Mavs’ Kidd on ‘Logo Luka’: ‘It was a big-time shot, with the clock running down’

The Dallas Mavericks(4-2) continued their early-season dominance at home when they defeated the Sacramento Kings(3-3) 105-99 at American Airlines Center on Sunday.

Dallas took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter and held on down the stretch to defeat the Kings.

The Mavericks have started 3-0 at home for the first time since 2013-14. Dallas won their first seven home games in 2013-14.

Here’s is the Great, Not so Great, and Bottom Line of Dallas’ win over Sacramento.

The Great for the Mavericks:

-Luka Doncic led the Mavs in points, assists, and rebounds for the second time this season (including ties) after recording 23 points, eight rebounds, and 10 assists. This also marked Dončić’s 128th career game with 20+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 5+ assists, which sets him two such games away from tying Dirk Nowitzki’s franchise record of 130 games of 20-5-5.

Late in the game, with Mavericks leading 92-89, we saw “Logo Luka” when he hit a 36-foot three-point shot with the shot clock winding down that helped Dallas close out the game.

It was Doncic’s only made three of the game.

“Great recovery then good offense by a good player,” Mavericks head coach said about Doncic’s shot. “It was a big-time shot, with the clock running down; we all know he has the type of range. It was a big basket too. If I recall, I think that’s the only three he made. It was needed.”

Doncic added: “More confident than all my threes and my free throws. That shot goes in, and then all my normal shots can’t go in. I’ve got to work on those normal shots.”

First-quarter: For the first time this season, Dallas led after the first quarter. The Mavericks led 31-22 after the first. Maxi Kleber led the way with 7 points in the quarter on 3/3 shooting.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 16 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals. This is his third game of the season with 15+ points, and the Mavericks are 3-0 in those games.

-Dorian Finney-Smith had 13 points and six rebounds tonight. Finney-Smith has recorded 6+ rebounds in five of his six starts.

-Dwight Powell compiled 12 points and eight rebounds. The Mavericks were 10-2 last season when Powell finished in double figures and are already 3-0 when he scores 10+ this season.

-Frank Ntilikina went 4-6 from the field, including 2-2 from deep, as he finished with 12 points, three rebounds, two assists, and a steal. Ntilikina finished a point shy of tying his season-high from last season (13, accomplished twice).

-Defense: Dallas held Sacramento to 39.6% from the floor and to 7/36(19%) from three-point range.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-Maxi Kleber left the game in the first quarter with a back injury and did not return. Kleber was starting for Kristaps Porzingis, who missed the last four games with back tightness.

Bottom Line:

Good teams play well at home. Dallas got a solid victory over the Kings, and they had a balanced attack with five players in double figures. The goal for Dallas is to get one of the top spots in the West. To do that, they need to establish a true home-court advantage at American Airlines Center.

What’s Next:

Dallas hosts the Miami Heat in a nationally-televised game on Tuesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Richaun Holmes led Sacramento with 22 points and 13 rebounds. It was his fourth double-double of the season and the 49th of his career, and Harrison Barnes had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Sacramento, marking his third double-double of the season.

Hardaway Jr. officially signs with Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks have officially signed guard Tim Hardaway Jr., the team announced on Monday.

According to reports, it’s a four-year, $72 million deal.

Last season, the eight-year veteran averaged 16.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game. Hardaway hit a career-high 207 3-pointers (8th-most in the NBA), the second-most in franchise history. After Hardaway served the role of “sixth man” early in the season, he closed out the season in the starting lineup. 

Dallas originally acquired the 29-year-old Hardaway Jr. on January 21, 2019, along with Kristaps Porzingis, Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke, in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews, and two future first-round draft picks.

Hardaway jr. had some good moments last season and is a player who is a knockdown shooter. He’s a good piece alongside Luka Doncic. He could be a starter or come off the bench and bring instant offense for Dallas next season.

Porzingis on playoffs: ‘I feel like we are going to enjoy this’

The Dalllas Mavericks got F/C Kristaps Porzingis back on Wednesday night against the Pelicans after missing seven games due to a knee injury as Dallas routed New Orleans 125-107 at American Airlines Center. 

With the win, the sixth-seeded Mavericks(41-29) remain tied with the fifth-seeded Blazers(41-29) and have a one-game lead over the seventh-seeded Lakers(40-30).

In 22 minutes of action, Porzingis had 19 points and five rebounds. He had 17 of his 19 points in the first half, including 12 in the opening quarter. After the game, Porzingis discussed his performance.

“Tonight was pretty good,” Porzingis said. “I was all over the floor – shot some 3s, got some post-ups, and made some shots from there. Just little stuff all over. And then I was just trying to make the game easier for my teammates by setting screens and things like that to make the game easier for them. My legs are feeling good and fresh and ready to go.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle added on Porzingis: “I thought [Kristaps] Porzingis was great. Got us off to a great start; three-point play on the first possession was huge. I thought his rhythm looked surprisingly good for a guy that’s been out for close to two weeks. Defensively, his positioning was strong. He was a presence around the rim. It’s pretty clear that we need him.”

If the Mavericks can stay out of the seventh spot, the playoffs will start for them either May 22 or 23 and according to Porzingis, he’s been waiting for that moment all year long. 

“It is easy to get your energy going when it is playoff time,” Porzingis said. “That is when you want to put everything out there. I am looking forward to that, and the closer we get, the more energy we are going to have. I feel like we are going to enjoy this.”

Dallas is 11-3 in their last 14 games and is playing well at the right time, but any matchup they have in the first round(Denver or Clippers) will be difficult. However, if they’re healthy, Dallas can compete with anyone in the NBA. 

Dallas will host the Toronto Raptors on Friday night before closing out the season in Minnesota against the Timberwolves.

Notes:

-Luka Doncic finished game with 33 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists. This is his league-leading 22nd game with 30+ points, 5+ rebounds and 5+ assists. It also marks the 19th time this season (54th career) that Dončić led the Mavericks in points, rebounds and assists.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. continued his tear and recorded 27 points on 10-18 shooting to go with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Over his last 8 games (since April 29), Hardaway Jr. is averaging 26.0 points on 73-131 (.557) shooting from the field and 38-77 (.494) from deep. He connected on his 204th 3-pointer of the season tonight, which ties his career-high for most in a season (204, 2019-20).

-The Mavericks improved to a perfect 26-0 when leading after the first quarter and improved to 38-2 when they build a double-digit lead at any point in the game. They are also 18-0 when they score 120+ points in a game.