The Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 127-106 victory in Oklahoma City against a shorthanded Thunder team, stopping a two-game Dallas losing skid.
The Mavs snapped another ugly streak... In all 10 games since the All-Star break, Dallas has trailed after the first quarter. Against OKC, Dallas lead 33-24 heading into the second quarter, with much thanks to great play by "Unicorn" Kristaps Porzingis.
Porzingis started hot, scoring 12 points with five rebounds in his first 10 minutes, providing a big boost for the Mavs to grab the quick lead. In the first half alone, Porzingis dished out five assists, marking a season-high and tying a career-high. After missing Saturday's game, Porzingis finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 blocks in three quarters against OKC. Oh, and he won the Defensive Belt, too.
Dallas also happily welcomed back star Luka Doncic after he sat the last two Mavs games with back stiffness. The MVP-candidate displayed incredible body control and dominated with 25 points, 3 rebounds and 7 assists.
Said Tim Hardaway Jr.: “We’re happy when those two are out there. We know we have a better chance of winning ballgames and we just got to make sure they stay healthy and locked in.”
OKC (19-27) was without their three top scorers in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right foot injury), Darius Bazley (left shoulder injury) and Luguentz Dort (concussion protocol).
OKC tied the game at 41 points in the second quarter behind the impressive play of Kenrich Williams. However, the Thunder had no answer for Porzingis, Doncic and Hardaway Jr. (who added 19 points off the bench). The Mavs cruised to victory to improve to 24-21 on the season.
Also, Nicolo Melli, recently traded to Dallas from New Orleans apart of the JJ Redick trade, made his Mavericks' debut in the third quarter and scored six points in a row.
Next up, Dallas' five-game road trip continues as the Mavs travel to Boston to take on the Celtics Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. CT.