“Luka Magic” has been on full display all season, and it was on full display Friday night against the Raptors.
Luka Doncic had 35 points (10-15 FG, 12-14 FT), eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals as the Mavs defeated the Raptors 111-110 at American Airlines Center to get their third straight win.
The three-time All-Star has joined Wilt Chamberlain (first eight games in 1959-60, and first 23 games in 1962-63) as the only players in the history of the NBA to score 30-plus points in eight-or-more consecutive games to begin a season.
“Yeah, he did a lot of things,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said. “He did one of those spin moves in front of me when he split the double team, which was really kinda cool. Knowing that he surprises a lot of people, I wonder if he surprises himself sometimes with that spin move right in front of me. That was cool, but the one where he went through his legs eight times, he was doing his dance. He has that song that he plays, and when he shot that little floater, I just kinda chuckled because only he can do that. Thirty-five points tonight, efficient.
“I know he probably wants that free throw back when he missed to seal the game. He did everything tonight.”
Dončic, who upheld his league-leading scoring average at 36.0 points per game, had some great moves in this one, including putting Toronto’s Precious Achiuwa in a blender.
Take a look:
MINHA NOSSA SENHORA
OLHEM O QUE O LUKA DONCIC FEZ
ISSO NÃO EXISTE
— NBA do Povo 🏀🇧🇷 (@NBAdoPovo) November 5, 2022
“I think I made too many moves,” Doncic said on the play. “I think I had him beat the first time, but then the ball escaped a little bit. I don’t know what I did there, but it was a hard shot. I don’t know how I made it. I thought it was short, but it just went in…
“It is just fun, man. Those plays are fun. Later, when you see it on TV, everybody talks about it, but it is just fun. Tough shots – the bullshit shots – when you make them, are so fun.”
Spencer Dinwiddie had 21 points and seven assists; according to him, Doncic is a ‘savant.’
“I mean, I used ‘savant’ last time to describe him, and he is in every sense of the word,” Dinwiddie said. “Obviously tonight, 10-of-15 great shooting percentage, 3-of-6 , 12-of-14 from the line, 35 points and 6 assists, and obviously made them go to a box in one at different times of the game, and that’s the ultimate sign of respect for sure. Which he obviously has earned, now scoring 30 points in our first eight games. Phenomenal.”
Doncic is balling right now and playing at a high level, and Mavs and the NBA are reaping the rewards.
The Dallas Mavericks(1-1) were relentless in their victory over the Memphis Grizzlies(2-1) on Saturday night. Dallas led from start to finish and led by as many as 42 points in this one. Ultimately, the Mavericks would defeat the Grizzlies 137-96 in their home opener at American Airlines Center.
Dallas led 39-17 after the first quarter; from there, they cruised the rest of the way. After the win, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd discussed the team’s fast start.
“I thought Luka [Doncic] and those guys set the tone in the first quarter by the paint touches,” he said. “We got good looks, make or miss. Defensively, we talked about rebounding the ball, and I thought those guys set the tone there, too.”
Doncic added about the fast start: “I think it’s important to start good. I think a couple games last year, especially in the playoffs in the first two games against the Suns, our start was not good. That’s why I want to improve that this year.”
For the second straight game, Doncic and Christian Wood were the top two leading scorers for the Mavericks. Doncic scored 21 of his game-high 32 points in the first quarter, seven rebounds, and 10 assists. Wood added 25 points and a game-high 12 rebounds off the bench.
After two games, these two love playing with each other.
“I mean, it’s been great,” Doncic said. “He’s an amazing player; he listens to us, he accepts his role. He’s just doing amazing stuff out there. It’s only been two games, but he’s going to be very good for us.”
“Fun, I mean, he does some things,” Wood said about playing with Doncic. “Last year playing against him … it’s incredible. I don’t even know what to talk about. The things he does on the offensive end, the passes he makes, how he gets everybody set up, it’s amazing.”
The two connected on a spectacular alley-o0p. Watch below:
LUKA DONCIC X CHRISTIAN WOOD pic.twitter.com/cyWzLwPdBt
— Isaac Harris (@IsaacLHarris) October 23, 2022
Wood discussed the amazing play.
“He actually knew exactly what he was going to do that whole entire play,” Wood said. “He told me just catch the lob, I’m just gonna get to the paint and stay and be the dunker. That’s one of the incredible plays he makes, being on the receiving end of it is fun.”
It’s way early, but Wood, who the team acquired from the Rockets in the offseason, definitely looks like a weapon, and a player that appears to make the Mavs a better team.
After defeating the Utah Jazz in the first of the playoffs, the Dallas Mavericks 2021-22 NBA season became a success, and anything after that was gravy. After defeating the Suns in seven in the second round, they kept adding gravy to this season, but it all ended in Game 5 at Chase Center against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
The Mavs got out of the first round for the first time since they won an NBA title in 2011 and had their highest win total(52) since the 2014-15 season.
With the addition of Jason Kidd as the head coach and 23-year-old Luka Doncic as their star, the future looks pretty bright for the Mavericks.
“I’m really proud of this team, everybody, every player, every staff member,” Doncic said after their Game 5 loss to the Warriors. “Nobody had us here. But I promise we fought until the end.”
No one had the Mavs in the conference finals, especially after they were 16-18 on December 29 and down 2-0 to the Suns in the second round, but they never gave up.
“To be able to play into May and to make it to the Western Conference finals is a great accomplishment for this team and for everyone, coaching staff included,” Kidd said after the Game 5 loss to the Warriors. “We have to go back, we’ll review the last three series and see where we can get better as coaches, and then we’ll spend time with the players this summer to make sure that they’re working on the right thing.”
The Mavs became a one-star team after trading Kristaps Porzingis away to the Wizards for Spencer Dinwiddie and Davis Bertans before the trade deadline.
It was Doncic and role players, and it worked.
Kidd acknowledged that the Mavs did not have a second star, and he feels if the Mavs don’t add a second star, things still will be good in Dallas next season.
“We didn’t, so-called, have a second star; we had a team,” Kidd said. “Luka got a lot of the attention, but I think when you look at what (Mark)Cuban and Nico(Harrison) will do this summer, and (Michael Finley)Fin, they’re going to look to improve the team. I think that’s just a natural thing in sports that you’re going to try to improve, and if you can, you will, but if you don’t, you have a core here that’s pretty good.”
The Mavs biggest free agent is Jalen Brunson, who had a great season and playoff run. Brunson averaged 21.6 points per game in these playoffs. He’s going to get paid! Maybe Dallas will pay him, or perhaps somebody else will pay, but he’s getting paid in the end. Some believe around $20-plus million a year.
“I think it’s easy; it’s the top priority,” Mavericks GM Nico Harrison recently said about bringing Brunson back. “We’ve got to figure that out. Obviously, we’re not in control of it, but he’s definitely a priority. We want to re-sign him. He knows that we want him back. He’s a big part of our future.”
The Mavs have to find another star to compliment Doncic, but not sure they should pay Brunson. They still have Spencer Dinwiddie and Tim Hardaway Jr., so they can afford to let Brunson go via sign-and-trade, which could get them another piece.
It should be interesting to see if the Mavs’ success was fool’s gold, and possibly a fluke, like last year’s Hawks, who made it to the Eastern Conference finals but brought everybody back and could not get out of the first round this season. Dallas does not want to be that, so this offseason will be significant.
Dallas surpassed all expectations this season, but taking that next step won’t be easy.
The Dallas Mavericks kept their season alive after defeating the Golden State Warriors at home 119-109 in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals.
Golden State still leads the series 3-1, and Game 5 is Thursday at Chase Center.
Dallas had their largest lead of 29 points in the third. However, the Warriors would cut the lead to eight in the fourth, but the Mavs were able to hold them off.
It was a team effort as the Mavs, who had six players in double figures and had 30 assists, were led by Luka Doncic’s 30 points, 14 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks, and two steals, and Dorian Finney-Smith added 23 points.
They still have to win three more games to win this series, but Doncic still has hope.
“I still believe we can win, you know. Swept or not swept,” Doncic said. “In the end, if you lose, you lose. Don’t matter how many we win. We have to go game by game. We going to believe until the end…
“We got more to do, you know. This is nothing. We got three more. We have to go game by game and believe.”
Finney-Smith felt the Mavs played like a desperate team in Game 4.
“Everybody in that locker room feel like we have more basketball to play,” he said. “We just wanted to get the win by any means necessary, and I feel like we came out desperate that first half.”
It’s a make-or-miss league, and the Mavs made shots Tuesday night as they hit 20 threes for the fourth time this postseason and shot 50% from the floor.
“Yeah, we’ve felt all along we’re getting great looks,” Mavs coach Jason Kidd said. “Sometimes they go in; sometimes they don’t in this series so far. It’s a matter about making shots.”
No team has ever come back after being down 3-0, but the message from Kidd is to take it one game at a time.
“We believe it’s just one game at a time,” Kidd said. “We did our part tonight. We found a way to win. The next part is to find a way to win on the road. Again, we can’t get ahead of ourselves. It’s still 3-1. We know going into Golden State it’s a tough place to win, but we’ve won there before.”
The odds are still against the Mavs, but anything can happen.
-The Warriors, who had seven players in the double figures, were led by Stephen Curry’s 20 points, marking his 100th 20-point game in the postseason. He became the 16th player to record 100-or-more 20-point games in the playoffs.
Reggie Bullock had 18 points on 6-10 shooting from deep. Bullock tied his career-best of 6 3-pointers, when he had a playoff career-best 21 points (Game 2 at GSW).
Jalen Brunson recorded 15 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists tonight. This was Brunson’s fourth game with 15-5-5 in the postseason, with all of the instances coming this year.
Maxi Kleber went 5-6 off the bench for 13 points, while Spencer Dinwiddie added 10 points and a playoff career-best-tying 8 assists off the bench.
-The game was delayed 16 minutes before the third quarter as water came through the roof at American Airlines Center.
On Sunday, the NBA announced that the Dallas Mavericks were fined $100,000 for repeated violations of league rules regarding bench decorum.
According to the league, several players and a member of the coaching staff stood for an extended period in the Mavericks’ team bench area, stood away from the team bench, and were on or encroaching upon the playing court during game action in the Mavs’ 126-117 loss to Warriors in Game 2.
This was the third time Dallas has been fined for breaking the rules regarding bench decorum in these playoffs.
Before Game 3 against the Warriors, Mavs head Jason Kidd responded to the fine.
“It’s the league’s decision to fine, but we’re not going to sit,” Kidd said. “We’re going to cheer. If that’s, I think a positive is that the bench can look at it as they’re donating to a nice charity, which is rare. So that’s cool, right, that money goes to a charity. So for standing, if we get fined, it goes to charity. So it’s a positive. Someone wins.”
It should be interesting to see what the Mavs’ bench does in Game 4 and for the rest of this series. However, based on what we have seen in the playoffs, the league will react if the Mavs’ bench gets out of line.
In total, Dallas has been fined $175,000 for bench violations in these playoffs.
The Golden State Warriors brought the defensive energy in Game 1 of their Western Conference finals series against the Dallas Mavericks.
Behind the defense of Andrew Wiggins, Golden State held Luka Doncic to 20 points on 6/18 shooting from the floor, including 3/10 from deep. The Mavericks shot only 36% from the field, including 22% from downtown, and they fell to the Warriors 112-87 at Chase Center Wednesday night.
Game 2 is Friday night at Chase Center.
Golden State led by as many as 30 points and had seven guys in double figures, led by Steph Curry’s game-highs of 21 points and 12 rebounds.
The Warriors are second in opponents’ field goal percentage(43%) in the playoffs, so you knew they would not make it easy for Doncic and the Mavs.
“Just make him work, that was the main thing, 94 feet, just make him work, pick him up, make everything tough for him,” Wiggins, who added 19 points, said about guarding Doncic after the win. “He’s a good player, great player, so he’s going to make shots. He’s going to do his thing but just stay on him, make it tough.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr added on Wiggins’ defense against Doncic: “I thought Wiggs was fantastic. Doncic is as difficult a cover as there in this league, and we just asked Wiggs to try to hound him and guard him as best as he could, stay in front, and try to keep the pressure on him, and he did a fantastic job. Wiggs is just a huge part of our defense and our team. I thought he was great offensively as well. So great night for Andrew.
Doncic agreed with Kerr and felt the Warriors played well against him on the defensive end, but according to Doncic, he has to be better.
“Yeah, they were doing a great job on me, especially in the second half,’ Doncic said. “But I think I’ve got to be better. That’s on me. As a leader, I’ve got to be better for the whole group, so that’s on me.”
The Mavericks have been in this position before. Dallas lost Game 1 in the first two rounds of the playoffs and trailed 2-0 to the Suns in the second round of the playoffs, so there’s no panic with this team. As he walked off the court at the end of the game, Doncic had a smile on his face.
“Like I say, I said in the Phoenix series, we’re going to believe,” he said. “So the confidence is the same. It’s tough to win every game, so some you’re going to lose. But the confidence stays the same”
Dallas could not make shots, but their head coach Jason Kidd was happy with his team’s looks and is confident they could make those shots in Game 2.
“There were a lot of great looks that just didn’t go down,” Kidd said. “It happens. It’s basketball. Hopefully, we get those same looks in Game 2, and we believe we’ll make them.”
Obviously, this series is far from over, and great players like Doncic find ways. The Mavs have to throw this one away, make adjustments, and get ready for Game 2.
The Dallas Mavericks have not had an answer for the Phoenix Suns in over two years, and they continued to have no answers for Phoenix on Wednesday night.
After leading 89-86 with over 11 minutes left in the fourth, the Suns went on a 33-9 run to take their largest lead at 122-95 with just under four minutes to go to take Game 2 129-109 at Footprint Center.
Phoenix leads the series 2-0 as the scene shifts to Dallas for Game 3 Friday night.
The Mavs, who have not defeated the Suns since 2019, have lost 11 consecutive games to Phoenix.
Phoenix shot 65% from the field, a new Suns postseason franchise record in a single playoff game. The Suns scored 40 points and shot 84% from the floor in the fourth, and Chris Paul had 14 of his 28 points in the final period.
“Like I always say, just playing the game,” Paul said about the fourth quarter. “Book (Devin Booker) started that third quarter, got us going. You know, I read the game. And other guys on the team made big shots whenever they made a run, just to get us going and get us warmed up into the game. Just feeding off of that.”
Booker, who led the Suns with 30 points, added on Paul: “I remember growing up – I don’t want to take it back to when I was five years old again – but me and my dad watched him play, and he was like, ‘do you see how he makes sure everybody is involved, and then he picks his times when he’s going to take over the game?’, and I’ve just always admired the way he does that. He’s just in control at all times. He’s two, three steps ahead of whatever the other team is doing. And just the leadership, that can never go unnoticed when you’re talking about this man. Just the way he holds people accountable, the will to win. The list keeps going on and on; that’s why he has the nickname (Point God) that he does.”
Luka Doncic led the Mavs with 35 points, and just like everybody else, he was impressed with Paul.
“He’s tough, man; he’s a hell of a player,” Doncic said about Paul. “He’s been in this league a lot of years; he knows what this is about, so he’s very tough. But like I said, we have to do a better job with him.”
Like Game 1, Mavs head coach Jason Kidd says Doncic needs help from others if Dallas wants to compete in this series.
“He had a great game, but no one else showed,” Kidd said. “We’ve got to get other guys shooting the ball better. We can’t win with just him out there scoring 30 a night. Not at this time of the year, and we’re playing the best team in the league, and so we’ve got to get other guys going.”
The Suns look like the team that won 64 games in the regular season right now, and that team was tough to beat in the regular season, and that team will be tough to beat for the Mavericks. The series is not over, but the Mavs have to find a way to turn things around in Dallas.
In the regular season, Luka Doncic led the Mavs in points, rebounds, assists, and steals per game, and Monday night at American Airlines Center, he led the Mavs in three of those four categories.
Doncic had game-highs of 33 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists as the Mavericks defeated the Jazz 102-77 in Game 5 to go up 3-2 in their best-of-seven first-round series.
Teams that win Game 5 of a 2-2 best-of-seven series have gone on to win the series 82.2% of the time (180-39)
Dallas led by as many as 20 points in the first half and had their largest lead of the game of 33 points in the third. Doncic, who was in his second game back after straining his calf in the regular-season finale, took over in the third. He scored 19 points, including three made three-pointers.
“He(Doncic) got going there in the third,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said after the win. “But Luka, again, for his second game back, it looks like he’s been playing this whole series. His conditioning, his effort on the defensive end, again, as we talked about rebounding the ball, he’s one of the best for us, and he did that for us tonight.”
During Doncic’s big third quarter, the fans were very much into the game, which he discussed post-game.
“It’s amazing,” Doncic said. “It’s one of those feelings that you just can’t describe. The whole arena is cheering for you, for your team. It’s unbelievable. I think the fans were amazing today. They helped us get this win. If it’s not for them, I don’t think we would win the game. They push us up every time we were tired. Our guys were tired, but they push us up, and I just want to thank them.”
Doncic had 30 points and 10 assists in Saturday’s loss to the Jazz, but according to him, he felt a lot better in Monday’s win over Utah.
“Way better than the first game,’ he said. “The first game, I was janky, but I feel better today. I think the first couple games I was tired, but today I was OK. I think the run in the third, I was feeling tired but just getting my air back and hydrated.”
Late in the game, with the Mavs in complete control, Doncic was fouled by Hassan Whiteside. Ultimately, there was some pushing and shoving, and Whiteside and Reggie Bullock would get ejected. According to Doncic, it was no big deal.
“Oh, nothing,” he said. “It’s playoffs; it’s playoffs. There’s always gonna be attention, but it was nothing. I tried to dunk it and wasn’t successful, but it’s the playoffs. These things happen in the playoffs.”
The Mavs are one game away from getting to the second round for the first time since 2011. They were up 3-2 on the Clippers last season and fell short. Maybe, just maybe, they have learned from that experience.
Game 6 is Thursday night in Utah.
-Jalen Brunson recorded 24 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists tonight. This was Brunson’s fifth consecutive game with 20+ points, making him the 7th player in franchise history with five-or-more consecutive postseason games scoring 20+ points.
-Dorian Finney-Smith added 13 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists in 41 minutes tonight.