Luka Doncic's 19th-Career Triple-Double Powers Mavs Past Bulls, 118-110
Coming off a very disappointing overtime loss to the Hornets on Saturday night, Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks bounced back against Zach LaVine and the Chicago Bulls with a 118-110 win.
“The crowd was into it, everybody was into it and we played great defense, too,'' Luka said. "I had fun and that’s how it should be.”
Doncic was masterful, as he usually is, recording his 19th career triple-double with 38 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on 14-of-24 shooting from the field and 5-of-10 shooting from deep. Twenty-one of Doncic's 38 points came in the third quarter alone. Doncic is now only two triple-doubles away from tying the Mavs' franchise record of 21 that was set by Jason Kidd.
Think about that -- Doncic could surpass the Mavs' franchise record for triple-doubles before he even turns 21-years-old.
“He is a great player,” said head coach Rick Carlisle. “Tonight, I thought that the most impressive thing about his game was his demeanor, disposition, and poise. Teams are sending athletic guys to be physical and bang him and all of that. Same thing tonight, but he stayed really level-headed. ... He was masterful down the stretch.”
The Mavs also got a boost of energy from Tim Hardaway Jr. in this one, who returned from his three-game absence due to a hamstring injury. Hardaway Jr. got the Mavs' off to a sizzling start on the offensive end of the court, scoring 14 of his 15 points in the first quarter. He finished the game shooting 5-of-8 overall and 3-of-4 from deep in just 22 minutes of play. Not only does Hardaway Jr.'s production on the court help the Mavs, but the passion and energy he plays with seems to give the entire team a morale boost. For a guy that was mostly over-looked in the Kristaps Porzingis trade, Tim Hardaway Jr. has become a key piece to the Mavs' winning formula this season.
“We really missed him,” said Carlisle. “We really missed his energy and his attitude on the floor. We missed what he brings at both ends – on offense it’s the shot-making, the driving and the playmaking. Defensively, it just gives us another versatile defender at the two spot. It was great.”
Dwight Powell and Justin Jackson were also key contributors in the win. Powell finished with 16 points and seven rebounds on a perfect 6-for-6 shooting night. Despite only shooting 4-of-11 from the field, Jackson finished with 11 points, and scored nine of those in the fourth quarter as the Mavs pulled away from the Bulls for good. The Mavs were able to outlast big nights from Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. LaVine finished with 20 points, five rebounds and seven assists, while Markkanen tallied 26 points and grabbed nine rebounds.
Dallas is now halfway through its six-game home-stand, and they'll now await a Wednesday night matchup with the second-place Denver Nuggets. The game will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. central and will be aired nationally on ESPN. After missing three games due to right knee soreness, Porzingis is optimistic that he will be able to return this week at some point. We'll see if he can suit up on Wednesday. ... and we'll see if Luka can add another important "stat.''
“I don’t mind (talking about individual numbers), but I think every game is another 'stat',” Doncic said. “For me, all I would say is it’s more important to get a win.”