Luka Doncic's 41 Points Powers Mavs Past Rockets in Houston, 137-123
The Dallas Mavericks went into Sunday afternoon's road game against the Houston Rockets as winners of four consecutive games on a home-stand and winning their most recent two games by a combined 90 points. Dallas' hot play traveled with them to Houston, as the Mavs pulled away in the fourth quarter and won, 137-123.
As has become the norm lately, Luka Doncic had himself another monster game, putting up 41 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two steals in 34 minutes of play. Houston was able to make Dallas sweat a little bit down the stretch, cutting the gap to just five points with about seven minutes to go in the game, but Doncic's 13-point fourth-quarter takeover was enough to get the Mavs a comfortable win.
With this latest performance, Doncic is on the cusp of averaging a triple-double for the season. His updated averages are 30.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 9.8 assists. If Doncic is somehow able to average a triple-double in just his second NBA season, not only would he be, by far, the youngest player to do, but he'd be just the third player to ever do it. Oscar Robertson did it back in 1962, and Russell Westbrook, unbelievably, has managed to do it in each of the last three seasons.
To say Tim Hardaway Jr. has been lights out for the Mavericks lately would be a major understatement. In Houston, Hardaway Jr. poured in 31 points on 10-18 from the field and 5-11 from deep to go along with his five assists and four rebounds. Ever since being inserted as a starter over the last 3 games, Hardaway Jr. is shooting 65-percent from deep (13-of-20) and has upped his season three-point average to 36.7-percent. After struggling early, Hardaway Jr. is starting to look like he'll be a key contributor for the Mavs, as they continue to make their playoff push the rest of this season.
Kristaps Porzingis had a great game as well, scoring 23 points (9-17 from the field) and grabbing 13 rebounds. Porzingis was also a team-high plus-32 on the box score. As Porzingis continues to chip away at the rust on offense, the Mavs, as a whole, continue to become more dangerous with each passing game.
The Mavs will now return home to face Kawhi Leonard and the Los Angeles Clippers, as they debut their new graffiti-themed City Edition uniforms. If anyone is going to slow down Luka Doncic right now, you'd imagine it would have to be the defensive trio of Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Patrick Beverley. We'll see if Doncic can pass yet another big test.