'Absolutely Breathtaking': Big Third Quarter From Doncic Earns Mavs 120-113 Win in Phoenix
The Dallas Mavericks have never found it easy to win in Phoenix against the Suns. In fact, heading into Friday night's matchup at Talking Stick Resort Arena, the Mavericks had not won there since October of the 2015-16 season.
That would all change here, however, as the Mavs used a big second half, including a clutch Luka-led third-quarter comeback, to earn a tough win and improve to 6-2 on the road for the year.
"He’s just an exceptional player, an exceptional person and he’s exceptionally tough,'' Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said of Luka Doncic. "He's having a spectacular year. Just absolutely breathtaking.”
Luka's 15-point third quarter, which brought Dallas back to even after they had trailed for almost nine minutes straight, was just a part his tremendous night, however, as the 20-year-old finished with a career-high-tying 42 points, to go along with 11 assists and nine rebounds.
While Kristaps Porzinigis struggled to aid his fellow star in the scoring department, scoring just 2 points on 0-8 from the field, another former Knick had possibly his best game of the season, as Tim Hardaway Jr. was able to pick up the slack and pour in a season-high 26 points.
Hardaway was also 6-9 from beyond the arc and 8-14 from the field overall in 36 minutes in the game.
As a team, however, the Mavs largely struggled overall, as outside of Seth Curry's 11 points off of the bench, Doncic and Hardaway were the only two Mavs players to finish in double figures in scoring, while the team as a whole hit just 41.2-percent from the field for the game.
They were also aided by a massively impressive game from the free-throw line, with the team finishing 33-38 overall from the stripe, which included 15-18 from Doncic himself.
Following the win, the Mavs (12-6) will have a quick turnaround, as they travel to Los Angeles to take on LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday afternoon.
The Lakers currently own the best record in the NBA at 16-2 and got the better of the Mavericks in a 119-110 overtime win in Dallas at the American Airlines Center on November 2. Can Luka help Dallas do it again?
“We just stick together as a team,'' Luka said of this one. “Everybody helped each other and (we) just play on.”