1.TRIPLE-DOUBLE KING: The new king of the triple-doubles wore his crown proudly Friday night. As he continues to scale the wall toward legendary status, Luka Doncic added another piece of jewelry to his treasure chest. The 20-year old scored 25 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dispended 10 assists in registering his first triple-double of the season and the ninth of his young career. That padded his NBA record of collecting the most triple-doubles by a player under the age of 21. In second place on that list is Magic Johnson with seven and third is LeBron James with five. Not bad company. Doncic also proved to be clutch – again. With the Mavs up, 115-113, Doncic tallied five points in a 30-second span to put Dallas ahead 120-113 with 1:23 remaining as the Mavs spoiled the Pelicans in their home opener.
2. PORZINGIS HOSTED A BLOCK PARTY: Someone must have forgotten to tell the Pelicans that one of the reasons Kristaps Porzingis makes a pretty good living is because of his ability to block shots and control the paint on the defensive end. Someone also must have forgotten to tell them that he’s a legit 7-3 player with long arms. Anyway, the Pelicans kept challenging Porzingis at the rim and he kept swatting basketballs in a direction the home team didn’t want the basketballs to go. The four-year veteran wound up with five blocked shots. On top of that, Porzingis scored 11 of his 24 points in the second quarter when the Mavs poured in a whopping 45 points and got back in the game.
3. THE (W)RIGHT STUFF: For those of you out there who don’t believe Delon Wright is a capable scorer, think again. The Mavs already knew first-hand that he can score, because when Wright played for the Memphis Grizzlies last season, not only did he post his career-high of 26 points during an Apr. 5 contest against the Mavs. He also had 10 rebounds and 14 assists in that game. That all came during a run when Wright finished last season with three triple-doubles during a four-game span, including two in consecutive games against the Mavs. On Friday, Wright stepped up and scored 20 points against the Pelicans and also added seven rebounds, three assists and a career-high tying five steals during a solid all-around performance.
4. BRUNSON BURNED THE PELICANS: The next time you watch the Mavs play, take a little time and watch how Jalen Brunson maneuvers his way around the court. It is a pretty sight to see. No, Brunson isn’t a flashy ballplayer. He just gets the job done without fanfare. In other words, while the car salesman out front gets the glory for selling the car, Brunson is the mechanic behind the scenes who changed the oil and filter and keeps the car rolling down the highway. The second-year pro was at his crafty best again on Friday as he delivered 14 points and eight rebounds that helped the Mavs ward off the Pelicans. Overall, in his first start of the season Brunson was 6-of-11 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range.
5. MAVS IN GOOD COMPANY: Of course, it’s very, very early in the season. But when you haven’t been to the playoffs since 2016 — which is the case with the Mavs — every positive mini-step along the way is a reason to celebrate. Such is the case at this moment, because the Mavs are 2-0 for the first time since the 2004-’05 season. That was back when Avery Johnson was the team’s coach, and Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley, Jason Terry, Josh Howard, Jerry Stackhouse, Darrell Armstrong and Devin Harris were some of their premier players. Oddly, no Mavs team after that started the season 2-0 – not even the 2010-’11 NBA championship team – until now. What’s more, Denver, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Clippers and Mavs are currently the only 2-0 teams in the NBA.