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.

Warriors’ Porter: ‘I was able to step in and knock some shots down’

The two best teams in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors and Phoenix Suns faced off on Christmas Day at Footprint Center, and the game lived up to the hype.

Steph Curry scored 10 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth, while Otto Porter added 13 of his 19 points in the final period as the Warriors would pick up a second-straight win over the Suns 116-107.

The Warriors(27-6) now have the best record in the NBA and lead the season series 2-1.

Down the stretch, it became the Otto Porter show for the Warriors. With Golden State leading 104-99 with just over five minutes to go, Porter scored 10 of the Warriors’ final 12 points. 

Without Andrew Wiggins(health/safety), Jordan Poole(health/safety), and Klay Thompson(Achilles), Porter stepped up, and the Warriors got a big win on Christmas Day.

“Coach(Steve Kerr) drew up a couple of plays that freed me open, and my teammates did a good job of finding me,” Porter said, who also added six rebounds and three assists. “I was able to step in and knock some shots down, and they kept finding me, so I kind of got into a rhythm.”

Suns’ Christ Paul, who had a team-high 21 points to go along with eight assists, and six rebounds, added on Porter: ‘He hit big shots down the stretch. He damn-near was a max player in this league at one point.”

For the Phoenix Suns(26-6), their 15-game home winning streak is now over, and the sentiment on their side was that the Warriors wanted it more.

“They created those breaks. They played harder than us,” Suns head coach Monty Williams said. “It’s rare when I say that about our team. They outworked us more consistently for 50-50 balls, timely offensive rebounds, diving out of bounds to save balls.”

Devin Booker, who had 13 points against Golden State, added: “They wanted it more, and they played like it. We just have to take this loss and move on to our next game.”

It appears these two teams will battle it out the rest of the way for supremacy in the West and the NBA. It would also appear that the Warriors could have the advantage as they will get back Klay Thompson and James Wiseman at some point.

Because of their great start, we forget the Golden State Warriors are not whole, so this team could be even more formidable when they get everybody back.

Watch below as Porter talks big win over Suns on Christmas Day:

Suns’ Ayton: ‘I feel like I should thank the NBA for gifting me with a Christmas gift of playing on Christmas Day’

The Phoenix Suns continued their winning ways Thursday night as they defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 113-101 at Footprint Center.

Devin Booker scored a game-high 30 points, 15 of which came in the third quarter, to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

The Suns(26-5) extended their winning streak to five games, and also extended their home winning streak to 15.

After trailing by five in the third, Phoenix used a 28-10 run to take complete control of the game, and OKC never threatened after that. 

Now, it’s onto their big Christmas Day showdown against the Warriors(26-6) at Footprint Center. The last time the Suns played on Christmas Day was back in 2009.

Many of Phoenix’s players have not experienced Christmas Day basketball, including Deandre Ayton and Cam Johnson, and both are super excited.

“I’m not going to lie, I feel like I should thank the NBA for gifting me with a Christmas gift of playing on Christmas Day,” Ayton, who added 19 points and 12 rebounds against OKC, said. “A lot of guys that aren’t playing on Christmas are going to be opening their gifts, probably working out, probably getting ready for the next game, but me, I got kids waking up to go see Deandre and the Phoenix Suns play. That’s an honor. You can’t take that for granted. Stuff like that is just hard work. People recognizing us, just winning and stuff like that, and this is the reward. We just have to be grateful and not take it for granted at all.”

Cam Johnson, who scored 21 points on 7-of-7 shooting from the field, including a 5-of-5 from downtown against OKC, added: “I’ll be honest with you, I’m viewing it as my first time, ever in my life, playing a basketball game on Christmas—watched NBA games every Christmas since I was a little kid, just the opportunity to go and play in that game. I like the time of the game, 3 P.M.; I’m hoping it stays that way, we show up, get to it. It’s like a dream come true, playing on Christmas, getting out there, and I’m just super excited for that. Never mind whatever else might be going around, just excited to have that game.”

Phoenix is 1-1 against the Warriors this season, and both games had a playoff feel. According to Chris Paul, playing Golden State is a good test for the Suns.

“Playing against Golden State, they always make you think, playing against the Lakers, Milwaukee, all those good teams,” he said. “They’re going to make you think the game, so it’s always a good test for us because every team is different.”

Phoenix and Golden State are the two best teams in basketball, so Saturday’s game against the Warriors should be a lot of fun.

Watch below as Ayton talks win over OKC, playing Warriors on Christmas Day:

Steve Kerr named USA Basketball Men’s National Team Head Coach

The coaching staff for the 2022-24 USA Basketball Men’s National Team today was announced when USA Basketball Men’s National Team managing director Grant Hill officially  named eight-time NBA championship Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr to lead the USA Men’s National Team.

Additionally, Gonzaga University head coach Mark Few, Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra and Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams will complete the 2022-24 USA National Team coaching staff as assistant coaches.

The USA Basketball Board of Directors approved the selections, which, should the U.S. men qualify for the 2024 Olympics, will be subject to approval by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. 

“With today’s announcement, our men’s national basketball team begins its quest for 2023 FIBA World Cup and 2024 Olympic gold,” said retired Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, USA Basketball Chairperson. “ On behalf of everyone associated with USA Basketball, I want to thank these four great coaches for stepping up to lead the young men who will proudly wear USA into international competition.”

As head coach, Kerr will lead the USA National Team in 2022-24, which will include all USA Men’s National Team training camps, and, if the USA qualifies, the 2023 FIBA World Cup that is scheduled to be held in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from Aug. 25-Sept. 10, 2023, and the 2024 Summer Olympic Games that is scheduled for July 26-Aug. 11 in Paris, France.

“I’m incredibly honored and humbled to represent our country as the head coach for the USA Basketball Men’s National Team,” said Kerr. “It’s a thrilling opportunity and I’m excited for the challenge.

“Obviously, there are numerous people who I need to acknowledge and thank, notably Grant Hill, Jim Tooley and Sean Ford of USA Basketball, and of course Gregg Popovich and Jerry Colangelo, who gave me the opportunity to be an assistant coach on the most recent USA staff.  

“I’m also beyond excited to work with three coaches I have enormous respect for in Erik Spoelstra, Monty Williams and Mark Few. Coaching the USA Men’s National Team comes with great responsibility — one that calls for a group effort with a team of coaches committed to the team, to the goal and to each other — and I couldn’t ask for a finer group of high character individuals to help me lead our national team. Our goal, of course, is to win and make our country proud.  We will work hard to do so.”

The USA men have won four consecutive Olympic gold medals (2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020) and have claimed FIBA World Cup championships in two of the past three competitions (2010, 2014).

“I’m thrilled to announce the coaching staff for the 2022-24 USA Basketball Men’s National Team, with Steve Kerr as head coach, and Mark Few, Erik Spoelstra and Monty Williams as assistant coaches. There is no question in my mind that this is an extremely experienced and talented coaching staff,” said Hill. “Steve now joins a list of coaching legends who have led USA men’s national teams to a remarkable legacy. 

“As a college and NBA player, he enjoyed remarkable success, helping his teams achieve great success. As a coach, he has cultivated outstanding chemistry and provided invaluable leadership which has led Golden State to enviable success including three NBA Championships. In his role as an assistant coach for coach Popovich and the 2017-21 USA National Teams, he gained valuable insight and experience both with the USA National Team and in FIBA competitions. In my opinion, basketball people would agree that he was the ideal candidate to lead the USA National Team in the next three years.”

Since first fielding a team of legendary NBA stars in 1992, USA Basketball Men’s National Teams have claimed gold medals in 15 of 19 major FIBA basketball competitions, while compiling an impressive 146-10 overall record (.936 winning percentage) in those competitions and posting a record of 56-4 (.933 winning percentage) in exhibition games.

Suns’ Ayton: ‘I wanted to start a winning legacy in Phoenix’

The Phoenix Suns concluded the month of November the way it started, with a win. Led by Deandre Ayton’s 24 points and 11 rebounds and Chris Paul’s 15 points, 11 assists, six rebounds, and five steals, Phoenix defeated the Warriors 104-96 Tuesday night at FootPrint Center.

The rematch is Friday at Chase Center.

With the win, the Suns extended their winning streak to a league-best 17 games, tying the franchise record for the longest winning streak.

“It’s cool, man, Paul said about the winning streak. “You sort of forget about it because we just be hooping. We prepare for every game the same way, and when you do that, it’s about building habits. Like I said, third team, I’ve been on that won 17 in a row, and it’s a really good feeling. To go the whole month without any losses, regardless of who was on the schedule, that’s tough to do.”

Phoenix was 16-0 in November, and the last time they lost was on October 27 against Sacramento. In addition, at 18-3, this is the team’s best start to the season through the first 21 games matching the 2004-05 season. Furthermore, the Suns moved to 10-0 this season when playing an opponent with a record above .500.

Ayton has been with Phoenix through the tough times, including winning 19 games in the 2018-19 season. Last season, the Suns went to the Finals, and now they are tied with the Warriors for the best record in basketball after 21 games, and Ayton wants to keep on winning.

“We wanted to turn this thing around since we got here,” he said. “I wanted a winning legacy; I wanted to start a winning legacy in Phoenix. I think I’ve been saying that the whole time being here. Just having thee great pieces around us, we just have some young guys that know how to play basketball, but at the same time, we’re willing to take that constructive criticism, and not take it personal, but learn. That season where we only won 19 games, it wasn’t really no disappointment, it was just a lesson learned; that we never want to get back to that ever again, and that’s what we’re showing.”

Unfortunately, going forward, Phoenix might be without the services of Devin Booker, who left the game in the second quarter with a hamstring injury and did not return. According to head coach Monty Williams, they will find out more about Booker’s health Wednesday.

For now, they celebrate a big win and look to push their streak to 18 Thursday at home against the Pistons.

Mavs’ Doncic on 28-0 run against Warriors: ‘I had no idea it was 28-0’

In Dallas’ loss to the Sacramento Kings on Monday night, Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was not happy with the team’s start. Dallas(34-27) trailed by as many as 18 points in the first quarter and trailed by 14 after one quarter. According to Carlisle, the poor start hurt the team.

On Tuesday night against the Warriors(31-31), in the second half of a back-to-back, Dallas got off to the start Carlisle wanted. Dallas led 36-12 after the first quarter and had a 28-0 run from the first into the second quarter. The Mavericks led 62-29 at halftime and would defeat the Warriors 133-103 at Chase Center.

Luka Doncic had a game-high 39 points for Dallas. For the Warriors, Steph Curry led the Warriors with 27 points, and Mychal Mulder added 26.

The Warriors went nine minutes and 38 seconds without a point in the first half and was held to a season-low of 29 points in any half. After the game, Carlisle gave all the credit to assistant coach Jamahl Mosley.

“It was a terrific game plan by Jamahl Mosley,” Carlisle said. “Guys just did a great job.”

According to Doncic, the Mavericks were angry coming into this game against Golden State because of how poorly they played against the Kings on Tuesday night.

“Everybody was pissed off because we didn’t play the right way yesterday,” Doncic said. 

Dallas was dominant on Tuesday night, and according to Elias Sports, the Mavericks’ 28-0 run is tied for the second-longest scoring run by any team over the last 20 seasons and the longest since the Knicks went on a 28-0 run against the Raptors on Nov. 22, 2017. 

After the game, Doncic acknowledged that he did not realize the team had gone on a 28-0 run.

“I did not know that,” Doncic said. “That’s nice. I didn’t know that… I was watching the scoreboard; I had no idea it was 28-0.”

This was a complete performance for the Mavericks and a great bounce back after Tuesday’s loss to the Kings. Dallas continues to have a hold on the sixth seed. They have a one-game lead over the seventh-seeded Blazers, and they are two games behind the Lakers for the fifth-seed.

Dallas will end their three-game road trip on Thursday night against the Pistons. 

Mavs’ Carlisle on Luka: ‘The basketball floor is his stage’

Two of the NBA’s top stars went back and forth on Saturday night in Dallas(10-14). Steph Curry and Luka Doncic had a great battle, but Doncic, with Maxi Kleber’s help, was able to get a home win against the Warriors(12-11) 134-132.

The undermanned Warriors routed the Mavericks 147-116 on Thursday night.

Curry was 19-31 from the field, including 11/19 from three-point land to score 57 points, while Doncic was 12/23 from the field, including 7/12 from downtown to tie a regular season career-high with 42 points. 

Late in the game, with the Mavericks up one, Doncic dished the ball to Kleber, who hit a three to clinch the game for Dallas. The Mavericks got the victory, but this game was about Curry and Doncic.

“What Steph does is unbelievable,” Doncic said. “I think that the way he plays the game is amazing. Every time he shoots a shot, I always think that it’s going to go in.”

Mavs’ Josh Richardson added: “Steph is one of the best players in our game today. I mean, it’s tough. Once you get him going, there is not much you can do; just hope he misses it.”

According to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, Doncic, like the great ones, is up to the challenge of dueling with any of the top stars in the league.

“The basketball floor is his(Doncic) stage,” Carlisle said after the game. “Guys like him — and I was around guys like [Larry] Bird, and I was around Reggie Miller — when there’s another player on the other team raising his game to the level Curry was, you feel an obligation if you’re that kind of player. I saw Bird do it; I saw Miller do it. You just dig deep, and you find a way to try to match the guy and try to match the guy for your team — and that’s exactly what he did. Whether it was shotmaking, whether it was playmaking, whether it was situations getting to the free-throw line where we were in a rut— he was spectacular.”

Curry scored 62 points against the Blazers back in January in a winning effort, but scoring 57 points against the Mavericks was not enough for the Warriors to get the victory, which he discussed after the game.

“It is just a fun atmosphere competing at that level,” he said. “But it is frustrating when you have a night like that, and it doesn’t lead to a win. I would be lying if I said I was happy right now. It is kind of weird walking off the court knowing we didn’t get the win.”

After losing six straight, Dallas has now won two out of three. Now, they have to keep the momentum going as they play the third game of their seven-game homestand Monday night against Minnesota.

Listen to Doncic as he talks Curry below:

Doncic on the Mavs: ‘I still feel great about this team’

On Wednesday night, the Dallas Mavericks(9-13) finally looked like the team that many thought they could be when the season began. Dallas had three players with 20 points or more. Luka Doncic had 27 points and 14 assists, Kristaps Porzingis had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Tim Hardway Jr. chipped in with 22 points off the bench as Dallas defeated the Hawks(10-11) on the road 122-115. 

With the victory, the Mavericks snap their six-game losing streak.

Much needed win,” Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. “Guys did a good job of fighting back from a deficit at halftime… I loved the way we fought and played good team basketball.”

Doncic added: “We got a win, and that’s all that matters to me. We were so happy after the game. It’s been a tough stretch. Always feels good to win a game.”

Even during the six-game losing streak, Porzingis kept the faith, which he discussed after the game.

“You always gotta have the faith and the confidence that you can go back at any moment and go on the run the opposite way, winning, so that’s what we are looking forward to now,” Porzingis said. “Just bouncing back and getting a good rhythm as a team, as a group, and showing what we are capable of.”

The Mavericks now have a seven-game homestand, which starts on Thursday night against the Warriors. With everything that has gone wrong for Dallas, Doncic still feels good about the team.

“I still feel great about this team,” Doncic said. ‘We just got a couple of guys coming back now. They’re still trying to get into shape after COVID, but I think we will be okay. Just a tough stretch. We have to stay positive and just enjoy the basketball.”

The Mavericks can turn it around. A lot of basketball left in this season, and now that they have their full roster, maybe this is the time they get right. 

Photos: Boxer Amir Khan meets Golden State Warriors

Before continuing his preparation for his April 20 world title showdown against pound-for-pound kingpin Terence “Bud” Crawford, former world champion Amir “King” Khan (33-4, 20 KOs) made a pit stop Monday at the Golden State Warriors practice facility to meet the players and staff of the two-time defending NBA champions.

During his visit, Khan posed for photos and gifted signed gloves for DeMarcus Cousins, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and head coach Steve Kerr.

Immediately following the Warriors practice, Khan returned to the gym as he prepares to challenge Crawford for his World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title at Madison Square Garden.

Promoted by Top Rank, in association with Matchroom Boxing and Khan Promotions, tickets for this world championship event priced at $606, $406, $306, $206, $106, $81, and $56 (including facility fees) can be purchased at the Madison Square Garden Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster charge by phone (866-858-0008) and online at www.ticketmaster.com or www.MSG.com.

Photos/Top Rank/Mikey Williams:

Team_KHAN_KLAYKhan_Warriors_basketballKhan_warriors_5KHAN_WARRIORS_4Khan_warriors7Khan_warriors6Khan_warriors5KHAN_WARRIORS2Khan_warriorsKhan_Signs_gloveKhan_KLAY_THOMPSON_AUTOGRAPHKhan_Igoudala_meetKHAN_KLAY_POSEKHAN_KERRkhan_igoudala_autographKhan_kerr_1Khan_kerr3AMIR_KHAN1Khan_IGOUDALA_poseKHAN_BOOGIECOUSINS

Charles Barkley believes the Warriors will sweep Houston(Watch)

The Golden State Warriors did would they needed to do in Game 1 on Monday night to steal home court advantage away from the Rockets as they beat Houston 119-106 to take a 1-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.

Game 2 is Wednesday night.

James Harden was great for Houston as he dropped 41 points, but Kevin Durant was just as good with 37 points.

After the game, TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley was very impressed with the Warriors and believes that Houston is done.

Take a listen:

I don’t see any team beating the Warriors four times in a seven-game series, but the Rockets do have a shot.

We’ll see if Houston can bounce back in Game 2.