SAN FRANCISCO – Another game, another night where Luka Doncic took out his pen and re-wrote the history books again.
Doncic used his electrifying skills for a dominant 31-point, 12-rebound, and 15-assist game in only 30 minutes as the Dallas Mavericks rolled to a 141-121 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night before a sellout crowd of 18,064 at Chase Center. It was the ninth triple-double of the season for Doncic, tying him with Jason Kidd (1995-96) for the franchise record for most triple-doubles in a season.
And Doncic didn’t even play in the fourth quarter because the Mavs (21-10) led, 117-98, after the third quarter and rested their starters in preparation for Sunday’s game in Los Angeles against the Lakers.
Meanwhile, Doncic became the first player in NBA history to record multiple 30-point triple-double games while playing 30 minutes or less.
“Doncic was amazing, absolutely amazing,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “To have a 30-point triple-double in three quarters and really did it with – made it look easy – that’s a phenomenal performance.
“He set the table for everybody that was out there. And our second unit did a good job finishing the game the right way.”
The shot-making by both clubs was amazing. So much so that the Mavs wound up setting a franchise record for 3-pointers made in a game with 24, breaking the old record of 22 they made in three different games.
In the first quarter, it looked like both teams were just lounging on the couch firing in 3-pointers like they were playing a video game. Dallas made 10-of-15 shots from behind the 3-point line in the first quarter, and the Warriors were 9-of-13.
“The first thing I would say about this building is it’s a great shooting building,” Carlisle said of the first-year Chase Center. “First, I want to talk about (Warriors guard) D’Angelo Russell, because I’ve never seen a guy score 12 points in two minutes to start the game.
“Right off the bat he was on pace for 288 points if he kept up like that. The shots he was throwing in were amazing. We kept trying to figure out ways to take him out of rhythm – and in the first half it was virtually impossible.”
Russell eventually got hurt in the third quarter when he ran into Doncic while diving for a loose ball. A stretcher was brought onto the court and the game was held up for several minutes before Russell eventually got up and walked gingerly to the locker room before returning to the court early in the fourth quarter.
Dallas trailed, 74-72, at the half, but opened the third quarter on a 36-14 run to bolt ahead, 108-88, with 2:35 left in the third quarter following a flying dunk by Kristaps Porzingis and a 3-pointer from Maxi Kleber. Tim Hardaway Jr. went 4-for-4 from 3-point land in the third quarter when he tallied 12 of his 25 points to help break open the game.
“It felt like the basket was an ocean today,” said Hardaway, who was 9-of-13 from the field and 6-of-8 from 3-point range. “Luckily we can score the ball like we can.”
Part of weathering the storm included the Mavs getting 18 points, seven rebounds and four blocks from Porzingis, 17 points from Seth Curry and 13 from Delon Wright.
“It was an up and down pace,” Wright said. “The first half was crazy with both teams scoring (more than) 70 points each. We started to hit shots (in the third quarter when the Mavs scored 45 points) and played better defense.”
Both teams scored 41 points in one of the most entertaining first quarters the Mavs have ever been a part of. Doncic scored 15 of his points in the opening quarter on 5-of-10 shooting.
Yet he was outmatched by Russell, who poured in 18 of his game-high 35 points in the first quarter on 7-of-8 shots, including 4-of-4 hoops from beyond the 3-point arc.
“That was one of the craziest first quarters I’ve ever been a part of,” Porzingis sad. “We knew they had a really, really hot hand. So we just wanted to stay calm, stay with our game plan, and you could see as the game went along we started to take over.”
As Doncic heated up, the Warriors tried taking the ball out of his hands by trapping him near midcourt.
“If they’re going to trap me they’re going to play four-on-two basketball, which is easy,” Doncic said. “It’s not just one player on the court – we have five players on the court – and if they trap me, I’m glad.
“We’re going to hit those open shots, we’re going to have open shots and that’s easy basketball for us.”
In addition trapping Doncic, the Warriors also tried some roughhouse tactics against him. That method reached a boiling point late in the third quarter when Marquese Chriss decided to just toss Doncic on the floor, which aggravated Doncic and the Mavs.
After the referees reviewed the play, Chriss was assessed a technical foul.
“(It was) just physical plays, you know,” said Doncic, who has 17 career triple-doubles. “It happens in basketball a lot.
“I was getting pushed. I’m not going to just back up.”
Carlisle said he didn’t see the play where Chriss intentionally flung Doncic to the floor.
“It got to be a snippy game, really both ways,” Carlisle said. “I’m not pointing fingers at them. It got to be that way straight across the board.
“We’re a young team trying to do exceptional things. We needed an experience like this tonight.”
In running their road record to an impressive 12-3 while snapping the Warriors’ four-game winning streak, the Mavs shot 52.2 percent from the floor and converted 24 of their 51 attempts from beyond the 3-point line.
“We’ve gone through a lot in the last week – a lot of different polarizing situations,” Carlisle said. “This is every bit as polarizing as anything we’ve seen in the first half.
“But at halftime guys did a great job talking through some situations defensively and came out with some real resolve, and that’s the key to the whole thing.”