);
Dallas Mavericks

Luka Doncic-less Dallas Mavericks end Milwaukee Bucks 18-game win streak

The Milwaukee Bucks entered their contest against the Dallas Mavericks riding an 18-game winning streak.

With Luka Doncic out due to the ankle injury he suffered over the weekend and the Bucks playing on their home floor, the odds could not have been more in Milwaukee's favour to keep this streak rolling.

Before the start of the game, with all of those factors in play, if you were to be told that Giannis Antetokounmpo finished the contest with 48 points, 14 rebounds and four assists, you probably would have assumed that the Bucks steamrolled the Mavericks without their best player.

Well, that assumption would have been wrong.

Led by Kristaps Porzingis and the supporting cast, Dallas pulled off the extremely unlikely in snapping Milwaukee's 18-game win streak.

Porzingis stepped up to the challenge of taking over as the Mavericks' go-to guy and suceeded in a big way. The Latvian forward put together one of his best performances of the season with 26 points, 12 rebounds, four assists and two blocks going 9-for-19 from the field and 4-for-8 from three with a team-best plus-20 +/-.

Ironically enough, according to our own Micah Adams, this was the first time that Porzingis faced off against Antetokounmpo since the game he suffered the ACL injury that sidelined him for the entirety of last season.

Quite the full-circle moment for the promising young big man.

Aside from their second star's big performance, the Mavericks role players stepped up to the challenge just as they did over the weekend once Doncic went down - though that comeback came up short.

Seth Curry was a huge difference-maker with 26 points, five rebounds and four assists off the bench, burying four 3-pointers. Jalen Brunson, who filled Doncic's starting guard spot, came through for his team with 16 points and a career-high 11 assists for the third double-double of his young career.

Dallas got 60 points from their bench compared to just 35 points from the Bucks second unit.

Antetokounmpo had a huge game - one of his biggest stat lines of the season - but his supporting cast couldn't match the production that the Mavericks' received.

Kyle Korver was the team's second-leading scorer with 17 points. Giannis' All-Star running mate Khris Middleton scored just nine points shooting 4-for-12 from the field and 1-for-5 from three.

Aside from the reigning MVP's 48 points, the rest of the Bucks' starters combined for 23 points.

Even with Eric Bledsoe out, Milwaukee had been getting production from their "other guys." It played a vital role in their 18-game win streak.

But without providing Antetokounmpo with that type of help in this one, their streak comes to an end at the hands of a short-handed Mavericks squad.

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