Mavs Grab First Bubble Win, 114-110 Over Kings in OT
After a pair of painful games to open up their NBA bubble schedule, the Dallas Mavericks finally got their first taste of victory in Orlando on Tuesday afternoon, taking down the Sacramento Kings 114-110 in overtime.
For the Mavs, the story of this game begins and ends with Luka Doncic, who put together one of the best single-game performances, not just in the franchise's history, but in league history, scoring 34 points, grabbing 20 rebounds, and handing out 12 assists, giving him a (now) league-high 16th triple-double on the year.
With that line, Doncic also became just the third Dallas player to score 30 points and secure 20 rebounds in a game, joining Sam Perkins and Dirk Nowitzki (who did it twice) for that honor.
Doncic was also just one point away from becoming the first player since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1976 to score 35 or more points, grab 20 or more rebounds, and hand out 12 in a game.
READ MORE: Luka is Kareem-Like In History-Making Effort
READ MORE: Mavs QUOTEBOARD After The Game
For the rest of the Mavs team, it was not as pretty, with Kristaps Porzingis facing second-half foul trouble, before fouling out of the game entirely with 22 points and seven rebounds, while hitting an ugly 6-18 from the floor and 0-7 from beyond the arc.
Tim Hardaway Jr. also added 22 points on 6-14 from the floor, while Dorian Finney-Smith scored 16 points of his own to go along with 16 rebounds - and while dealing with a hip injury was big down the stretch on both ends, as was Maxi Kleber.
“We just kept battling,'' Finney-Smith said. "I feel like we stepped forward today.”
Added coach Rick Carlisle: “It was a 'guts' win. Their collective will to win the game was as strong as I’ve seen all year.''
As a team, Dallas hit just 36.7 percent from the field, 22 percent from three, and missed 11 free throws, but were able to out-rebound the Kings 61-47 in the contest.
Now, with their first bubble win finally secured, 41-29 Dallas will head into the midway point of their NBA Bubble seeding schedule on Thursday, where Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and the Los Angeles Clippers will be waiting. Dallas is 0-2 in their previous matchups with the Clippers this season.
"Even though our shot wasn't really falling at a high clip like normal, we grinded, man,'' Hardaway Jr. said of an aspect of Dallas' game that creates some hope. "That huddle in every timeout stayed tight. It showed that everyone cared."