The Dallas Mavericks entered tonight's roadie against the Indiana Pacers having lost three consecutive games, something the team didn't do all of last season. However, thanks in large part to yet another Luka Doncic triple-double and the dominance of Kristaps Porzingis, the Mavs finally ended the losing streak with a 124-112 win over the Pacers.
Porzingis posted his best game of the young season in this one, finishing with 27 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and one block in just 29 minutes of action. Porzingis also shot an impressive 12-of-15 from the field and altered many shots that won't show up in the boxscore. Porzingis' 80-percent shooting tonight was a single-game career-high for him. He's now averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds over his last three games.
Up until this game, the Mavs had tried starting Porzingis at power forward with Willie Cauley-Stein at center. Tonight, however, Porzingis slid back over to the center position, where he flourished last season, and never looked back. After the Mavs offense looked dead for three straight games, we'll say to expect Carlisle to stick with Porzingis at the center position going forward after tonight's results.
By the way, though: "We have a new award, only in wins - the Defensive Player of the Game Heavyweight Champion of the World Belt,'' Carlisle said, announcing that Cauley-Stein won tonight's belt.
WCS was good for 10 points, but also five rebounds, two assists and two steals in just 19 minutes.
"He was spectacular,'' Carlisle said.
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Despite looking worn out at times and only shooting 5-of-14 from the field, Doncic still "messed around'' and notched the 30th triple-double of his career. Doncic finished this one with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists in 36 minutes.
With 30 triple-doubles in just 146 career games, Doncic became the second-fastest to reach that milestone... second only to the great Oscar Robertson.
Dallas also got some big contributions from Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Jalen Brunson. Hardaway Jr., who went 0-of-8 against the Raptors two nights ago, came back strong with a 19-point performance and shooting 3-of-6 from deep. Burke pitched in 22 points off the bench in microwave fashion, and Brunson tallied 19 points and four assists in his second start alongside Doncic this season.
The Mavs (7-7) will now return to Texas to finish off their three-game road trip against a San Antonio Spurs (8-6) team that has looked impressive early on this season.