The Dallas Mavericks (47-29) led by a 23 year-old superstar Luka Doncic is trending in the right direction. They are 13-5 since the All-Star break and are just one back of the Golden State Warriors for the third seed out West after dismantling the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday in front of their home crowd 128-110.
Led by Luka, the Mavs jumped on the Lakers early and never looked back as they led by as many as 37.
They ended the first quarter on a 13-0 run and went into the second with a 18-pt lead (43-25) and made seven three’s. Doncic was seeking mismatches early in game and was knocking down step three’s that not too many players can make and that’s what separates him. He had 17 point’s, five rebounds, and five assist after the 1st. He finished with a triple-double with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assist.
“For me every year is the same, you know win a championship.” Luka about this team heading into playoffs “I know we have a lot of things to work out but you never know in the playoffs anything can happen. But right now we’re rolling and we got to improve our defense and from there we go on.”
Doncic got plenty of help on offense as six other player’s scored in double figures. Reggie Bullock 17 point’s (5-8 from 3-pt), David Bertans 14 points (4-5 from 3-pt), Spencer Dinwiddie had 13 pts and six assist, and three players scored 12. Luka is going to need the similar contributions from his teammates come playoffs if they are going to advance past the first-round (which Luka has yet to do) this year.
The Mavs made 20 three’s and only turned the ball over seven times, all of that is a recipe for postseason success.
The Lakers (31-44) came into Dallas shorthanded without their two top players LeBron James who sat out after turning his ankle on Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis who has been out since the All-Star break with an ankle injury. The way the Mavs have been rolling, not sure how much of a difference James and Davis would have made. Especially with the Lakers giving up the most points they have given up in the first half since 1959 when they were still playing in Minneapolis.
With this loss, the Lakers officially move to the 11th spot out West and in a virtual tie with the San Antonio Spurs but the Spurs own the tie-breaker.
Russell Westbrook and Malik Monk gave a valiant effort but they just didn’t get enough help. Monk led the way for LA with 28 as he made 6-10 from deep and Westbrook scored 25. Stanley Johnson chipped in with 16.
“Not good enough in any way, this is one of the most prolific offenses in the league, the Luka Doncic pick-and-roll. It’s tough to prepare for and and it’s tough action to slow down as any in the league.” Head Coach Frank Vogel said of defending Luka. “With a lot of guys out we had to come in and execute at a high level, and we executed very poorly to start the game.”
The Lakers shot well from the FT line making 18-22. Now they have seven games remaining to try and get back into the “play-in” tournament.
Dallas Next Game: @ Cleveland Wednesday 3/30
Lakers Next Game: @ Utah Thursday 3/31
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