,” Doncic said about the Nuggets. “They have [Nikola] Jokić, who is the MVP. They’re going to make a run. It’s not happening that they’re not going to make a run. We stayed together and just played our basketball.”

Doncic is slowly working his way back from COVID, and he believes that he will get better over time.

“Every game is going to be better, especially physically, with the way the game is played, five-on-five,” Doncic said. “But I think it’s going to come with the games, and every game is going to be better.”

On Wednesday, the Mavericks host the Golden State Warriors, and they will retire Dirk Nowitzki’s number 41 jersey. After defeating the Nuggets, Doncic, who grew up in Slovenia, discussed Nowitzki.

“I mean, he deserves [the recognition] and everything else that happens,” Doncic said. “You know, he gave so much to Dallas, and Dallas gave back to him. I was talking before, he did a lot of things – not just for people from Europe, but I think also in the United States. Everybody has the highest respect for him, the highest everything. They just enjoy watching him play – in Europe too. Especially the kids, they grow up in Europe, and they know Dirk [Nowitzki]. Everybody in Europe followed Dirk, so he’s got respect from everybody.”

Dirk Nowitzki on new role: ‘I am happy to support my Mavs’

The Dallas Mavericks announced on Friday that Dirk Nowitzki will serve as a special advisor to the franchise. Nowitzki will assist with hiring both a general manager and head coach and consult on other front-office decisions.

Dallas and GM Donnie Nelson agreed to part ways on Wednesday, and head coach Rick Carlisle stepped down on Thursday.

“Mark Cuban approached me about a role as special advisor, and I am happy to support my Mavs,” said Nowitzki. “Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle were both mentors and played huge roles in my career and the success of this franchise, and I am going to miss them. It is important for me now to join Mark and contribute as much as I can as we move forward.”

The 42-year-old Nowitzki is the only player in league history to play 21 seasons with the same franchise. He led the Mavericks to their only NBA championship in 2011 en route to being named Finals MVP.

The 14-time All-Star is the Mavericks’ all-time leader in points (31,560), rebounds (11,489), defensive rebounds (10,021), field goals made (11,169), 3-pointers made (1,982), free throws made (7,240), blocks (1,281), games (1,522), starts (1,460) and minutes (51,368). He finished his career with averages of 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists in 33.8 minutes per game.