Doncic, Finney-Smith Set Career Marks As Mavs Hold Off Spurs 117-110
DALLAS - After facing five-straight defeats at the hands of Greg Popovich and the San Antonio Spurs, the Dallas Mavericks finally got the best of their big brothers, riding Luka Doncic and Dorian Finney-Smith to a 117-110 victory.
“What a game," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said. "Pretty wild, a lot going on out there. There were a lot of positive things. Our start was very, very good, we had some good responses to runs and overall [Dorian] Finney-Smith had a really huge game."
What more can you say about Luka Doncic? If there were still somehow any doubt remaining with anyone whatsoever as to whether Luka was the real deal, he is answered them on Monday night, becoming the second player under the age of 21 to record a 40-point triple-double in NBA history.
The other, LeBron James.
“It is not surprising to me," said Carlisle. "This guy can do anything he wants to on a basketball court. He is having one of those magical runs right now. It is a phenomenal thing to watch and a phenomenal thing to be a part of. His teammates and I were all just along for the ride here."
It was truly a maestro performance from the young Slovenian, as he drove the late dagger into the Spurs heart with a step-back three, followed by an assist from his knees to Seth Curry to seal the win.
For the night, Doncic finished with 42 points, 12 assists, and 11 rebounds, while shooting 14-27 from the field and 5-13 from three-point land, and 9-13 from the free-throw line.
"In the big picture, this is an awful lot to ask of a young guy, let’s be honest," Carlisle said of his star's performance. "It is hard to fathom how much that kind of production takes out of you in an NBA game. It is a lot emotionally. It’s a lot of weight to carry, and as we move along, finding balance to help Luka with the load is an important thing, and I am looking at that all the time.”
Doncic was not the only Maverick to set a career mark in scoring, however, as Dorian Finney-Smith added 22 points on 8-10 shooting, including 3-4 from beyond the arc. He also had five rebounds, one block, and one steal on the evening.
“(Doncic) is one of the main guys that always is telling me to shoot," Dorian Finney-Smith said. "We shoot together a lot and he knows I can shoot, so he always just tells me to keep shooting. It feels good knowing that he trusts me. He’s a great facilitator.”
Meanwhile, Kristaps Porzingis finished with his third-straight double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds and hit 4-9 from beyond the arc in the process.
Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan did his best to keep up with Doncic and did an admirable job of it as well, scoring 36 points on just 20 shots, adding eight rebounds, four assists, and hitting 8-8 from the charity stripe.
"It was a struggle," Carlisle said. "Sometimes you have to hang on for dear life in these games. San Antonio is a desperate team going through a tough stretch. We knew that coming in and these kinds of things are good for us. They test us and they keep us on a steady learning curve, that I believe is trending upward.”
Unfortunately for San Antonio, only LaMarcus Aldridge (16 points and nine rebounds) and Bryn Forbes (13 points) were able to get into double digits, as the offensive firepower was just not there.
With a second consecutive win in their pockets, the Mavericks moved to 8-5 on the season and into the sixth-spot early on in the Western Conference standings.
“Obviously we can be even better than 8-5," Luka Doncic said, "We had some games we should have won, but we could be worse too, so I’ll take that. We just keep rising every day.”
They will attempt to make it three-straight on Wednesday night when the owners of the NBA's worst record, the Golden State Warriors, come to the American Airlines Center for a nationally televised game.
“I just feel like we’re deep," said Finney-Smith. "Any given night, it could be Seth [Curry] with a 20-point game or it could be Tim [Hardway Jr.] or [Delon] Wright. It’s just a deep team. If we get a couple more stops, I feel like we could play with anybody.”