Doncic on third quarter vs. Lakers: ‘I think we just played with pace, played with smiles on our faces’

Christmas Day basketball could have started better for the Dallas Mavericks(18-16) against the visiting Lakers(13-20). In fact, the Lakers led by as many as 14 points in the first half and took a 54-43 lead at halftime.

However, in the third quarter, the Mavs woke up. They scored 51 points in the quarter on 72% shooting, including 61% from deep. The 51 points are tied for the most in a quarter in franchise history and are also the most in a quarter by any team on Christmas Day ever.

Ultimately, the Mavs would defeat the Lakers 124-115 at American Airlines Center.

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 of his 26 points (6-14 3FG) in the third quarter; he felt Dallas was a little nervous early but got comfortable in the third.

“I think we had to get the jitters out of us for a little bit,” he said. “It was some guys’ first time ever playing on Christmas Day. Just being able to appreciate the opportunity for the most part and being able to go out there and get the nerves and the butterflies out of your system. I think that’s what happened, and [we] came out in the second half more aggressive, pushing the pace instead of walking the ball up the floor, and getting the ball moving, and knocking down our shots.”

Luka Doncic, who scored 13 of his franchise-record 32 points in a Christmas Day game, to go along with nine rebounds, and nine assists, battled double teams all game long, says the team played with pace in the third.

“I would say the 51 points we scored,” Doncic said. “I think was a franchise record in a quarter. I think we just played with pace, played with smiles on our faces, and kept going since I was being doubled every possession in this game. We just had to play out of that because it was the right play, and that’s what we did.”

In his Christmas Day debut, Christian Wood scored nine of his 30 points in the third. He also added eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks. Wood felt honored to star on Christmas Day.

“It’s amazing. It’s a blessing,” he said. “I used to be that kid sitting at home watching Kobe [Bryant], watching LeBron [James]. That D-Wade, LeBron pass. Just to be playing against him on Christmas Day, specifically, is a blessing. It’s an honor, so I was happy and ready to go tonight.”

Dallas has now won three straight and has an opportunity to string together some wins as the Knicks and Rockets come to town, and they go on the road for two more against the Spurs and Rockets.

We’ll see if the Mavs can make a push.


Before the game, Dirk Nowitzki’s statue was unveiled. Nowitzki played an NBA record 21 seasons with Mavs and helped lead Dallas to the franchise’s only championship in 2011. After the game, Doncic talked about Dirk’s statue.

“Oh, it was brilliant,” he said. “I’m just really happy for him. He deserves all the things that are happening to him, and it was amazing. The statue looks amazing, and he deserves it.”

The Lakers were led by LeBron James, who scored a game-high 38 points (13-23 FG) to go with 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Today was his 17th career Christmas Day game, passing Kobe Bryant for the most games played on the holiday.

Mavs’ Hardaway Jr. undergoes foot surgery

Dallas Mavericks SG Tim Hardaway Jr. underwent surgery to repair a fracture to the fifth metatarsal in his left foot, the team announced Tuesday.

According to the team, he will begin rehabilitation immediately, and there is currently no timetable for his return.

Hardaway Jr. injured his foot last week in the team’s loss to the Warriors.

The 29-year-old Hardaway, who signed a four-year, $75 million deal in the offseason, is averaging 14.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 29.6 minutes in 42 games (20 starts) this season.

Dallas returns to action Wednesday night at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Hardaway Jr. on Porzingis: ‘When he is engaged like that, we can be a dangerous team’

The Dallas Mavericks(9-4) have now won two straight and five of their last six after defeating the Denver Nuggets(9-5) 111-101 at American Airlines Center on Monday.

The last time these two teams faced off was a few weeks ago in Denver, where the Nuggets routed Dallas 106-75. 

Dallas got revenge on Monday night! After trailing most of the second half, Dallas went on a 19-5 run to start the fourth to take control of the game.

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

The Great for the Dallas Mavericks:

-Kristaps Porzingis has been great after missing five games with a back injury. On Monday, he finished with 29 points (5-8 3FG), 11 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. In the last five games, Porzingis is averaging 23.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.

“KP was great again on both sides of the ball,” Mavericks head coach Jason Kidd said postgame. “We asked him to not just score for us, but we also asked him to play defense on the MVP (Nikola Jokić) tonight — and he did his best. When you look at KP at the 5, we don’t want to have him out there for 40 minutes at the 5. I think for the journey of this season, that’s just too many minutes at the 5. For us to get him at the 5, tonight was good, and we’ll continue to get him at the 5.”

The Mavericks improved to 13-5 all-time when Porzingis goes for 25-plus points and 10-plus boards. 

-Luka Doncic finished with 23 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds. Doncic has now recorded at least 20 points, five rebounds, and five assists in each of his last six games. It is now the longest streak of 20-5-5 across the NBA this season. Tonight was his seventh double-double of the season and his fourth game with 10-plus assists.

Doncic did leave late in the game with a lower leg injury, and according to the team, will be out Wednesday against the Phoenix Suns with left knee and left ankle sprains.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. had 19 points for Dallas tonight, which included 13 points down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Hardaway Jr. added a season-high seven rebounds and a season-high-tying four assists for the Mavs. The Mavericks are now 6-2 when Hardaway Jr. goes for 15-plus points.

-Jalen Brunson had 17 points and six assists off the bench for the Mavericks. This is Brunson’s seventh consecutive game, scoring in double figures, and he is averaging 18.9 points per game on 57.5% shooting from the field in that stretch. The Mavericks bench outscored Denver 27-16 tonight. Dallas improved to 6-0 when the bench unit outscores the opponent’s bench unit.

Fourth Quarter: Dallas outscored the Nuggets 32-16 in the fourth quarter, led by Hardaway Jr.’s 13 points. The Mavericks were sizzling in the fourth as they shot 59% from the floor. In addition, they held the Nuggets to 32% from the field, including 1/8 from downtown. Dallas went small in the fourth as Dorian Finney-Smith got some run at center, and it worked.

The Not so Great for the Mavericks:

Second Quarter: Dallas was outscored 26-14 by Denver. They shot 22.7% from the field in the quarter, and ultimately, the Nuggets took a nine-point lead into halftime.

Bottom Line:

You have to be happy about the play of Porzingis. If he continues to play at this level, the Mavericks are going to give teams fits.

“It is all about confidence for KP,” Hardaway Jr. said. “Just knowing him personally, on and off the floor, he needs to stay active. When he is active in the pick-and-roll situations, picking-and-popping, taking the ball off-dribble off his rebounds, posting up and doing the little things like blocking shots and talking on defense, when he is engaged like that, we can be a dangerous team.”

However, Dallas is hoping Doncic’s injuries are not severe, which according to reports, it’s not. 

“Luka walked off on his own power,” Kidd said. “I think he got rolled up on his lower left leg.”

The Mavericks have struggled with teams above .500 this season(1-3). Monday’s win over Denver was their first win against a team above .500.

What’s Next:

Dallas begins a four-game road trip with a two-game set in Phoenix against the red-hot Suns, who have won nine straight.

Best of the Rest:

-Nikola Jokić led Denver with a season-high 35 points, 16 rebounds, and six assists tonight; Monte Morris (17), Aaron Gordon (14), and Austin Rivers (12) all started and scored in double figures for Denver.

Listen below as Kidd and Porzingis talk win over Denver:

Mavs’ Kidd: ‘I really believe our bench is a big part of our success’

After a slow start against the New Orleans Pelicans(1-10), the Dallas Mavericks picked it up in the second and third quarters, ultimately leading by as many as 22 points in the fourth and defeating the Pelicans 108-92 at American Airlines Center.

Dallas(7-3) has now won four out of their last five, marking the first time they have reached the 7-3 mark through 10 games since the 2013-14 season.

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

The Great for the Mavericks:

-The Mavericks had five players in double figures, and Luka Doncic was the catalyst again for Dallas. Doncic had a team-high 25 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists on Monday night. Over his last five games(four wins), Doncic is averaging 27.4 points per game.

-Super-sub Jalen Brunson had 17 points off the bench for Dallas. Brunson also added six assists and four rebounds. This is Brunson’s fourth consecutive game scoring in double figures, and he is averaging 21.5 points per game on 59.3% shooting from the field in that stretch.

-Tim Hardaway Jr. had scored 17 points, including a game-high four threes, to go along with six rebounds and four assists.

-Kristaps Porzingis had 12 points and 8 rebounds. It’s good to have Porzingis around as the Mavericks are 4-1 with Porzingis in the lineup this season.

-The Mavericks bench outscored the Pelicans bench by a season-high 32 tonight, 42-10. Of course, we know about Brunson’s 17 points off the bench, but Reggie Bullock added 12 points(2/3 3PT), and Frank Ntilikina had nine points, three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.

“I think it’s one of our strengths,” Mavs head coach Jason Kidd said about the bench. “As you have seen, we can start a guy that comes off the bench and he can help us win. When you look at Frank [Ntilikina] and looking at [Jalen] Brunson and Sterling [Brown] and those guys that are coming off the bench, they all can provide something different, starting on the defensive end. I really believe our bench is a big part of our success.”

Second-Fourth Quarters: After trailing by five after one quarter, Dallas outscored the Pelicans by 21 points the rest of the way.

Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-First Quarter: Dallas trailed again after the first quarter. The Mavericks have trailed or been tied(once) in six of their ten games after the first quarter this season. 

The Bottom Line:

The Pelicans are one of the worst teams in basketball right now, especially without Brandon Ingram(hip) and Zion Williamson(foot), who did not play on Monday, so these are the games the Mavericks should win.

Dallas is getting it done at home, and they are 5-1 at American Airlines Center.

What’s Next:

Dallas goes on the road to face the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night.

Best of the Rest:

Jonas Valanciunas scored 22 points and contributed a game-high 11 rebounds for New Orleans, and Josh Hart had 22 points, six rebounds, and five assists tonight. 




Mavs’ Kidd on loss to Nuggets: ‘When you have games like this, no matter how you look at it, it’s just bad’

The Dallas Mavericks came into Denver riding a three-game winning streak after losing their season-opener to the Atlanta Hawks. The Mavericks(3-2) were playing their first back-to-back game of the season on Friday, and it showed. 

The Mavericks got off to another slow start and trailed by 11 at halftime. In the third quarter, Dallas would entirely fall apart. The Nuggets(3-2) led by as many as 35 points. Ultimately, they would defeat Dallas 106-75.

The Great for the Mavericks:

Nothing good came from this game. Dallas was never in this one on Friday night. Here’s the good thing, it’s only one game in October. There are 77 more games left.

Here’s a good thing: Eugene Omoruyi scored six points in his NBA debut.

The Not so Great for the Mavericks:

-Dallas leading-scorer Luka Doncic struggled with his shot(6/18 FG, 1/4 3pt), but he did lead the team with 16 points. However, he was not very good.  Doncic’s shot has been off this season. He’s 9/35 from downtown in five games.

-The team’s second-leading scorer Tim Hardaway Jr. also could not throw a rock in the ocean; he was 1-7 from the field with three points.

Dorian Finney-Smith could not make a shot as well. He was 0/7 from the field with two points.

-Shooting: Dallas shot 29.5 percent from the field. You shoot like that; you should expect to lose.

First-quarter woes: For the fifth straight game, Dallas trailed after the first quarter. Thursday night, they overcame it against the Spurs, but on Friday, against a much better Nuggets’ team, Dallas could not bounce back from their slow start.

Bottom Line:

Jason Kidd said it nicely:

“When you have games like this, no matter how you look at it, it’s just bad,” Kidd said.

Dallas has to throw this one away and move forward.

What’s Next:

Dallas returns home on Sunday to face the Kings.

Best of the Rest:

Will Barton led the Nuggets with 17 points; Nikola Jokic had 11 points, 16 rebounds, and eight assists.



Hardaway Jr. on Doncic: ‘Everybody knows that he is our leader’

Luka Doncic is a special player who had another strong season for the Dallas Mavericks. Doncic led the Mavericks in points(27.7), rebounds(8.0), and assists(8.6) per game this season. The two-time All-Star was a constant for the Mavericks.

At one point, the Mavericks(42-30) were 9-14 and struggling after 23 games. However, they closed the season 33-16 to capture the fifth seed in the Western Conference, which set up a rematch with the Clippers(47-25) in the first round of the playoffs. 

The 22-year-old Doncic is the Mavericks best player, and according to Tim Hardaway Jr., he’s also the team’s leader. 

“I think just him handling adversity with us,” Hardaway Jr. said. “Being 8-14, 9-14 and making our way back into the playoff picture, and getting the fifth seed toward the end of the season. He was remarkable…

“He’s doing a lot better. I would say that leadership-wise, and a guy being a general out there on the floor for us. Everybody knows that he is our leader. He’s been our leader for the whole season, and we’re just doing the best we can to make his job like I said, a lot easier throughout this whole entire process, so yes, he is our leader.”

Last season, Dallas lost to the Clippers in a competitive series, which the Clippers won in six. Both teams are different. For Los Angeles, Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have another year together, and also they have a new voice on the bench in Ty Lue. When you look at Dallas, they have a healthy Kristaps Porzingis, who missed games four-six with a knee injury last season against the Clippers, so that should help.

Dallas won the season series 2-1, but that does not mean much come playoff time. Before losing the final two games of the season, where they rested most of their starters, the Clippers were 8-4 in their previous 12 games, while Dallas finished the season winning six of eight. 

Both teams are relatively healthy, but the Clippers are the better team; however, it’s a close matchup. Los Angeles has the experience, which will be enough to defeat the Mavs in seven. 

Hardaway Jr. on Williamson: ‘That guy is very, very strong’

On Saturday night against the New Orleans Pelicans(20-25), the Dallas Mavericks(23-21) were without their top two players in Luka Doncic(illness) and Kristaps Porzingis(rest).

Dallas battled and fought hard against the Pelicans, but they just did not have enough. Zion Williamson scored 13 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter as New Orleans defeated the Mavericks 112-103 at Smoothie Kings Center.

Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Mavericks with 30 points off the bench and got the Mavericks back into the game and helped Dallas take a lead after they trailed by 15 points in the first quarter, but this game was all about Williamson, who at times, was unstoppable. 

According to Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle, Williamson was Shaquille O’Neal-like with point guard skills.

“This is a Shaquille O’Neal type force of nature with a point guard skill-set,” Carlisle said. “And if you back off of him, he’ll just take up space and keep coming at you… You gotta have a lot of courage to stand in there and get run over by that guy.”

One guy who dared to take a charge from Williamson was Hardaway Jr., who took a charge from Williamson in the second quarter, and after the game, he discussed how it felt.

“Taking a charge, let alone picking him up off the ground, helping him up,” he said. “That guy is very, very strong. Strong as an ox. He’s a great player, heck of a player. He does an amazing job attacking the basket, getting his teammates involved; he’s excellent at his strengths… He’s doing an amazing job, hard to defend him.”

The 20-year-old Williamson is a load and can be a tough guard. He does have some Shaq in his game, but a better comparison is probably Charles Barkley because of his size, ball-handling ability, and athleticism. However, to be compared to Shaq is an honor.

The Mavericks continue their five-game road trip on Monday against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Watch as Hardaway Jr. talks Zion Williamson:



Mavs’ Carlisle on win over Memphis: ‘That was one of our best defensive games of the year’

The Dallas Mavericks finally got back on the court on Monday, and they played liked they never left. Behind strong defense and a big-time performance from Tim Hardaway Jr., who scored a game-high 29 points off the bench, the Mavericks defeated Memphis at home 102-92.

Dallas had not played since February 14 after two games were canceled due to severe weather hit Texas last week.

The defense set the tone for the Mavericks early in the game. Dallas held Memphis to 13 points in the first quarter, tying a season-low in points allowed in any quarter this season.

“That was one of our best defensive games of the year, and that was great to see,” Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle said after the game. “I just thought we had a real presence from the beginning. The ending was not what we wanted. You want to close out games better than that, but we talked about it a little bit afterwards, and we just have to concentrate a little bit better.”

During their short break, Carlisle and the team worked on their defense, which he discussed after the game.

“It was a long wait,” he said. “It was probably the longest stretch between games ever in the NBA. I don’t even know if any COVID teams have had an eight-day break, but I may be wrong. It is a long time. Our practices worked out well this week, and it was clear that our guys were anxious to get out on the floor and compete. The work that we put into defense this week, I thought, paid off tonight. It is all about being able to sustain.”

Hardaway Jr. gave Dallas a big boost off the bench against Memphis, and he contributed 20 of his 29 points(7-11 three-point range) in the first half; the Mavericks improved to 6-1 when Hardaway Jr. goes for 20+ points and a perfect 3-0 when he hits 25+ points.

“I’ve said previously before when I see one or two go in; it’s pretty much an ocean for me, I feel like,” Hardaway Jr. said. “The game just comes naturally, and I just really pride myself in being one of our top shooters. When I check into the game, I just want to be that sparkplug for the team, anyway, shape or form I can, and just make sure I bring that attitude.”

Boston comes to town on Tuesday night, which won’t be an easy task for Dallas. The Mavericks are 5-2 on their current homestand and have a chance to get to .500 with a win over the Celtics.


-Luka Dončić recorded 21 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, marking the first game without 25+ points in his last 15 games. Now finished, Dončić’s streak of 14 consecutive games with 25+ points stands as the longest streak in franchise history and the second-longest streak in the NBA this season, behind Bradley Beal’s streak of 17 consecutive games with 25+ points.

• Kristaps Porzingis (lower back soreness) missed tonight’s game and Maxi Kleber (left ankle sprain) left the game in the fourth quarter and did not return.

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. 

Cauley-Stein on Mavs’ effort against Suns: ‘I think our effort level was a 10 out of 10’

The effort was better, but the result was still the same for the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas would fall to the Phoenix Suns at home 111-105 on Saturday night. Dallas has now lost five straight and eight out of their last ten. 

On Friday after Dallas’ loss to the Jazz, Mavericks star Luka Doncic, who scored a team-high 29 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists, including 18 points in the third quarter against Phoenix, questioned the team’s efforts, but on Saturday, Doncic was happy with how the team played. 

“Way better,” Doncic said of the team’s effort. “I think everybody was a little tired. We came at like 4 a.m. yesterday. I think the effort was great today, and I think we had a little bad luck. We had like five or six open shots at the end, and they don’t fall. We got to work on that.”

Willie Cauley-Stein added: “I think our effort level was a 10 out of 10 tonight. Guys were fighting, and we’re in great positioning to help each other out. This is what this stretch is about. We’re bleeding right now, and we’re trying to stop the bleeding. I think our effort level, where our attitude and effort was today, was two steps in the right direction.”

Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle was disappointed in the loss, but like Doncic and Cauley-Stein, he was happy with the fight Dallas showed against the Suns.

“What a disappointing game,” Carlisle said. “We were fighting from the beginning and got behind, were able to get a lead, and then it was tied at halftime. Then in the third, we built a 15-point lead with six to go in the third, but we had some loose possessions, we had some poor defensive possessions, and they got the momentum back.

“It’s just a really disappointing one because of how hard our guys fought. But Phoenix hung in, and they made plays. They were able to do what they had to do to get the momentum back and win. We’ve just simply got to do better. I loved our attitude heading into the game. Just really disappointed for the team.”

Obviously, losing five consecutive games is not a good thing, but according to Tim Hardaway Jr., who finished with 19 points, four rebounds, and four assists on Saturday night, these struggles will help Dallas in the long run. 

“Everything is happening for a reason,” Hardaway jr. said. “I feel like that in order for you to be great, you have to go through the trenches with your brothers and crawl and dig your way out of that hole. Tonight, I think we moved one step closer in the right direction. I am not saying it was great because we didn’t get the win, but at the same time, people showed effort [and] people were moving the ball. It felt like there was some joy out there today, and it was a great job from all of our guys that stepped in to show that.”

Dallas will battle the Suns on Monday night in the second game of their two-game set, and hopefully, they will have another solid effort.


-Chris Paul led Phoenix with 29 points to go with a game-high 12 assists and 4 steals. This was Paul’s sixth double-double of the season and the 452nd of his career.

-Deandre Ayton left the game with a shoulder injury early on but eventually returned and contributed 18 points and a season-high-tying 17 rebounds for his 73rd career double-double.

-Dallas was without Kristaps Portzingis(Rest) on Saturday night.