Coming into this game against the Chicago Bulls, the Mavericks had a rough week. They went 1-3 in their four games with losses coming in Los Angeles (Lakers), Oklahoma City, and at home against the Charlotte Hornets.
Today's game had a must-win feel for the Mavs, with games against playoff-caliber opponents coming up as they take on the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers in their next three games.
The reigning Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic almost single-handedly ensured the Mavericks came out on top. Here are the key takeaways from the game:
Luka's triple-double makes & breaks records
Doncic finished the game with 38 points (14-of-24 FG's), 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in 35 minutes.
With 38 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists tonight, Luka Dončić has now recorded back-to-back 35-point triple-doubles.- Mavs PR (@MavsPR) January 7, 2020
Dončić was already the only player to record back-to-back 35-point triple-doubles before the age of 22, and just accomplished the feat again. pic.twitter.com/xo4U2mm2P0
This was his ninth 30-point triple-double (11th overall) of the season, one more than the rest of the league combined.
It was only the sixth time in NBA history that a player under 21 had recorded a triple-double with 38 or more points and Luka Doncic owns five of those six instances with LeBron James the only other entrant.
Doncic's BIG 3rd Q
Doncic literally carried the Mavericks in the third quarter. He was on fire in the third period, scoring 21 (9-14 FG's) of his 38 points.
Luka Doncic (34 PTS, 11 REB, 7 AST) tallies 21 in the 3rd quarter to pace the @dallasmavs!- NBA (@NBA) January 7, 2020
Watch Live: https://t.co/lZZApswzuX pic.twitter.com/bfN6cLgFd9
He scored or assisted on 23 of the team's 27 points, ensuring they matched the Bulls' tally for the quarter and remained ahead.
Perfect Powell & Hardaway Jr. returns
With Kristaps Porzingis out for the fourth-straight game, Doncic did the bulk of the Mavericks' scoring, but he got solid contributions from Dwight Powell and Tim Hardaway Jr.
Powell finished with 16 points and seven rebounds on a perfect 6-6 shooting from the field.
Here's every shot Dwight took tonight. Yep, he shot 💯 percent!@DwightPowell33 | #MFFL pic.twitter.com/UZrteZW5df- Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 7, 2020
Before pulling a hamstring in a game against the Lakers, 10 days back, Hardaway Jr. was playing some of the best basketball of his career. In 19 straight games as a starter, he was averaging 16.2 points in 27.8 minutes on 46.2% shooting from the field and 43.2% from beyond the arc.
He returned from to the line-up today and it felt like he didn't miss a beat. In 22 minutes, he scored 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from 3-point land.
Timmy came out HOT tonight!@T_HardJR | #MFFL pic.twitter.com/XjU4IGjk9W- Dallas Mavericks (@dallasmavs) January 7, 2020
The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.