Returning from the All-Star weekend, the Dallas Mavericks found themselves in the seventh seed in the Western Conference after going just 12-12 in their final 24 games before the break.
Admittedly, Doncic missed six of the final seven of those games with an ankle sprain, but he was on deck in this one and resumed his incredible second season in the league as the Mavericks closed out Orlando, 122-106.
Holding a slender 91-84 advantage through three quarters, it was a strong final period that ensured Rick Carlisle's group would begin the road to the playoffs in winning style.
This night was all about the Mavericks big two however, so let's take a look at the star performances on the night.
Perhaps the All-Star Game was all Doncic needed to help shake off the rust, with the 20-year-old hardly missing a beat after suiting up for just his second Mavericks game since the end of January.
Doncic would finish with 33 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block in 34 minutes.
As is usually the case with Dallas superstar, he created a little history along the way, becoming the first player to have 300 3-point makes before the age of 21.
Luka Doncic is the first player in NBA history to hit 300 threes before turning 21. pic.twitter.com/sqbnlKvLlJ- StatMuse (@statmuse) February 22, 2020
The bulk of his scoring came in a dazzling first half, where he tallied 24 points to go with five rebounds and five assists.
Luka Doncic has 24 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds at the half.- ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 22, 2020
This his 5th half this season with at least 20 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds -- the most in the NBA (breaking a tie with Giannis Antetokounmpo).
The Mavericks are up 64-52. pic.twitter.com/qNp5DeGO7L
There were stepbacks, crossovers and typically crisp passes. Doncic was back at his best, and the Mavericks were back on the winners list.
Porzingis continues strong form
It's easy to forget that Kristaps Porzingis is in just his first season back from major knee surgery to repair a torn ACL suffered when he was a member of the New York Knicks.
Coupled with the extensive rust that you could expect a player would have after such an injury, he's also been getting acquainted to a new city, new roster and new scheme under coach Carlisle in Dallas.
Prior to the All-Star break, it looked like Porzingis was beginning to round into form, and his 24 points, ten rebounds and five assists in Orlando suggest that hot form may continue on the road to the playoffs.
Porzingis went 8-for-16 from the field and 4-for-9 from deep in an extrememly efficient shooting night.
The monster line for both Porzingis and Doncic put the dup in some elite company.
Per @EliasSports, this is the updated list of teammates in @NBA history to record 20+ points, 10+ rebounds and 5+ assists in consecutive games:- Mavs PR (@MavsPR) February 22, 2020
Hakeem Olajuwon & Clyde Drexler, 1995
LeBron James & Kevin Love, 2017
*Luka Dončić & Kristaps Porzingis, 2020 pic.twitter.com/3hWw3Mo0ta
It was the sixth time in his last seven appearances that he has scored at least 24 points, after reaching that mark just four times in his first 34 outings.
The 24-year-old has always been a top level rim protector, and swatted five Magic shots on the night, the fifth time on the season he has rejected 5+ opposition shots.
The Mavericks are now 34-22 on the year, and if their two key cogs can stay healthy down the stretch, they will like their chances of climbing back up into the home-court conversation in the first round.
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