After easily defeating the Hornets on the road last week, the Mavericks, who got Kristaps Porzingis back in the lineup, were on a four-game winning streak and riding high.
One week later, the team is shorthanded and struggling. On Monday night, Dallas lost their third straight game after falling to the Raptors on the road 116-93. The Mavericks and Raptors were tied at 47 at the break, but Toronto(5-8) would dominate the second half and outscore the Mavericks(6-7) 69-46.
The Mavericks, like a lot of NBA teams, are dealing with issues related to COVID-19. The Mavericks are still without Maxi Kleber, Dwight Powell, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Josh Richardson, who are all out due to the league’s health and safety protocols, and according to Porzingis, who had 23 points against the Raptors, Monday’s loss to Toronto just wasn’t the team’s night.
“It wasn’t our night,” he said. “We didn’t play the best basketball, coach(Rick Carlisle ejected in the first quarter) got kicked out because of some calls and stuff. That’s it. We move forward. We learn from this, and we get better.
As losses mount, Luka Doncic, who scored 16 points on 4/11 shooting against Toronto, just wants to find a way to get back to winning games.
“The mentality is we gotta win the game,” Doncic said. “I don’t like losing; it’s terrible. I just feel bad, and we don’t like (it). The four-game winning streak, everybody felt great. The locker room felt happy, so we gotta go back to that and just enjoy playing basketball.”
Dallas is in a stretch now of five games in seven nights, so that’s a lot of basketball, especially when you’re undermanned. The next two games(Indiana on Wednesday night and San Antonio on Friday night) on this three-game road trip won’t be easy, but as Doncic said, this team has to get back to that winning mentality.
The greatness of Luka Doncic was on full display on Sunday against the Bulls, at least in the first half. In that first half, Doncic was 11/19 with 30 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists, marking the second-most points in any half (33 vs. GS, 11/20/19), and he became only the third player (James Harden, Allen Iverson) in the last 20 years to record 30+ points, 7+ rebounds and 5+ assists in the first half. However, Doncic and Mavericks trailed by 15 at the break.
In the second half, it was a much different story for the third-year guard. Doncic was 2/11 and scored only six points, and ultimately, the Mavericks would lose at home 117-101 to Chicago.
Doncic finished the game with 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 15 assists. He is the only player to record a 30-point, 15-rebound, 10-assist triple-double in the last calendar year and has achieved the feat on four occasions. This was Doncic’s 29th triple-double, which passed Michael Jordan (28) on the all-time triple-doubles list.
“The stats are spectacular, 36 (points)-16 (rebounds)-15 assists,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said about Doncic. “It’s phenomenal. But without a win, he won’t be happy with it either.”
After scoring 30 points in the first half, Doncic felt he played selfishly in the second half.
“That’s on me,” he said. “The second half I played terrible, and I think I was being selfish a little bit because I had 30 points in the first half, and that wasn’t me the second half. I got to do way better than that. That’s just on me. I shouldn’t be doing this…
“I was just taking some shots I shouldn’t be taking. I just got to do way better than this, and as a team, we got to step up, especially defensively, bring the energy. There are no fans in the building, so the energy doesn’t come from the fans now. So, we have to create our own energy and do that and try to win every game.”
The Mavericks were shorthanded against Chicago. They are without Maxi Kleber, Jalen Brunson, Josh Richardson, Dwight Powell, and Dorian Finney-Smith, who were out due to health and safety protocols. In addition, they were missing Tim Hardaway Jr.(Left groin strain).
However, according to Wes Iwundu, who had five points on Sunday, Dallas can’t make any excuses right now.
“We know we’re missing a few guys,” he said. “But at the end of the day, we’re all professionals here. I’m not going to be the one to give out any excuses at the end of the day. We have to go out there and win games. No matter if we have seven guys, four guys, just being sarcastic, but whatever our mindset should be to win games no matter what. It’s a little difficult not having a full team, but it’s just next man up, and you have to carry that mindset.”
Dallas starts a three-game road trip tomorrow as they travel to Tampa to battle the Raptors, and hopefully, they can get some of their guys back at some point during this trip.
After being down early, the Dallas Mavericks fought hard to get back into the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night and put themselves in a great position to win the game.
Late in the fourth quarter, with the Mavericks down 109-107, Dallas’ Trey Burke missed a three, and after a Willie Cauley-Stein offensive rebound, Kristaps Porzingis had a good look at a three but missed it. Ultimately, the Bucks secured the rebound and would go on to defeat Dallas at home 112-109.
After Porzingis’ miss, Luka Doncic, who played well on Friday and had 28 points, 13 rebounds, and nine assists, angrily motioned to the bench that the team should have taken a timeout in that sequence. However, Carlisle disagreed.
“Look, we got two good shots, and we preserved a timeout,” Carlisle said after the game. “As a coach, that’s all you can hope for in that situation.”
After further review, Carlisle was right. Dallas got two good looks in that sequence and had the Bucks’ defense scrambling. Maybe the 21-year-old Doncic thought he should have had the ball in his hands, which is hard to argue against, but Porzingis is a good shooter and had a good look.
This is all apart of Doncic’s development as a leader. Like many great players, he wants to take and make big shots, but as a leader, at some point, you have to move on, and it appeared Doncic stayed on the lack of timeout, maybe a little too long in that situation. After the game, Doncic said he did not talk to Carlisle about the timeout and said the following:
“If we talk, we’re going to talk, it’s not going to be in the media. It’s between us.”
In the end, it’s early in the season, so in the grand scheme of things, this situation probably won’t matter going forward.
Watch Doncic talk that final sequence below:
The Dallas Mavericks have been waiting for what happened on Wednesday for a long time. Mavericks F/C Kristaps Porzingis made his season debut against the Hornets. In 21 minutes, the 7-3 star scored 16 points, including 4-9 from three-point range as the Mavericks went into Charlotte and defeated the Hornets 104-93.
The 25-year-old Porzingis returned on Wednesday after he had surgery to repair his lateral meniscus in his right knee last October.
“It felt good. Finally, finally, it’s here,” Porzingis said about his debut. “I’ve been working a lot. Just coming back from the injury. It always a good feeling when you actually get there, and you get those minutes on the court, so I’m happy about that; I’m happy about the win. I’m looking forward to the next game already, and keep working and keep getting better.”
Mavs head coach Rick Carlisle, who got his 800th victory on Wednesday, added this about Porzingis: “I thought he played exceptionally well given the circumstances. He’ll only get better from here.”
Luka Donicic, who scored a game-high 34 points, along with 13 rebounds and 9 assists against the Hornets, was impressed by what he saw out of Porzingis on Wednesday night.
“He was great; he’s an amazing player,” Doncic said. “Obviously, it’s his first game; he played 20-something minutes. He’s going to get back into rhythm. I think for the first game, he played amazing. He’s going to keep improving, and we’re going to need him a lot.”
Porzingis was on a minutes restrictions against the Hornets, and according to him, he was trying to do as much as he could while on the court.
“What I think didn’t help me was knowing that I had the minutes restriction, so I was trying to do as much I could in those minutes that I had, and sometimes you don’t make the best decisions when you really want to be aggressive,” he said. “But, it’s okay, it’s apart of it. I wanted to be out there and be aggressive for the time I was going to be out there. Most importantly, first game and first win for me.”
Ever since the Hornets blew them out in December, the Mavericks have won five of their last six games and are on a four-game winning streak right now. Dallas is playing like the team we thought they could be when the season started.
Hopefully, as they go forward, Porzingis can stay healthy. When Porzingis is playing, Dallas is a much deeper and more potent team on the offensive end. In addition, he gives the Mavericks great length on the defensive end. Once they get back Dorian Finney-Smith, Josh Richardson, Maxi Kleber, and Jalen Brunson, who are out because of health and safety protocols, this team becomes deeper and better.
The NBA announced today that Mavericks guard Luka Dončić was named the Western Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday, Jan. 4 through Sunday, Jan. 10. It marks the second time in his career that he has received the honor (Nov. 18 through Nov. 24, 2019) and he joins Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Michael Finley, Mark Aguirre and Josh Howard as one of six Mavericks to garner the award multiple times.
Dončić (6-7, 230) led the Mavericks to a 3-0 week with averages of 30.3 points, 12.0 rebounds and 11.3 assists per game. He recorded a triple-double in two of the three games, finishing one board shy of accomplishing the feat in all three.
The third-year guard opened the week by notching the NBA’s first 30-point triple-double of the season with a 33-point, 16-rebound, 11-assist effort in Dallas’ 113-100 victory at Houston on Jan. 4. Dončić led the Mavericks in points, rebounds and assists for the 39th time in his career (including ties), passing Dirk Nowitzki (38) for the most such games in franchise history. He also dished out his 1,000th career assist against the Rockets, becoming the 11th player in NBA history to reach the milestone before his 22nd birthday.
The 21-year-old followed up his 30-point triple-double by posting team highs of 38 points, nine rebounds, 13 assists and a career-high five steals in Dallas’ 124-117 overtime win at Denver on Jan. 7. He became the first player in league history to hit each of those benchmarks in the same game.
Dončić capped the week with a 20-point, 11-rebound, 10-assist outing in the Mavericks’ 112-98 victory over Orlando on Jan. 9. It marked the 25th 20-point triple-double of his career and he passed Elgin Baylor (24) for the 12th-most 20-point triple-doubles in league history.
In eight games (all starts) this season, Dončić is averaging team highs of 26.6 points (7th in NBA), 9.3 rebounds (16th) and 8.3 assists (6th) per game. He has led the Mavericks to a 4-1 mark in the 2021 calendar year.
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.
Coming off a disappointing home loss to the Hornets on Wednesday night, which disappointed both the coaching staff and players, the Mavericks were looking to get back on track against the Heat, and they did.
Luka Dončić led the way for Dallas with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists, Tim Hardaway Jr. added 18 points, and the Mavericks(2-3) would go on to beat the Heat(2-3) 93-83 at American Airlines Center on Friday night.
Bam Adebayo led Miami with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Dončić has struggled with his shot this season, especially from three-point range. The third-year player was only 3-10 from downtown on Friday night, but it’s an improvement when considering he was 2-21 from three-point range coming into the game against Miami.
After all the struggles, Dončić was super excited to make his first three on Friday.
“I was so happy,” Dončić said on making his first three in the game. “I’ve been struggling a lot, so I was happy when I made that three. It made my day.”
Dallas’ win against Miami was about what they did on the defensive end, especially in the second quarter when they held Miami to 15 points, including 16% shooting from the field. Mavericks F James Johnson came off the bench and gave the team a spark on both ends of the court. The former Heat player scored eight points in the quarter, and Dallas led 46-31 at the break.
“(James) Johnson’s given us a big lift off the bench,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. He’s experienced, he makes impact plays at both ends of the floor and he’s unselfish and gets his teammates involved… He’s a great spirit guy for our team. He’s a great leader as a veteran guy. He talks to everybody; he keeps people up on the bench. He’s been a great acquisition for us.”
After losing to the Hornets 118-99 on Wednesday night, Carlisle’s primary focus at practice was the team’s defense.
“We didn’t even talk about offense the last couple of days,” Carlisle said. “We’re just talking about defense, intensity, playing together hard, effort, and the importance of details. We spent a lot of time on the details heading into this game, and it paid off. The stats will show that their 3-point shooters didn’t get going and that’s because we really put forth a good effort to stay on their tails the whole time. We won the rebounding battle, which is always going to be important because that’s possessions. I don’t know what the deflection count was but it was good. We’ve got to maintain, and we’ve got to sustain.”
Dallas has been up and down this season, but this was a good win for Dallas against the Eastern Conference champions, and now they have to build off this victory. According to Johnson, the team was humbled in the first few games, which should help them as they head out on a three-game road trip.
“All of the games are tough,” Johnson said. “They are so quick. But I think we went through our tough stretch in the first three games, honestly. It really showed us where we were at and humbled us. We are locked in. We are ready to get to work and the guys are always excited to come in.”
Dallas begins their three-game road trip on Sunday against the Bulls.
The Dallas Mavericks finally broke out in a big way on Sunday against the Clippers. Dallas(1-2) dominated the Clippers from start to finish and led 77-27 at halftime. Yes, Dallas led by 50 points at halftime. Ultimately, they would defeat Los Angeles 124-73 at Staples Center to get their first victory of the season.
This was the first time these two teams met since the playoffs last season, where the Clippers defeated the Mavericks 4-2 in their first-round matchup.
Dallas’ 51-point win marks the first win by 50-plus in the NBA since 2018. In addition, Dallas became the first team to hold a team to 27-or-fewer points in the opening half in over three seasons.
“Maybe never. Maybe when I was really, really young. I remember,” Luka Doncic, who had a game-high 24 points on Sunday, said when asked if he was ever up by 50 at halftime. “But, I think we showed who we are. People judged us like on the first two games of the season. It’s a long season.”
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was happy with the team’s effort on Sunday and thinks it’s the best he has seen from his guys this season.
“This was obviously our best effort, our best performance of all the games. Preseason and regular season,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said. “We had some uneven effort in the first couple of games. Guys were aware of it. They knew the caliber of opponent today, and they just decided that they were going to be the hardest playing team in the gym.”
Mavericks’ Josh Richardson, who poured in 21 points, added: “We came in with more of a sense of urgency.”
The Clippers(2-1) were without Kawhi Leonard due to a mouth laceration. They shot 24% from the field in the first half, including 1-19 from three-point range.
Los Angeles played on Christmas day and defeated the Nuggets on the road, so many of the Clippers’ players celebrated Christmas the next day. According to Paul George, who led the Clippers with 15 points on Sunday, the team may have been sluggish because of the Christmas holiday.
“I take full responsibility,” George said after the game. “I enjoyed my Christmas Day yesterday. Today just popped up on me a little too fast. I take full ownership of that. It’ll be a different situation come next game. We’ll be ready.”
In a long NBA season, teams will play like the way Dallas played on Sunday, and teams will play like the Clippers did on Sunday. Games like this happen.
Dallas needed this breakout performance in the worst way after losing the first two games of their three-game road trip. Now, it’s time to get back to Dallas and get ready for the home-opener against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
Playing good defense in the NBA requires players to contest shots and try to stay in front of the offensive player, and at the end, grabbing the rebound on a missed shot.
On Christmas day against the Lakers, the Dallas Mavericks may have done some of that, but they did not do the rebounding part. Dallas allowed the Lakers to have 35 second-chance points to the Mavericks zero. Ultimately, the world-champion Los Angeles(1-1) would rout Dallas(0-2) 138-115 at Staples Center on Friday night.
Mavericks-Lakers was the marquee matchup on Christmas day in the NBA. LeBron James against Luka Doncic. James would finish 22 points, 10 assists, and 8 rebounds, while Doncic poured in 27 points, 7 assists, and 4 rebounds, but unfortunately for Dallas, LeBron had more help. Anthony Davis led all scorers with 28 points, and Montrezl Harrell chipped in 22 points off the bench.
According to Doncic, the Mavericks’ inability to rebound cost them this game.
“I’m not surprised we lost,” he said. “You can’t win a game when second-chance points is 35 to zero. It’s as simple as that. We box out, we win the game. It’s that simple. I think we did some great stuff on defense, but at the end, you have to finish with the boxing out, and that’s what we gotta work on…
“I think it’s everything about mentality and toughness. It’s gotta be mental. If somebody is rebounding like that, you just have to box them out no matter what. Somebody else is going to get the rebound. Like I said, we have to work on it, and we just gotta get better.”
Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle added: “A team has given up 35 points second chance and had gotten zero. It’s obviously the story of the game.”
At this point, Dallas is missing what Kristaps Porzingis brings to the table. They miss his scoring(20.4 ppg last season) and his ability to rebound(9.5 rpg). Porzingis is expected to return sometime in January after he needed surgery to repair a torn meniscus back in October.
You’re not going to win in the NBA when you get beat that bad on the glass. The Lakers out-hustled and dominated Dallas on Friday night. After two games, the Mavericks remain winless as they get ready to battle the Clippers on Sunday, which will be another challenging game. Dallas has to find a way to bring more energy and effort against the Clippers if they want to get their first win of the season.
The first two games have been a disappointment, but fortunately for Dallas, there is a lot of basketball left in the season.
In just over two seasons, Mavericks G Luka Doncic has turned himself into one of the NBA’s better players. Last season, Doncic averaged 28.8 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 8.8 assists per game. In the playoffs, Doncic upped his game and averaged 31.0 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 8.7 assists per contest, including a memorable buzzer-beater in Game 4 of the Mavericks first-round matchup against the Clippers.
The stars come out in the NBA on Christmas, and the 21-year-old Doncic is one of those stars. Dallas(0-1) will battle LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the world-champion Lakers(0-1) at Staples Center on Christmas day.
Dallas returns to playing on Christmas for the first time in nine years, and one of the reasons the Mavericks are playing on Christmas is because of Doncic, who, according to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, is one of the faces of the NBA.
“He’s already one of the faces of the NBA,” Carlisle said on Thursday. “If you haven’t noticed, he’s in almost all of the NBA ads. I’ve seen him on some billboards that aren’t in the state of Texas. He’s a great ambassador for the NBA game.
“He has the charisma; he has the game, and he has the following. So, he’s got an amazing future ahead of him, but also a lot going on right now. He’s up for this. He’s one of the few 21-year-olds that I can imagine that actually has the bandwidth to deal with all these different things.”
It’s clear that Doncic is one of the faces of the league, and if he continues playing at a high level, which he did on Wednesday night when he scored 32 points and the team’s 106-102 loss to the Suns, Doncic could be the most prominent face in the NBA. However, for that to happen, he must continue to make memories on the league’s biggest stages and ultimately, he has to win, which if the first couple years are any indication, could happen sooner than later.